Training Recap: Weeks 17-18 of Escape from Alcatraz

7 weeks to go! 😬

My last two weeks of training have gone pretty well…sort of. I now see 6 red blocks in week 17, but I did go to Orangetheory four times that week. I’m calling it a rest week after two intense training weeks. I was feeling pretty awful on Thursday and Friday — some fatigue catching up to me — but was able to squeeze in some weekend classes.

This last week actually went better than expected, but it was at the expense of Orangetheory.  I had planned to take a mountain biking class but was pleasantly surprised by my husband with a quick trip to Estes Park.

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My nervousness tends to switch off between cycling and swimming. The hills of the course are what concern me most. I have a coach/consultant who said that using flat pedals would be fine, but the tri community seems to think differently. I was comfortable enough with clipless pedals for my pancake-flat half ironman in Palm Springs, but I’m not so sure with hill climbs. I’ve finally gotten into a mental comfort zone on the trainer, so I’m less intimidated by it ever so slightly since I feel like I’ve gotten an opportunity to practice the course.

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The swim is a completely different story. I try to think about how I’ll feel in open water. I try to visualize it on my rower and treadmill when I’m hitting a sort-of-wall. I try to visualize it in the pool. I purposely wear my bad goggles so that everything fogs up and visibility is significantly decreased. I don’t really think I’ll get a feel for it without actually doing the swim, or at least getting some coaching for choppy waters again. I’ve looked into a few options but have yet to follow through with it, mainly because of time and money constraints.

I’ve also tried to study the swim, but my short attention span usually gets in the way. I’m going to need to memorize it before I get there!

I know I’m feeling a lot of trepidation about the race. There are a lot of what-ifs that I am worried about. Getting to the start, as prepared as possible, is one of them. The worst thing for me at this point is feeling like I could’ve done more to mentally and physically prepare.

There are two 3-week blocks that await me, with a short rest week before the race. It’s scary to think how far along I’ve come but how it still feels like I’ve barely began my training. I’ve counted 44 missed training sessions since I began. With 7 sessions a week for 18 weeks, that’s 126 sessions, so…I’ve missed 35% of my workouts. At least that’s still a 65% attendance/training rate.

I’m really making do with the time and resources I have. In other tri groups it seems like I’m amongst superpeople who can juggle 16-hour days and a 140.6 training load. They say things like, “you just have to want it bad enough.” I don’t really believe all that nonsense (or at least, I try not to) and try to stick to the concept of satisficing. All of this might not be optimal, but it is adequate. After all, I am working almost three jobs, so at some point I have to give myself some slack. The training honestly does stress me out sometimes, but I have to remember that this is all for fun.

My mantra for the year has been “honesty.” When I show up, I’ll do my best. When I’m fatigued, I’ll take some time off. When I recognize that I need to eat better, I try to do so. Driving myself to perfection was a long-told story of my 20s and early 30s. At this point in my life, there isn’t a lot of time for the mental baggage. I just need to show up when I can and do my best with the resources I have.





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