While out riding Sunday, I was comparing the relative amounts of time I spend road riding vs. trail riding vs running (either trail or road). I’ve always said that, at least for me, any road ride of less than 90 minutes really wasn’t “worth it” as far as getting the bike out, suiting up, etc. If I come in after only an hour, or even 75 minutes… I just don’t feel like I got a full workout. Effort level can bring that down a little bit… or even a lot. Those 17 mile “TT” efforts I did from Lerado Farm were super hard and I was plenty wasted at the end of them. At my fastest I was finishing in under 50 minutes. Even so, a couple hours later I more often than not felt like it wasn’t enough.
So.. if 90 minutes is the bar for road riding, what about other activities?
… I was sitting in a condo in Panama City Beach having just completed Ironman Florida. Actually, but this time of night I was probably already asleep, but let’s pretend I wasn’t. I was thinking about this while driving north from North Carolina to Ohio earlier today. I was thinking about what kind of shape I was in vs. what kind of shape I’m in right now. I was wondering what would happen if I went out and attempted finishing an Ironman with what amounts to no training whatsoever other than my regular conditioning based on the daily/weekly activities I regularly do.
Could I finish in roughly the same amount of time (13:15:08)? Could I finish at all?
Not that this has anything to do with celestial phenomena, but the first of summer is a good time to evaluate where I am in my IM plan. And I’m finding myself in an odd place with 2.5 weeks to go until Muncie. On the one hand, my workouts and events are going well. I’m running better, recovering faster and making what I think is ideal progress. I am finding that hillier terrain may be doing me good because I get to work a variety of muscle groupings rather than simply pounding away on flat ground.
At the same time, I am accumulating more and more aches and pains and strains.
So much has happened in the past few weeks that I can’t even begin to figure out how to tell the story. Whatever follows is the best I can do. Of course it’s long, but this is a pretty big deal. Huge in fact. The hugest thing I’m ever going to write about on this blog. For some time now I’ve been dropping hints that something was up in my life. But other than a Twitter update or three, and a few briefer-than-normal posts, I haven’t said much in my journal at all. With good reason.
The time has come to just spill it.
On Friday I had not one, but two therapy sessions. I followed up PT in the morning with a massage in the evening. It’s a day later, and I’m sore as hell from the latter. I hope in a good way. At least the two weren’t concentrating on the same area. PT for legs ‘n lower body, but the massage was for upper back, shoulders neck.
I’m not sure which is breakin’ me faster. My training or my job. Lately it seems to be a tie.
Just saw this from Johan Bruyneel’s Twitter feed: “True commitment begins when we reach the point of not knowing how we can possibly go on, and decide to do it anyway.” The author is unknown. I woulda finished it as “…and decide to go on anyway”, to keep the same verb. Either way, I like the sentiment. It’s quite similar to the T.S. Elliot quote I am using to keep my perspective on the Ironman training. Keeping it all in perspective is one of the most difficult things. In the past few weeks, I have very much wanted to quit the whole thing. Lots of dark thoughts. Sunday on TOSRV was one of the worst days yet. Having a bad day running is one thing; but a bad day riding? That’s supposed to be my strong suit – the ‘easy’ part. It’s yet another reminder that none of it will be easy.
And that it wouldn’t be worth doing otherwise.
Since I now have both a Garmin GPS and a Polar HRM, and since they both have the capability – using different technologies – of recording an elevation profile, I have run both side by side a few times. I looked at the profiles from one such ride and, using the magic of Photoshop, laid one over the other for a direct comparison.
The verdict? Garmin’s suck at measuring elevation.
I got home on Friday evening and marked my highest yearly miles: currently 11116. yippee. I also more or less completely missed out on the all-too-brief warmup Friday afternoon.
And it rained on me.
Since my cyclometer went a bit wonky on today’s ride, I stopped and picked up a replacement battery. 17756 miles since I bought the Flyte and that’s the first battery – 2-1/2 years. When I changed it out, I recorded the miles and happened to notice the Bianchi battery was changed almost exactly a year ago.
And I also compared the two: The Bianchi has 17730 miles on it, to date. So the Flyte finally caught up and passed.
That’s the problem with writing a journal that is published and visible… when you’re being a pussy, everybody knows it. But secretly, I want the sympathy so I don’t mark things as “Private”.
That said, I don’t know if anybody has noticed my MO, but I use my own personal soapbox/forum here at DJOJ to get the dark thoughts worked out and try to arrive at a good conclusion by the time I’m done writing.
Well, I skipped the Animal ride today, after thinking for sure I’d be going and told everyone I’d be there. Even had Craig calling me, the alarm set, ate my ‘extra’ breakfast before bed, bottles filled and everything laid out.
But when I got up and did a little self-assessment, I decided it would be best to go back to the original weekend off plan.
Yesterday I wrote that Ricco was a whiny little bitch, in addition to now being a cheating little bastard.
Then I re-read my latest blog entries and geez.. talk about the pot calling the kettle black!