Three months ago I enthusiastically posted about my return to Ironman training, which was started slightly later than usual due to my spring marathon and late-season second Ironman.
April was relatively consistent aside from a couple business trips and conflicts - two days without training while in Colorado for an Olympics meeting, a rest day after riding the IMLP loop and a day trip to Cincinnati that turned into two days due to a weather cancellation. Otherwise I hit just about everything on the calendar. I was feeling good.
May wasn't as consistent, but had some high points. I had seven training-free days: a few 14+ hour work days, another business trip and some planned rest days. But the high points included riding the Gran Fondo New York, riding the IMWI course after a wedding in Madison (albeit with a teeny tiny hangover) and a day of rock climbing in the Shawangunks. All in all a good month with solid effort.
Then the wheels came off in June. I knew going in it would be a difficult month, but I'm not sure I fully realized just how difficult it would be. It started with my first race of the season (swear to god, the report is coming!), followed by some decent training volume and my Horribly Hilly Hundreds ride, then fizzled away after traveling to Greece and getting sick. The two-week lapse had me feeling pretty discouraged and made me question my ability to race.
So where does this leave me? Three months into training I'm definitely not where I want to be or need to be. Lack of consistency is my biggest issue - it doesn't allow proper recovery, it leads to tightness and stiffness in just about every part of your body, it screws up your sleep patterns and leads to weight gain or inability to lose weight. Stress is my other issue. We put our bodies through an immense amount of physical stress, then I have life stress layered on top of that essentially turning me into a cortisol factory. It's not healthy and very difficult to manage.
Despite all that I've been talked off the "I can't do IMWI ledge" and feel back on track. I used vacation to ease in and stuck to my schedule pretty religiously this week aside from swimming. I had a mole removed Tuesday during my bi-annual skin cancer screening and that means 10 pool-free days. You know I don't mind that! I've been tired and struggling to roll out of bed at 4:45 or 5 every day, but it's getting easier and will keep getting easier.
I had a great weekend of training including a 9-mile run Friday that finally felt good and was close to my former long run pace range. Then yesterday I drove up to Harriman State Park and did a 60-mile ride with more than 5,415 feet of climbing, including two times to the top of Bear Mountain. This ended with a 30-minute run and my legs officially hate me. Today will either be rest or a short recovery ride, then back at it next week.