Monday, 9 July 2012

Karen writes: Living Ironman for over a YEAR

We have been writing our blog for just over a year now.  Wow, who would have thought we would have so much to say, so much to say about things to do with training that is.

So recently I spent hours editing the 340 plus blog entries, getting them in the right reading order so things made chronological sense and then I killed a few trees printing the whole blog off.  I sat down and read this rather thick book from start to now, and was amazed at how much has happened, just how far we have come. It was like reading a story about some other people though.  When we started writing, and training of course, I don’t think we could have possibly imagined the ups and the downs, the rain, the interesting people, the rain, the equipment conundrums, the rain, the nutrition anguish, and of course the rain, all culminating in that dreadful weekend in Taupo when the goal of all our work was cancelled (I'd like to say because of rain, but it was actually wind).   Could we have ever imagined starting on the road to Ironman all over again…and being happy about it? Thank goodness we had no clue back then, but with the experience has come a heap of learning (often by mistake) and with that more confidence, and so much enjoyment to leaven the hard slog.  Looking back after a year, was it as bad as everyone predicted…I really don’t think so, certainly not frightening enough to not be ready to do it all once more. 

Anyway, reading the ancient history lifted my mood, I laughed at our mistakes and mishaps, remembered poignant moments, and caught my breath at the near disasters and various dramas.  I alternately felt proud and plain daft but it also left me feeling quite enthusiastic, so on Saturday I got up early to cycle to Clevedon to catch up with Grant the Ironman trainer, with my running shoes in my little backpack.  It was a beautiful, frosty, still morning and my legs felt like they were flying, the bike seemed happy to be out even if it still had traces of 4 month old Ironman dirt on it (otherwise called 'neglect').   When I got to the gym at IBOD I took my life in my hands clattering across the icy cobbles in my cycle shoes, being too much of a wimp to change in the cold outside for a run. The treadmill...how I loathe those things, I always feel like I am about to crash off them forwards, backwards or sideways if I lose a moment of concentration, no drifting off into another world for me like I normally do while running.  No problems were identified in my running gait which was a relief, perhaps a slight weakness on the left side which isn’t a surprise given that is where the leg injury is.  Then there was a new batch of strength exercises to be worked through, core, leg, and some especially for the weak shoulder, I felt quite chuffed that I managed to do them ok.  I demonstrated my proficiency on the dreaded roller before I got back on the bike, "good technique" was the observation, well, it should be good, I have spent an awful lot of time on the horrible thing in recent weeks.  Given the rash of ‘weakness’ or ‘muscle imbalance’ type injuries, I am now newly sold on strength training, I have even done the exercises again already, and it is only Monday!     

But I badly want to run, when and where and for however long I want to.  Sunday’s short run went really well, and I wanted to go further but sensibly came home…no pain from the dreaded ITB band which is cause for optimism.   Hopefully a couple of short runs this week, and I can build a little more next weekend…Grant said he wanted me up to 25km before the marathon (usually it is 35km), I now think that might almost be do-able.