It feels like forever since I’ve written on here, so long in fact that I had to jump over to my blog homepage to see what I last wrote… Long Term Consistency Trumps Short Term Intensity at the end of October! It seems like somehow I missed November and December. It’s been full on.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram you’ll know a fair bit has happened in that time…
To summarise 80 odd days into 5 main points here goes:
- I finally overcame injury and was given the all clear to run again. A whole heap of physio exercise and diligence led to that and I am determined not to let weakness cause injury again.
- I became an ambassador for Strength for Endurance because prehab beats rehab! Am currently making a consistent effort to build strength and make sure I stay injury free. Ten minutes a day is sometimes all I can manage (time restrictions and/or laziness, but consistency trumps all and all those 10 minutes’s add up more than zero minutes do). More on this later.
- I left Alpha at the start of December and moved back to Noosa. The four months I spent in Alpha I will never forget, if nothing else it made me physically and mentally stronger, more self aware and gave me clarity on what I value most in life (hint it has nothing to do with materialistic things and everything to do with happiness). I had some wonderful experiences there and am glad I went, if you ever get a chance to explore the Australian Outback do it.
- Training intensified… I cant really sum up 2 months in a paragraph. But Ultraman training has just got real! Really really real. Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into. It scares me, it makes me nervous and I constantly doubt myself, but the prospect of blowing my own damn mind is the carrot. If your dreams don’t make you jump out of bed in the morning then they aren’t big enough right?
- Tomorrow I start a new job. New pharmacy, new role, new colleagues and I’m excited. I have worked the last 6 weeks in my old haunt, filling in over the busy Christmas holiday period but I start Monday with a bunch of fresh faces. People who haven’t heard my terrible singing, who may not appreciate a colleague who smells of chlorine, who probably wont have heard of Ultraman and may not be able to fathom driving the distances I ride on the weekends… But they soon will. And I have no doubt they will love every minute of it and be joining me on runs soon (too high expectations?).
But all of that aside I am sure you just want to know what everyone keeps asking me… How is Ultraman training going?
Well if you want the boring stuff, my long rides have been consistently at 5 hours, my swim sessions around 4-4.5km and runs are still building post-injury, at the moment up to maximum 1 hour 35 min. But I’m quickly learning it’s not the distances that’s making the journey what it is, it’s the emotions. ALL of the emotions!
Some days I think I should be at the 2020 Olympics, the next day I’ll be struggling to walk up the stairs from the laundry.
Take January for example. I had a really bad week after the Christmas break. I assumed it was due to eating too many rumballs, drinking too much rose and running in the heat and humidity of Cairns. I got back, felt shocking so made a consistent effort to make sleep and nutrition my number one priorities. It took almost a whole week and I was great again. I honestly don’t know how people fuel their bodies with crap, have late nights/stressful jobs and still exercise- it’s a whole other level of hard!!
Anyway I was cruising along nicely nailing each training session, Granny Smiths were bursting off my screen on Training Peaks for a good 2 weeks. I even put a comment on Friday after my run that my body was surprisingly good (Wednesday had involved a swim set of 45x100s and one hour of running hill reps, Thursday was 2 hours of hard efforts on the bike and a few 12 hour work days scattered between) I was smashing it. Then Saturday rolled around. DEAD.
Seriously not one muscle in my body wanted to move, I felt like I had been steam rolled. My energy levels were low my soreness high. “Dead legs” is really the only way to explain it. I had a one hour ride on my program so decided to suck it up, get up and ride.
I’m still not sure if that was the best decision or not, maybe I should have listened to my body and rested. Finding the balance between not burning out and getting used to training fatigued is something I struggle with. Hopefully over the next four months I’ll master it… But it’s all a learning curve, part of the journey.
So I raced Robina OD today (1.5k swim, 40k ride, 10k run) on a very tired body in 38 degree heat. Every stroke, pedal and step was a mental challenge to keep going. A few weeks back I was riding with a friend and 4.5 hours into a 5 hour ride I cracked it, said I had enough, was done! He asked what part of me was done? Were my legs too tired, heart/cardio system had enough, was I thirsty/hungry etc- what was causing me to say I was done? I took a quick check of myself and realised actually my legs were ok, my HR was in check and beating just fine, ok maybe a sip of water would be good… But really I was fine. There was no reason other than mental that I needed to stop.
I thought about this several times during my race today and it got me through to the finish line. Despite the heat, fatigue and little voices in my head I managed to finish only a few minutes off my PB and with a smile, so thanks Sean.
Next time you’re about to throw in the towel just stop for a minute and think why? Can you really not go on any further or is your mind just telling your body it cant?
On that note my body is telling my mind it’s dinner and bed time… And I am not going to argue with either!
Happy New Week everybody!