Monday, 5 January 2015

Karen writes: Reconsidering

I spent a week in my favourite Northland paradise, going up and down the familiar small mountains, the usual Christmas tradition for me. Otherwise, training has been, shall we say... inadequate.  It seems that 2015 brings with it new challenges, particularly around finding time to train. may be that there is need for even greater flexibility around getting in the requisite hours in the water and on the road, and some events may ultimately need to be re-considered.  That, unfortunately, or fortunately, is called 'life'.

Reconsideration starts with Ironman which coming up rapidly on the 7th of March. The event has been booked since March 2014, the accommodation is organised, time off work is planned, and as far as training... lots has been done in 2014 but the 'pointy end', the important end, is yet to be reached. The realisation however has hit that it might be a little tricky to fit this much loved event into the current busy life.  Some events you can bluff your way through, this one though, it's far too long and far too demanding on the body to even considering fronting up if really under-prepared.

So I sat down to work on a new and slightly optimistic 9 week programme. How on earth can I fit 10-16 hours of cycling, running and swimming into each week for the next 7 weeks (the last 2 are taper) and keep all my other balls in the air?  First up is spending more time on the dreaded spin bike. It sits in mosquito territory on the deck, but training versus a few bites (and terminal boredom), its a 'no brainer' really. I've got enough annual leave to take 5 days off to go for long bike-rides on the road, that works out ok. I can surely do shorter swims, but perhaps more of them and fit them in at the end of the working day, just picking the children up from after-school care a bit later. Running, that is the one that might have to drop off even if it is the most convenient and the discipline I enjoy the most, especially those super long runs in the forestry. There is however the option of the dreaded hill repeats using that so convenient hill at the end of the driveway, and of course I can always walk the marathon anyway. Truth be told, walking it would probably not be that much slower! Not to forget strength training, I can do that at home, loathe it with a vengeance, it can't hurt.

Next and most importantly is the attitude.  A sort of insidious malaise can creep in when you hit a bump in life's road, it is so tempting to want to curl up and forget about your goals, and just focus on how hard the work is rather than the benefits and the pleasures.  I'm at that point right now, it's three weeks since the Rotorua Half Ironman and I have been feeling like it is all just too much hard work. The thought of getting back out on those hot scary roads on a bike for whole days at a time, or getting in the water for over an hour just stroke stroke stroke, what a DRAG.  Attitude adjustment needed, a sharp talking to, time to get a grip and just GET OVER IT!

So the opportunity arose to go for a swim on Friday morning, just a tiny little half an hour, my brain said 'oh it isn't worth getting your wetsuit on for that', but I snatched it. It was the most stunning start to the day.  Picture perfect sea, so flat you could see the drops fly off your hand and disrupt the surface of the water while swimming. So mild the wetsuit was getting quite warm even after that short time. So gorgeous that the boats going out for a morning fish created their own optical illusions as they appeared to be wavering along above the water.  Saturday I managed a short bike-ride, not the best idea on a busy holiday weekend, but it was lovely to be out racing along on my faithful red Scott. Sunday I went of a run with the idea of getting some distance in, I haven't done that in a long time.  It was beautiful out first thing, the company was fabulous, the run did get harder as it got hotter but I so enjoyed achieving that 20 km goal, first tick on the new training plan. Yes, I now remember why I do this stuff.

So I'm back. I'm determined. Roll on Ironman 2015.