November 30, 2008

The Training Whine

I tend to whine during the early days of training. My wife notices it. And she makes sure that I know she notices it. So, in addition to being mindful to hitting my workouts, I must also be mindful of my tongue.

Over the last 4 years, I've acquired some "over use" injuries. Both knees hurt from Runner's Knee and now I have this thing with both feet. Sometimes when I'm running (or walking), it feels like my foot is broken. I have to stop. On some days around the house, I'm limping and some days I am not. I can't explain it. I had a similar injury 2 years ago and the doctor couldn't find anything wrong. Both an X-Ray and an MRI were negative. He ended up giving me a shot of cortisone and an oral mediaction with the same medicinal effect. I guess it worked because it got me through the rest of training with 2 months to go to race day. And it got me through the race: my second IM finish. But they are still with me and these nagging, annoying injuries get the best of me and make me whine. I start to focus on them instead of the workout itself. They hang over my head and penetrate my performance because it just doesn't feel good to run. I used to love to run but these "hurts" really hurt and block me from really pushing hard.

Today's workout was a 1 hour run. I was dreading it. Factor in the weather, rain and cold, and my whine was in full swing. Actually, I need to give myself a break here and state that it's not that bad. I think my wife is over sensitive to it. But nonetheless, I did catch myself whining today as I procrastinated over when to start. Finally, driven by the foul conditions, I got out there and actually had a decent run. The foot hurt but I got through it with little trouble. There was no need to stop and the last 30 minutes actually felt very good.

When I arrived home, I felt the need to complain about my knee's. They were sore. As I made my way inside, I saw my wife and she asked me how my run was. I hesitated and then said, "Fine." And then added, "Wet too." She smiled.

November 29, 2008

IM Training Begins.....Again!

And so it began 5 days ago on November 24. The quest for a 3rd IM finish.

The starting line seems so far away during these early days. The knees are sore. The right foot-ankle is hurting again. So much, that I've had to cut short 1 run and cancel another. It's been cold and it's dark in the mornings. Already, those voices are creeping in asking why I signed up again. The voices urge me on to look up the cancellation dates for the race and the hotel.

But, so far, I have stared them down. I hit 2 of 3 Strength workouts, 1 of 2 runs, 2 of 2 swims, and 2 of 2 bikes this week. Since this is the first time I have started this early so I feel like I am already ahead of the game.

It is important to get these workouts in so you don't feel inclined to blow them off later. Quit now and what will stop you from quiting later? When it's April and you have a 4 to 5 hour ride followed by a 30 minute run ahead of you, you will think about these early days and how you rose from your bed in 30 degree weather to hit the road for a run or the chilly pool for a swim.

And you will be much better off. I guarantee it.

November 17, 2008

Here Comes That Training Again

Ironman Lake Placid 2009. Training starts 1 week from today.


It was less than 4 months ago when I made the trip to Lake Placid 2008 in order to sign up for the 2009 race. The day was "wet" from biblical rains but my friends and I were once again filled with those crazy endorphins and that overwhelming desire to do it again. And here I am on the eve of training. Everything is falling into place leading up to Day 1. For example, I put in a "ton" of base work. NOT! (I kept saying I would. Tomorrow, for sure!) And I am cruising into Day 1 with no injuries. NOT! (Once again the knees are sore and My Right Foot feels like it's broken). At least the weather looks great for outdoor rides instead of the trainer. Double NOT! (Sure, 70 degrees last Saturday but the lows for the next 10 days are in the 20's and 30's).

This is the hardest part of the race. Even before the gun goes off and 2000 people start swimming, kicking, punching and clawing their way through the swim course. Even before the stomach starts to knot up from warm, orange Gatorade Endurance while out on the bike. And well before, the dry heaves kick in at Mile 10 of the run. It's that persistent, sinking feeling of do I really need to go to bed early? Get up early? Jump in the cold pool, early?

Yes. Yes I do. And so do all the other 2000+ entries

The good news is I won't be alone. The demons inside my head will be barking for me to quit. To go back to sleep. To cut the workout short. To worry over the ache in my knees as if I'll never walk again if I don't.

This is Ironman. And it's why we do it. I think.