I was admonished by one of my 5 blog readers that it had been awhile since I'd posted, so here goes.
After getting back from Florida, I had a few weeks to recover and reacclimate to work and prepare for another trip. I felt out of sorts as the weather was still in transition (still is) from winter to spring, and having come from the warmth of Florida I seemed to feel extra cold. I took one down training week (recovery) then returned to more or less full strength.
It was hard to get back on the trainer after being in Florida. REALLY hard. So much so that I just didn't give a fuck how slow I was going, but I let it be knowing that I had a fair amount of running coming up.
I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Lori while she was at her house in Fort Collins, Colorado, for 4 days. It is truly fun to stay with a person that lives more or less like I do. We did the Platte River 1/2 marathon the day after I arrived. I sucked, but I expected to. Even though the course was a net downhill, I was at an altitude that my body had no clue what to do with. So I just ran as best I could, and enjoyed it and the great after party for a bit. No PR on the day for sure, but still a good endurance run. We hiked a bit after that and then went to a Cubs-Rockies game in Denver. What a beautiful stadium! I haven't been to a baseball game in years, but as usual, the Cubs sucked. Still, it was a gorgeous, sunny day and the beer provided the requisite post-race-sitting-in-the-sun buzz. The next day we hiked a bunch in Horsetooth Resevoir. I didn't really have the proper footwear, but I did OK, only refusing the final short, steep climb up to the very tip top. Another sunny day in Colorado! The next day, we (well really Lori) swam a bit, then we ran about an hour and hiked some more and then we rode bikes into town for lunch. I really fully enjoyed my trip and was sad to leave, but I needed to head further southwest to Vegas.
Well, actually, Pahrump, where my best friend Susan lives, to be in her wedding. My flight there was delayed about 2 hours, but no worries I got in and drove to Pahrump from the airport. Susan's Mom was staying with her and her husband Wolfgang, and one of Wolfgang's German-only speaking friends, Juergen, was also staying at their house. The next day, I drove to Red Rock Canyon to do a nice long run. I'd been there last year, and was supposed to run the marathon, but I was injured and only did the 5K in run/walk mode. So I was excited to go run there for 1/2 marathon or so. I have much respect for anyone who does the full marathon there--it's about 2000 feet of elevation gain over the distance. I ran 14 miles--I went out for 7 along the scenic road and then back. On the way down, I got a better idea of just how much climbing I'd done! This was the most beautiful run I've ever done. The scenery is just stunning, and it was crystal blue sky in the 50's, so perfect running weather.
The next day Susan and I got mani-pedis. This was a first for me, and I did enjoy it very much, but I don't usually do my fingernails (I do too much with my hands and don't want nails and they make typing difficult), and don't really have the time for the pedicure. But it was luxurious! Then we had a brief rehearsal for the wedding in Vegas, and I was actually feeling nervous. This was really going to happen!
Saturday morning I went for a run from Susan's house. I ran west to California and beyond, for a total 1 hour run. I saw a sign for Badwater 27 miles and wanted to keep going! One day I will do that and have Susan just pick me up there. Then Susan and I had our makeup done (I haven't worn makeup in a few years), and then we hauled off to Vegas for the ceremony. It was beautiful (I will post a link to pics when they are available) and the weather was awesome. When it was my turn to give a toast, the best man shouted that he bet I couldn't do pushups, so of course I had to prove him wrong. IN A DRESS! I dropped and did 10 and said I could do more (I could have) and somehow got up in a ladylike fashion. I can't wait to see pics of that!
Sunday morning the entourage all had breakfast and then I left for home. It was nice to get home, as it always is, but I was in the wrong timezone. It took 3 days for me to be able to wake up at 5 again, and I started feeling very tired and overwhelmed by all the things I needed to do. I think the vacation was such a nice break for me, but it surely made me realize all the things I do on my own on a daily basis, and I wondered whether I would regain my organization skills. They are slowly coming back.
At the same time, I found myself very weary and feeling like I sucked and couldn't train. I really didn't do any intensity the first week back, and I started thinking about all the races I have planned and especially that damn Ironman. I had planned to go riding in Wisconsin this weekend, but realized I have too much yard and housework to catch up on to justify driving 6 hours. I feel like crap on the bike and just don't have any power. Swimming has been iffy with my right arm injury, but it's a lot better than it was--I'm thinking another month and it will be 100%.
What's odd is that right now my best sport is running. Not that I'm a great runner, but as long as I keep the easy stuff easy, I can pound out speed work. Today I ran 9 miles "just because." Because it was a nice day. Even though my legs were tired from yesterday's biking and running, and I swam 3100 this morning. I ran easy, and averaged 9:07/mile. Not bad. So maybe there's hope for me. I need to see this week through and see how close to the 10.5 hours of biking I can get in. The weather is getting better. I had this thought today--what if I suck at swimming and biking but can run decently in IM? I guess that's OK. As of right now, I had zero desire to do Ultraman. I suppose every time I get to this point in an IM training cycle, I wonder how the hell I did this before and how the hell I am going to do it again. I have days where I absolutely hate training. But I make myself do it because the alternative is hating life. I need to have a big training week where I nail swim, bike and run. It's been awhile since I've done that. I'm talking 10k swimming, 150+ miles biking and 35 or so miles running. That's a solid IM training week. I suppose if I get there and hate it, then I will know it's time for a change. Stay tuned...
For the time being, my thyroid meds are dialed in. I will monitor that and see how it goes. I would like to not have to worry about that anymore, but that's my fate.
I am definitely a creature of habit. I thrive on routine. So even though I very much enjoyed my time away from work, it was a deviation from the routine. I'm still not back on my routine--my house is a mess, my yard is a mess, and I have to give myself pep talks to get out and train. But it will come together and I will either love it or not. I do know I am looking forward to all my shorter races--it's just that IM I'm not so sure about right now. But having written this post, and thought about having my usual springtime routine thrown off, and being respectful of my body's need for rest (I'm back on 9 hours of sleep nightly!), I know I have a few months to see whether I still like riding long. As I said, my running is pretty decent. Of course, that's when it's outdoors. Things will change once consistently warmer weather is here. That always changes things for me!