Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Operation Ironman Phase 2 – The Battle Within

"The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals.  The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside of us all – that’s where it’s at."  Jesse Owens

Operation Ironman Phase 1 did not go as planned.  As discussed in my last blog post, I injured my foot and ankle.  The injury warranted for me to wear a boot for almost a month. 

Besides dealing with my foot and ankle injury, I have dealt with a bad case of bronchitis, which I call “the crud”.  The crud had me down for the count for days at a time.  I missed days from work and training.  Then of course there has been the crazy Virginia weather. This was one of the worse winters we have had in quite some time. My office closed twice this past winter, which just doesn’t happen! And unlike last year when I was able to bike outside during most of the winter, that didn’t happen this year.  So as the weather breaks I find my once strongest discipline, cycling, is now my weakest.

When I felt well and my foot/ankle allowed it, I would ride my bike on the trainer.  The trainer is a great way to get your cycling workouts done when the weather doesn’t permit.  I love my CycleOps Fluid Trainer. 

Riding on the trainer is also a great opportunity to test nutrition without being concerned with GI issues.  If needed be I can just hop off the trainer and run down the hall to my bathroom.  Fortunately for me I have discovered that Hammer Nutrition’s Sustained Energy and Peanut Butter Gel are a winning combination for me.

The problem that I am having with my cycling is that even though I have been riding my trainer, it has not been consistent because of injury and illness.  I have ridden outside 3 times so far in the past week, and on each ride I have struggled.  My cycling fitness just isn’t there.  I am concerned and downright embarrassed when I ride with my friends and teammates.  I am doubting myself and wondering how I am going to pull it together in time for Ironman Mont Tremblant.  The bike is what is going to make or break me for IMMT.  

I have started a doctor prescribed back to running program, but I do not know where my running will be for IMMT.  I changed my running shoes from the Asics Kayano (slight stability) to the Saucony Ride 6 (neutral) with over-the-counter orthotics.

Monticelloman and Rev3 Quassy triathlons have been changed to aquabikes.  For the Richmond Tri Club Sprint, one of my teammates is doing the run portion for me since there is not an aquabike division.  

It is imperative that I have a strong bike split so that I can give myself as much time as possible for the run. I am really going to have to push myself with my bike training.  I can only gain so much time from the swim.

Who would thought that the swim, my weakest discipline, is now my strongest?  Even when my foot/ankle was at its worst, I was still able to swim.  I have seen gains in speed and endurance.  My stroke is looking better too.  The swim is the discipline that I am not concerned about.  Go figure.

The only part of Operation Ironman Phase 1 that I completely accomplished was finding my mom a companion, which is more important than my quest for Ironman.  My mom is able to stay in her home and still have her independence.  The companion comes twice during the week and my husband and I take turns taking my mom grocery shopping and to church on the weekends.  When my mom is happy I am happy. 


I am not too happy with my current training status.  I am behind the 8 ball.  There is so much training I need to do in so little time.  I know if I fuel and recovery properly I can do what I need to do. My problem is keeping myself mentally on track.  I can be my best cheerleader or my worst enemy.  It’s a continuous battle.  Self-doubt rages through my mind almost on a daily basis.  I have to remind myself of the strives that I have made in the past 3 years of doing triathlons.  I hate that at times I don’t see myself as others do. Oh well, instead of me going on and on about my inner battle, I need to get my behind on my bike!

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