Today was the moment of truth. Do I really try to do a long ride indoors and take myself a step closer to getting ready for Ironman New Zealand or do I bail.
I had to ride indoors, there snow on the ground outside and it cold. If there wasn't snow on the ground and even with it being cold, I would have rather rode outside.
I got on the bike and it was a Quentin Tarantino ride. I first watched his interview with Howard Stern and then about 2/3 of the movie Pulp Fiction.
The first hour wasn't bad, although I had to push myself to continue. By 2 hours I was thinking this would be a good ride if I wasn't doing an Ironman and was just doing Olympic distance triathlons. By 2.5 hours it was starting to grind on my mind. It was hard, time started going slower. I pushed through. My goal was to make it to 3 hours. I got there and then kept pushing through, it was hard. At 3:22 I got off the bike, I had enough and I knew I did enough to keep me in the run to get to IMNZ.
I'm really focusing on recovery. From past experience, I've been lucky enough to know what it's like to train at a near professional level with loads of mileage and hours for sustained periods of time. In those days I wouldn't miss a workout very often regardless of how bad or sore I felt. I was afraid to miss a day.
Now it's different. When I did Kona in 2010 (Something Simon will hopefully be able to do one day), I sat at the table with the guys who were in their late 60's and 70's who did the race. We talked training and differences they have now at their age versus when they were younger. They all said, recovery time. They need more time to recover.
My training is taking on that sort of flavour. I'm now monitoring my body and not over pushing it, nor under pushing it. Right now I feel on track, I can feel muscle growing and getting stronger. From my weight training session yesterday I'm a sore, primarily upper body. Although my butt is sore from the lunges. There is nothing like lunges, they definitely put you in the hurt locker. You notice it when you sit down on something hard.
After the ride, Apple contacted me, my computer was repaired. Alice and I went to pick it up and then went out for dinner at Jack Astors. I was in a semi-bonk state. I'm not sure if it was from a later night in the Pig & Whistle and over doing it or it was a bonk from the ride. I think it was the former, but don't know for sure. The upside is that at least my body knew I worked out and 3:20 on the bike indoors is like over 4 hours outside. BUT, I definitely need to put in at least two century rides before IMNZ and I only have 33 days left until then and the last week is typically more of a taper. I'm definitely cutting it close.
Doing the weights is also as good as doing a swim, it's strengthening the upper body. I could feel that different parts of my arms and chest are feeling the pain differently. It's like my body is trying to get all muscles equally balanced in strength and the pain shows me which areas are weaker than others and coming back to equal strength.
I'm also proud of the fact I did over 12 hours of training in the last 7 days. It's a good start. All the sessions had meaningful benefits and I didn't feel I had put in any garbage training sessions.
The rest of the night was watching hockey and the UFC fights and hanging in the Pig & Whistle. Mentally I'm in a really good spot. Sometimes just sitting and talking about stuff with Alice is the best form of therapy. There is always some challenges that come up and talking through them and putting them in perspective is much better.
For me, my goal is not to getting into negative energy territory. As time has went on I've become good at recognizing if I'm going into negative territory or making a mountain out of a mole hill. One the bike today I was getting down because I was dwelling on something we were discussing the night before, it was actually demotivating and just ruminating on the discussion was near giving me motivation to stop training and just give up.
I was able to break it by thinking that nothing is worth getting into my head and effecting my focus and changing my priorities.
I'm also getting much better at putting together a better work and personal time balance. I'm definitely forcing it to be a priority.
Next time riding, I'm going to watch the Steve Jobs Commencement speech from Stanford University. I've watched it many times and it's one of the best speeches I've ever heard. Definitely life lessons we all could use.