Week 14 Ironman Louisville Training: All Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos

What. A. Week!

I’ve learned a lot this week…learning a thing or two about making a schedule and sticking to it. Learning to “embrace the suck.” Learning to view my goals as non-negotiable. Learning to read my body a little better. I’m trying not to go crazy but my wisdom teeth are giving me problems again — as they have been the last 11 years — so I am finally meeting with an oral surgeon next week to explore options. I’m hoping that maybe I can push it off until after IMLOU (which was the plan all along) but things might not work out as expected.

(If the unexpected were to befall and I would have to bail out of IMLOU, I already have my backup race scheduled — the HITS Championships in Palm Springs, full/iron distance. So, no matter what, I’m not getting out of this one!)

All great changes are preceded by chaos

I’ve been trying to really embrace these longer training weeks. Really really REALLY trying to go zen with it. Trying to live in the present. Trying to live without expectation. Trying to enjoy the journey. It’s hard and it’s really tiring. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do, and I’ve tried to do a lot of things. With a weekend getaway coming up, I’ve had to squeeze two of my longest training weeks into 10 days. (Yeah, 4 days of training/active recovery is a bit too much time away.) I think right around hour 14 and up I tend to go batty anyways, so these higher volume weeks are pushing me to a limit.

Drop and give me zen

In Be Iron Fit, the author talks about a notion of “getting to that point” in the mental training section. The idea is to push yourself into a hard workout…not just tough for the moment or for a minute, but tough enough to break you. Any bike ride over 3.5 hours will do that to me already. I’m working at pushing through it, but it’s really hard. It’s mental, and it’s physical. The mental side of me is like, “WTF DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? Since when does riding 4 hours without a doughnut destination actually make sense?” It gets really lonely on the bike trainer, and monotonous. I keep music and Amazon Instant Video nearby. I mostly wish that it was nice enough to ride outside without the mist or rain. During the weekdays it has been sunny but stealing a few hours at the end of a workday to ride the Burke Gilman doesn’t make sense. It makes much more sense to spend as little time prepping for my ride and maximizing my saddle time. Speaking of saddles, I’m still working it in, but long rides are mostly uncomfortable for my butt. I think if I had a better pair of shorts or something I’d be able to muscle through it. I have chamois cream but maybe I’m not globbing enough of it on? It’s not my legs that hurt, I’m not out of breath, I just find it hard to sit down!

If all great changes are truly preceded by chaos, then I’m in for one hell of a ride. I’ll get my 17-hour race and a trip down the finish chute one way or another. Does the chaos look the same for everybody? Am I the only one freaking out about this? 2.4 miles without a wetsuit…112 miles on the bike in blistering heat…and a full marathon with the fastest time I will ever have to run despite my last two marathon finishes. Le sigh. I just have to put my head down and focus, focus, focus! With all of this training time under my belt, why do I still feel so underprepared?

Nonetheless, I can’t worry about it too much…I have training in the morning. Here’s my recap.

Week 14 Ironman Louisville Training: 17.5 hours of training; Swim: 9152 yards; Bike: 108 miles; Run: 15.38 miles.

Monday, May 20: Rest day from Rock n Roll Portland.

Tuesday, May 21: Strength training with my coach in the morning, 45 minute swim and 1 hour 15 minute swim in the evening.

Wednesday, May 22: 1.5 hour ride on the bike trainer before work.

Thursday, May 23: Morning swim (1:15), followed by a morning ride on the trainer for 1.5 hours. An evening on the dreadmill for 1:15.

Friday, May 24: Swimming with the coach in the morning, followed by a short swim in the evening. An angry swim, but swim nonetheless.

Saturday, May 25: Rest day for my monster workout on Sunday!

Sunday, May 26: HOLY MOTHER OF ALL WORKOUTS it was a 7 hour 55 minute day. Had I stayed on something for five more minutes I could’ve made it an 8-hour day…like a workday or something. 2.4 mile swim in 2:10, followed by a 5.17 mile run on the dreadmill for 1:15, followed by a loooooong trainer ride – 4.5 hours. I seriously felt like my legs were going to fall off by the end of it all.

As of today, there are 89 more days left to go until Ironman Louisville. Better start cranking on those open water swim clinics and doubling down on my plan!

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