22 May 2013

Ironman Training - Things Just Got Real

This past weekend's workouts were a kick-in-the-pants (or on-the-sitbones, ouch!) reminder that Ironman training has arrived and it means business. On paper, it didn't look terrifying. Five hour ride on Saturday, long-ish run on Sunday. On Saturday morning as I was filling my bento box and calculating the caloric needs for the ride by the hour, it dawned on me - oof, five hours means 90+ miles. That isn't a casual hop on your bike and ride for awhile. That's a make-sure-you-have-all-your-fuel-fill-ALL-of- your-bottle-cages-bring-money-for-more-food-because-your-bento-box-isn't-big-enough-and-bring-a- variety-of-fuel-because-5+ hours-of-gels-is-just-disgusting kind of ride. I haven't done a ride that long since the height of Ironman training last summer. And somehow the mind always forgets just how tired your body gets after the first ride of the season of that length. It kind of reminds me of the first time I trained for a marathon in college - I remember doing my long run on Saturday mornings and then spending a good portion of Saturday afternoons laying in my bed, feeling achy like I had the flu. But towards the end of training, my body didn't ache so much, as it had become acclimated to the distance. Same thing with Ironman training. That first long ride is always killer, but it gets better. I feel like I've done Ironman training for long enough now that I'm familiar with the cycle and it's comforting to know what to expect and that these feelings are completely normal and don't mean that I am terribly out of shape. It's just acclimation.

So the ride on Saturday was good, I rode out to Poolesville, tooled around on the hills, kept my fingers and toes crossed that I'd avoid the rain (mostly successful) and I ended up latching on the wheel of another cyclist for about 40ish miles who was out for a long ride too. It was nice to have company -Without it, I know I would've become surly about the drizzly weather and my less-than-stellar fueling (Combos as a gas station have never tasted so good. Mmmm fake cheese). As I got back on the bike path to make my way home from MacArthur Blvd, I considered doing a little out and back on the W&OD so I'd hit 100 miles, but I decided against it. 94 miles was more than enough thankyouverymuch. Plus I was running late in getting home, needed to have enough time to make Oreo Balls for my friend Kendra's event that evening (do you know how challenging it is to make sure enough oreos make it into the food processor instead of my mouth?)

I woke up Sunday morning feeling tired. And hungry, so hungry. I actually ate two bagels before my long run. My legs were stiff and sore when I set out and initially I thought I'd run down by the Pentagon, along the Mt. Vernon Trail and then back up through the Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon hills but decided I didn't want to subject my legs to those hills, so I did an out and back from my house, past the Pentagon, down the Mall to the Washington Monument and then back.

Running routes like this will never ever get old. I always think of Forrest Gump on this path along the Reflecting Pool
I was cooked by the time I got home, my legs were tired and heavy and all I wanted was a billion popsicles - a sure sign that the warm and humid weather has arrived. We took Miles on a long walk that afternoon and he and I were lumps of pathetic-ness in the evening after dinner, both of us laying in the reading room, barely able to keep our eyes open.

This week I've had some swimming, a track workout, some biking, some strength training. I did track work yesterday and my legs are STILL sore. And I'm eating alot (more than usual). It's like I blinked and suddenly we're in the thick of the season. I think Ironman is about 10ish weeks away, so there is alot more fun in my immediate future!

Oh and I'm signed up for Ironman Texas 2014! Different (hot) race!


Katie said...

That time is upon us :) Sounds like we had a similiar Saturday moment last week! Jealous on Texas, but my schedule definitely ins't thought out at ALL next year

bradleyd3 said...

Oh...I don't miss it. I know exactly what you're feeling. :)

You signed up for Texas, huh? Congrats. It's a hell of a race.

GoBigGreen said...

Oh no, now i may HAVE to sign up for Texas so we can train in AZ together. Seriously. And would you send me some hot weather? it was 42 this am when i ran. No i am not kidding. I m cold.