Two days be so completely opposite. Like chalk and cheese, oil and water - the list is endless. That's what's this was all about. Feeling absolutely devastated and sad one day only to arise the next morning and it be as though that day had never transpired. This roller coaster ride of training can be very confusing and probably more mentally exhausting then the actual training itself. Not just for the you but for the people around you too. Especially because I am such an emotional person anyway. God help me and those around me when I start training for Ironman 2013. I shall supply you all with a good decent pair of industrial strength ear muffs.
Saturday started off feeling pretty good with the swim set. Although I do remember saying to Louise before we even got in the water about how tired I was feeling, but you kind of get used to being tired - feels like it has been the norm for almost the last year. Sarah and I had a different start to our morning swim with a 10min dry land warm up and then it was straight in for a 1500mTT - 23:31. Twenty seconds slower than my last TT but I am always like that. If asked to do it again it would have been faster. Nevermind, the rest of the session went well with all of my 5 x 200ms being on a 2:45 which is how I like them.
It was then time for our routine brekkie before taking off again for our ride with efforts. And start off well they did, but by the 4th one my back decided enough was enough. I wish I could describe in words how it feels, other than it starts off feeling like you are standing too close to a heater and then the heater gets closer and closer, hotter and hotter till eventually you are sitting on the heater and you cannot get off. The heat and pain gets so intense I have no other option but to stop. It forces me to stop. And I don't know what comes first (kind of like the chicken and the egg) is it the pain that starts first which then causes me to lose form and it compounds the pain, or is it that I start to lose form which then makes the back start to hurt. My legs felt fine and strong I could have kept pushing but my back doesn't give me warming, it just decides when it has had enough and no matter how hard I try to ignore it - it always wins.
Needless to say, I pulled off the draft line as did Jen (thankyou) and I shed a few (copious tears) behind my shades. Before everyone continued on they asked if I was okay and I told them to keep going for the last effort. When Jen and I eventually caught back up I was a de-shevelled mess. I think it's more the frustration of so many years of this issue that causes me to crack and cry. I feel like I do everything right - eat right, rest as much as possible, heck I am the fittest now than I have ever been in my whole life (even as a kid - and I was fit), and somehow it feels as though just as I get to the point of feeling absolutely fantastic my back goes "NOT TODAY". Ughhhhh, it makes me want to scream. But I guess I have overcome the hurdles it dishes out so many times that this time should be no different, however that being said I am always left with this lingering thought of "is this the time it knock's me on my A*** like the last time". It's a scary thought. I never want to go back there. EVER.
Anyway, by the time we made it back to the cars I was left with this aching bruisey feeling in my lower back but knew I still had some run efforts to do off the bike. It was meant to be 10 but I did 6 and the good news was that my back didn't hurt to run, it actually hurt to do the 1km walk more. When I got home, I took some Nurofen, had a very very hot shower and collapsed on the couch for the next 3 hrs till Elissa came over with some delicious Macadamia and White Chocolate cookies and Ice Cream. Mmmmm, perfect and thankyou for the great company. And thanks to my hubby Stephen, and the kids for mothering me when I really needed it. I also appreciate everyone's kind words of support when I feel down. You all pick me right up off the ground.
Then miraculously, I woke up without a single twinge (slightly bruised feeling) in my back. Mind you the dose of Nurofen and a nanny heat pack would have helped a tonne. I was totally gobsmacked considering I had not slept well and my usual morning routine after a bout like this is to lie there for a few minutes, sit on the edge of the bed for another few minutes and then try and walk. But not yesterday morning. I was able to move (slowly) but move nonetheless without pain. Another dose of Nurofen later with my breakfast sore to that bruisey feeling and I was good to go for my 5hr ride with the gang.
Sarah and I took off from the usual meeting spot at 8am after our much needed coffee. It was the perfect morning. Sunny, very brisk but absolutely gorgeous nonetheless. Sarah and I had a few close encounters with some very large dogs in the back streets and talk about 20km/hr to 50km/hr in a few seconds. Man, we were up and out of our saddle and peddling like absolute maniacs to get away from these beasts. By the time we met up with Louise, Andrew and Jen at Windsor we were well and truly warm.
This time we decided to head out towards the Punt, another new area for me so I was quite excited. It's amazing how you can only be a couple of hours from home but the scenery can change so dramatically. It's quite a beautiful part of the world. Nice rolling hills, a few uphill climbs which might I say for not being a climber whatsoever - I managed to tackle quite well. I even managed to surprise myself. My legs weren't hurting one bit and neither was my back, mind you that second dose of Ibuprofen that I took at the 2.5hr mark was probably helping. Whatever it was I was just so glad I was not having a repeat episode of the previous day.
I was so excited about going on this Punt. I have been on a punt before but never with a bike. It was a real special moment for me. In a strange way it made me feel kind of special. That I had managed to ride all that way with my own two legs and whilst everyone else apart from my friends who were also on 2 wheels the others were crossing over on 4 wheels. The looks we got as we offloaded from the motorists on the other side made me feel good. Kind of like "wow".
As we got off the Punt we stopped for a few minutes to have lunch and say "Bye" to Louise and Andrew. A few km's down the road Sarah and I said "Bye" to Jen and then we made our way back home. By the time Sarah and I had finished we did 108kms in 5hrs and took in some beautiful sights along the way with some great company. I can't wait to do it all again this Sunday. And to cap the day off Sarah and I ran off the bike and did 5.3km. With not long to go I am feeling slightly more at ease in that this next 70.3 will be something I can enjoy and maybe, just maybe do a little easier. We'll see.
Yesterday at my swim session with Jodie (my coach) from TopNotch I was quite happy with my swim efforts. I had 3 TT efforts. 600m, 600m, 700m. Done in 9:08, 9:10, 10:43 respectively. If I can stick to this with my 100's averaging around the 1:33 then fingers crossed I can hit a sub 30min 1.9km swim. However that being said - there is like a 150m run to T1 so my time may not be reflective of that. I will ask my hubby to time my actual swim.
So today I have my 1hr 45min run. Wish me luck.