Sunday, August 21, 2016

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 3

We observed from the sidelines our friends and fellow triathletes braving, what had evolved into, a windy afternoon in Coeur d'Alene for today's Ironman event. Even as I contemplate another full distance triathlon sometime in the future, I couldn't help but admit that I enjoyed spectating instead of racing today. For these last 4 weeks, training hard for a half Ironman has stretched me considerably. Yet this week, I seemed to have surpassed my fears of breaking down and actually experienced some of my strongest workouts, to date.

My coach has structured my training pretty consistently from week to week. This has allowed me to better (especially with each passing week) mentally prepare for the upcoming training session. Where once I felt nervous for a hard tempo run the day following a track session, I now feel ambitious and eager to nail it. I've only failed to do it once. I figure my odds have improved each week. Thankfully, my dogs have grown accustomed to ushering me through the woods, even in the dark morning hours. They have proven to serve as my greatest assets for these runs.

If anything, I've also learned more about the importance of recovery. Not just what it looks like, but how to embrace it. For me, I've benefited significantly from self massage. Ruby's Lube Antichafe balm has served me well. My feet, shins, and calves have stayed relatively healthy despite the increased miles and harder efforts.

We recently celebrated my mom's birthday. I didn't feel nearly as good
with my water pitcher as everyone else did with their margaritas. 
Finally, drinking water and eating raw, whole foods seems more the norm than the oddity. I'm
mentally succeeding at accepting what multiple trips to the bathroom feels like because my bladder now works overtime. PhD Nutrition has made drinking fluids more enjoyable, and with the added electrolytes and recovery protein I get from a daily smoothie, I'm better able to approach the next day's endeavors with a little more confidence than I remember feeling when I originally set out on this challenge.

This next week serves as the final push before we depart for Australia at the end of this week. My final pre-race massage with Jennette at Elements Massage will hurt, as her hands always take my knotted, tangled muscles and knead them into long, nimble strands. Again, I pray for continued health and strength to keep me on this path to the start line. I thank everyone who has and continues to support me. Please keep in touch, as your words of encouragement mean so very much.

Bryan, showing me what recovery should look like.
Unfortunately, mine never includes the bowl of ice cream. 
Much thanks to Grafton for tuning up our bikes.
His rig always looks better when it's sitting in our driveway.

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