I love that I understand my body and mind better each time I prepare for a big race. The last two days were the worst and best days of my Hawaii preparation so far.
On Sunday I couldn’t ride. I was flat as a pancake. It was sunny and warm outside (for a change), but was blowing a gale and had been all night. I opted for the windtrainer, set up the garage with laptop and movies, and started pedalling. If I hadn’t been locked into the trainer, I would have gone backwards.
I sat there for an hour of the weakest riding ever. And I mean weak – cadence <80, watts <150. I pulled the pin at 1 hour, and went for a very slow 10k jog in the sun. It was the first time in months and months it was warm enough to run without a shirt and feel the warmth of the sun. As tired and slow as I was, it was beautiful and I loved it.
A big feed of rice and beans, followed by 2 hrs solid sleep. I woke feeling unmotivated and thinking I wouldn’t make it to the pool as per my usual Sunday routine, when my mate John texted me asking to swim. I suggested the outdoor pool which is only 2k from home, so I could just swim as little as I wanted and run home. He went for it, and we jogged there, swam 20×100 on 1:30 (coming in on 1:25 –slowish) and jogged home. A very nice relaxing fun afternoon adventure, and on the jog home I felt pretty good.
A big feed at Yok Thai for fathers day with my dad and family, and pretty early to bed. Monday is long run day.
6:30am start with John for hopeful 35k. Felt average for first 15k. The pace was good (4:15) but it felt a lot slower. John was having calf issues, and turned back early leaving me with no one to talk to and no ipod. It was looking like a very long slow boring run.
I ate my first Powerbar caffeinated gel, and 1km later I entered a nice offroad trail section and the gel kicked in. I was suddenly running 4min/km and form was better, head clearer, muscles stronger, and I was in the zone, but trying to reign myself back a bit at the same time when it dropped below 4min/km – maybe too fast, still over an hour to run. I started to fade a little bit 10k after first gel, so had another, and was back flying. I took a couple of detours on the way home and when I hit 36km I had practically no muscle soreness or fatigue, and was loving it.
Off course throughout the run I was picturing Hawaii, concentrating on form, and thinking of how I can explain this feeling to others. Well I can’t. Not yet. This feeling is something I need to continue building on for another month, and is only real and explainable if I have a good day in Hawaii.
I had a dream last night about Hawaii. I was going well, at least in top five off the bike, when I started to run I was unsure which way to go and was told to wait (a flash back to being sent wrong way into Philippines transition), from there it just got worse as people went past me and then I went the complete wrong way and was way back in 20th or something when I gave up mentally and suddenly was running in slow motion. I had to grab onto the shirt of a gorilla to drag me along, but only after I promised him I wouldn’t overtake him at the finish. I woke up and it took me a minute to calm myself and realise I hadn’t just had a terrible race at Hawaii. Those race dreams can be a real scare in the moments before complete consciousness is back.
But there is certainly a small lesson of race preparation, and how much mental attitude can affect physical ability. So really, it’s like I was training in my sleep! Wow. If only I could do that all the time.
My point to this blog is the same as the last one – when in doubt, do less.
I didn’t get my long ride on Sunday, but I had one of the best runs I’ve ever had on Monday.
It’s a rest day again today. And if you think I should go and try make up for the long ride I missed, or if you would try to, you are mad.