“You don’t play triathlon. You play soccer; it’s fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It’s the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?”
– Chris McCormack, Two-time Ironman World Champion
This quote really sums up what the past few weeks of training have been like for me. Okay, maybe not the puking by the roadside part, but I have certainly felt crumpled in a heap after some sessions. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was on the ground in the fetal position bawling my eyes out this past weekend. Twice. Ah, the joys of Ironman training!
The past 4 weeks of training have been half and half. Two weeks of solid, “I got this” work, followed by two weeks of me trying to be a weekend warrior. See, two weeks ago, I began my transition back to work and I seemed to have forgotten how mentally and physically exhausting it is to be a teacher. Combine that with Ironman training and you have yourself a concoction for a major meltdown. *Note to self: never sign up for an Ironman where peak training falls on the first two or three weeks of school.* (Sadly enough I feel like I have written this in another blog…in a previous year -HA!)
Over the past two weeks I’ve woken up exhausted and come home from work exhausted. I have literally struggled to get the training in. Even short sessions. This past weekend was probably the lowest and most broken that I’ve ever felt training for any Ironman. For the first time in the past 5 months of training, I felt no joy (my goal was to always find joy in the journey). I tried, but rest assured there was none. Luckily, I only have two more weeks of the really hard stuff, and then it’ll be time for taper! I think I can, I think I can.
Despite the struggles of the past few weeks, I know that all of this is part of my journey. And, as I know from experience, none of my Ironman journeys have been alike. Each one is different and I learn something new about myself every time. That, to me, is one of the rewards of taking on an Ironman.
I’m heading into this week feeling a little more rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the final weeks of training. Hopefully this feeling will continue, because bib numbers came out today. That’s a sure sign that race day is just around the corner!