How’s Ultraman Training Going?
Don’t ask unless you’re ready for the answer. The brutally honest answer. One which I cant guarantee will make you want to exercise. EVER AGAIN.
Don’t ask unless unless you’ve got at least five minutes to hear my answer. I trained 20 hours last week… I can’t sum that up in one sentence.
Don’t ask unless you don’t mind emotion. I can’t guarantee weather it will be tears or elated joy about my wonderful session. I’m pretty hit and miss at the moment.
Don’t ask via text or messenger unless you don’t mind me responding ten days later. Sorry I am THAT person. I don’t mean to be, but if you catch me at a bad time I sometimes forget to reply, then I remember out riding and keep meaning to get back to you but never do… I appreciate your concern and please never stop caring. It means the world to me. One day real soon (in about 12 weeks) I’ll go back to being a good friend/sister/daughter. But for now please forgive me… And keep reading, you’ll get all of your answers.
So how’s Ultraman training going?
Well it’s going to plan. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and say it’s going better than expected… But I have had a really great couple of weeks, my biggest build ever. By the end of the build I was definitely ready for recovery week (a week of lighter training which allows the body to adapt). Initially my recovery week had training planned for every day, just less intensity and volume. But I knew I needed some full recovery days so spoke to the boss and we included them (winning)!
Last weekend I was pretty cooked by the time Friday rolled around, Wednesday had been my first ever double swim day (4km morning and 4km after work) Thursday was double ride day, Friday 12k run and Saturday a lazy 20km run… (I even had the audacity to beat myself up because that run felt awful.. well duh, did you think about the huge build that came before it)?
Needless to say Sunday Funday was suddenly not looking so fun. Luckily a friend recognised I was struggling and joined me for a few hours before she had to work (thanks Rach)! That day I dragged myself around the streets for a total of 5 hours. It was 38 degrees, 99% humidity and 100% difficult. I didn’t know how I was ever going to be able to complete it but I did.
To follow on I then completed another week just as huge. At the start I messaged my coach Pete saying I didn’t know how I was going to do it? I was even more fatigued than the week before? He predicted the second week would be better. Whether it was mind over matter or my body adapting, somehow he was correct and I finished the second week feeling stronger than ever.
But the first day of recovery week came along and I started to unravel. Tired, emotional and ready for a day off! Luckily my fortnightly massage was scheduled in Monday and I have the wisest, funniest and most grounded masseuse ever… She should probably charge psychology fee’s on top of the massage! An hour of torture with her and my body and mind were ready to tackle the new week.
One of my least favourite sayings in the world is “You don’t understand” I really don’t like it when people say that in ANY context. But suddenly I have caught myself thinking it… Often! The constant build of session on top of session with Ultraman training in addition to working full time (standing up) has me quite fatigued. Getting to 3pm and being so tired your eyes water, your legs ache and you need every ounce of willpower in your body (plus an extra coffee) to get you through the day… Then you still have to train at night. That kinda sucks.
I know I’m meant to be fatigued, I am training for a 3 day endurance event- that’s the whole point! But when people join me for a ride or even compare their training or average pace to mine I’m finding myself agitated. You don’t understand!! You haven’t done what I’ve just done. I KNOW these are ridiculous thoughts to think, especially because these people are just trying to help, plus everyone is at their own stage in their journeys. Different races, different goals and different training loads. I shouldn’t be thinking like this especially when I dislike that statement to begin with. So I purposely avoid putting my splits or times on social media and have deleted Strava because I don’t need to you to compare me, or me to compare me. Comparison is the thief of joy.
How’s Ultraman Going? If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question I would be as rich in money as I am in care and love! Thanks for asking, I do appreciate it but I get asked this question every day… But here’s a hot tip… Maybe instead ask me if I want to have a coffee and a chat? Or if you live far away then just say hi how are you and then tell me about you and your family. That I would love to know! Ultraman is looming but I’m just a normal person who would love to know about your life too.
OK ok so how IS Ultraman training going? It’s going exactly how it’s meant to be. I don’t think anyone signs up for an ultra endurance event and expects it to be smooth sailing. There are up and downs but that’s what makes it a challenge, if it were easy then everyone would do it.
I read a blog from one of last years Ultraman Australia competitors that summed it up as “tired but strong” and thats exactly how I’m feeling. I’ve never felt more tired or more strong.
I had a moment a couple of weeks back where I almost thought of giving up, withdrawing my application. I wondered if maybe I was spending too much time and energy on a really selfish endeavour. Maybe there was more to life. I spoke to one of my brothers, he didn’t think it was selfish but said he worried I was missing out on other things in life while I was busy training.
I thought about that a lot. If I wasn’t training I could be out socialising, drinking with friends and bar hopping on a Friday and Saturday night. I could avoid the physical and mental challenges that Ultraman is presenting me with, avoid testing my limits and never know my potential… But I have been there done that. I did that for the first 26 years of my life.
Now I am in my absolute element. In the last four years since I started triathlon every time I have achieved a goal it has made me want more. The thrill of chasing a seemingly unachievable goal started with my first 10 km run and has got me to where I am. And it is EXACTLY what will get me to the finish line in Ultraman.
Even if sometimes I feel like my legs are going to drop off and I need toothpicks to keep my eyes open… Even if I have red raw chafe, toes missing toenails and an appetite to rival your growing teenage brother… I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How’s Ultraman training going? Fricken awesome!
Until next time, may you believe in yourself as much as everyone else believes in you.