Wednesday, February 18, 2015

And so it begins...

It's official I have now begun my Ironman training. I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling like I bit off more then I can chew. The only thing that is keeping me from totally freaking out is the great support team I've got going. I am into my third week which is also a rest week for me and I'm feeling not too bad. If you had asked me how I was feeling last week I probably wouldn't be sounding so chipper about the whole process.

So week 1 started off pretty easy. I actually held off on the swim for this week since I seem to get sick 2 days after being in the pool. Since I still am not quite 100% healthy from this crazy nasty flu/chest cold/bronchitis/maybe it was pneumonia kind of sickness I opted on staying out of the pool for another few weeks.
So week 1:
Lots of strength training. I am doing weights 3x's a week, 45min each session. I'm working on everything: Glutes/core, legs, arms. Each days has a lovely surprise for me. 
Bike is being done 3x's a week as well. I've got 1 day that is intervals, 1 day hill repeats, 1 day of easy steady state. Now all of these workouts aren't necessarily balls to the walls. I have to stay within a specific heat rate zone depending on the workout.
My interval session was attempted on the rollers. New experience for me. A lot harder than I anticipated too. At least I don't have to hold onto the wall anymore.
I'll spare you the ugly hill repeats picture. It was very wet, I was very cranky (probably because I was also very wet) and I was tired. So we'll skip ahead to my easy steady state which ended up being a lovely mountain bike ride with one of my besties!!!
I don't get out on the mountain bike very often but I sure had some fun.

Next up is the run. My hardest sport to train for. I never really loved running up until last summer. Now I enjoy it quite a bit especially when the weather is like this:
What's not to like? Unfortunately, first week the weather wasn't so nice. To top it off we had a tough workout in the pouring rain. But we were so enthusiastic!
Nice warm up to start then right into 1 km race pace intervals. I was thrilled when I got home and loaded up my stats to find I hit every interval bang on my goal pace. It's amazing how a good tough workout that goes well can just top off your day/week/month!
I was so fast the picture is blurry ; )

There is nothing more rewarding than completing a tough workout!

So week 1 done! Both coaches were happy with my first week of training YAY!
This is where things don't go so well. The high's and low's of training for a big event. My right hip has been causing me grief on and off for a few months. I'm lucky enough that my very good friend is also my physiotherapist and takes excellent care of me. Unfortunately she is away for 5 weeks (which sucks super bad because she is also one of my main training buddies). Well, week 2 of training my hip starts bugging me a bit. I seriously have been looking like an old lady when I start my run. So my yogi husband suggested that maybe I should start incorporating some yoga into my training schedule (because I have so much free time *did you note the sarcasm?)
I really do like doing yoga but I am really terrible at it and I really don't have any spare time so I have to be choosy about my workouts. I decided maybe husband was right so I started doing it and even got the kids to join me.

Let's just say they are a little more natural at it than I am.
Needless to say, I think the yoga is actually working. After 3 sessions of yoga my hip is feeling so much better. So much better that I am back to enjoying my runs.
Week 2 running: a few nice easy runs in the cold mornings (at least it isn't raining). A nice hilly route to get me warmed up. By then end of the week I was exhausted that I had to skip my Saturday group run. Gotta get on top of that. I can't me missing those runs.
Bike got a missed session too. Started out and by 20min in I could barely hold myself up on the bike.
Still no swimming either but I was so tired I probably would have drowned.

This might be a good time to remind athletes how important it is to listen to your body. I'm guilty of not listening to how I feel and I'm guessing if you go back a ways in my blog you might even find a confession or two. Seriously though, with the health issues and injuries I have had over the last few years this couldn't be any more important. If you are in the middle of the workout and you absolutely can not give it 100% it is perfectly okay to pull the plug. In fact it would be very wise. 
Needless to say I was looking forward to my rest week. Now a lot of people have the misconception that a rest week is a week where you lay on the couch and do nothing. Even a few of my training buddies weren't quite sure what a rest week actually meant. 
For me, I'm still training but the load is a bit lighter, no weight training for the week and lots of recovery runs/rides. 
So Sunday I got out to enjoy a leisurely 2 hour ride with another fabulous friend.
The weather was amazing! 

We kept a super easy pace. Even stopped a few times. I couldn't have been any happier to be out there. Then I followed up with a 60min run.
Who gets to run in t shirts during February? This weather is crazing awesome. 

So now I am finishing up my recovery week. I had some hill repeats on my run today which wasn't quite as warm as Sundays run but equally amazing to be outside.
Now if only it stayed light out just a bit longer I wouldn't have to pack my training in so tightly. 
I've been feeling slightly overwhelmed trying to keep the balance. 
I've been needed at my kids school to help volunteer, I've had a few extra work days I've needed to go in for and I'm still trying to get out to see friends. Life is definitely busy and I know it's going to get a lot busier. I'm just glad I got though my first 3 weeks of base training without any major melt downs.
If this weather continues I have a feeling training won't be difficult to get in.

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