Here I am, in the home stretch of Ironman training and suddenly every moment counts. Not that the previous 26 weeks of training didn't count, but things feel different now. Every missed workout makes me fear race day and the suffering that will ensue if I'm unprepared. Everything that goes wrong makes me think about it going wrong on race day. Every little twinge of pain or physical discomfort makes me worry about sickness or injury. And because of that, I did something today I rarely do - I listened to my body and decided not to train. I took an unscheduled rest day so I can hopefully go into the rest of the week feeling a little fresher and a little more prepared.
My legs felt really beat up from the weekend. I'm sure it's due to the change in sequence of my workouts and the fact that I was forced to do a long run on legs that had already biked 25 miles. I then rode 108 and immediately got into the car for a 6-hour drive and didn't eat an actual meal afterward. I've had minimal pain during training but my right calf and both shins were in bad shape yesterday. I could barely walk. I stretched, alternated heat and ice, soaked in the tub and massaged with the rolling pin and was still sore this morning. I was also exhausted after 7 solid hours of sleep. So at the end of a long workday and with a big ride and run looming tomorrow, I decided to skip my workout, make a nice dinner and do another thing I rarely do - relax on my couch and watch a movie. A whole movie from beginning to end without distractions and without being on the trainer. I haven't done that in about six months.
I got so relaxed I didn't attempt to put on my race wheels until 10:30 and inevitably struggled a little so I've decided I will not get up super early for my ride tomorrow. Instead I'll sleep late, get ready at a relaxed pace and hit the train post-rush hour to start my ride around 10 or 11 a.m. I'm only riding 60 miles so I'll still be done by early afternoon. I have a short run after that I can do indoors if it's too hot. I'm not going to stress over it. I took a day off work so I could do big mid-week training so I'm going to use the day for the training, but also for rest since it's a huge part of my race preparation.
I'm looking into getting out of town the week after next for my peak weekend. I will be running 19 miles on Friday, swimming roughly 4,500 yards and biking 1.5 hours on Saturday and then wrapping it up with a 115 mile ride on Sunday followed by a 10 mile run. This will be the end of my major volume and I'd really like to do it in a safe, peaceful place. I want to go back to Lake Placid, but the drive is a bit of a barrier so I'm considering the southern Adirondacks. There is also a chance I may be revisiting Vermont the following weekend so if it all comes together, I should have a pretty incredible ending to this pretty incredible training journey I've been on for the past 6.5 months.