Sunday, June 15, 2014

This is hard...

View Left...Toronto
So I finished my second real week of training. Last week was a break in week and I did 11 hours and pretty much died after every session. This week I upped it to 19 hours of training.

Yesterday I did my first long bike ride of the year, 109 miles in 6 hours 50 minutes, followed by a 30 minute brick run, then today I did my first long run of the year, 22 km in 2 hours 20 minutes.

I'm not going to lie I'm not enjoying the training. First I'm too heavy and it's painful and second for the first time I'm wondering if this is going to be my last Ironman, or at least for a while.

I have this romantic thing going through my head that maybe if I just train like a regular person. Maybe an hour a day. Or a long bike that is only 2 hours on a Saturday. Basically I'm re-evaluating my Ironman lifestyle.

This weekend for example I didn't do anything but train. Yesterday was 7.5 hours and then relaxing on the couch watching a movie with Alice. Then today I got up at 7:30 am and was out the door for my long run at 8 am. I got home by 10:30 am and was pretty tired.

Intentionally I didn't lay on the couch and sleep. I wanted to. This was my first long run this year and it was extremely slow and I the entire time I was feeling pelvis pain. I had that issue last year and it effected my training and I had to bail from Mount Tremblant.

Before I left the house I was dreading my run. I was visualizing the route I take and I was feeling sick. I've done that route so many times and have never really dreaded it. I guess I was curious how much it was going to hurt and I wasn't looking forward to it.

Doing the first long run of the year is always tough. Doing it less than 24 hours after a 109 mile bike ride makes it even tougher. I didn't know how painful it was going to be. I debated in my mind if I should do the full 2:20 or just do 2 hours to be safe and reduce likelihood of injury. I was running so slow I decided to go the distance, and I didn't want to have any regrets.
View Right - Lake Ontario

I was glad I pushed myself out the door early. If I didn't I would have the weight of having to get my long run in over my head all day. It's always better to get it done early and get it over with. It also doesn't wreck your day.

Not that it mattered. I was pretty beat up after today's run. It was a nice day and I forced myself to go outside and try to enjoy the day. Alice and I ran errands, picking up a rug for the deck. The idea is we put the rug at the top of the deck with plastic under it, we have a walkout, and viola we have a roof above us when it rains so we can sit under it when we are on the lower deck. They had all these expensive solutions and Alice came up with this great idea. Instead of spending a $1000 or more, it cost us $113. Winning.

We did more running around. I needed to get some metal targets for my pellet gun shooting in the backyard. I got some good ones from Sail that I'm very excited to set up on the fence. Now I can sit under the deck, rain or shine, and shoot stuff while having a beer. Canadian redneck style.

When we got back we watched some World Cup Soccer, then some Netflix and I drifted in and out of sleep. I was so beat up from today's run.

On the run and afterwards I've been having a come to Jesus talk with myself. I'm just not sure if I want to keep putting myself through the torture of training. It's tough on a couple of levels. The training itself is long and time consuming. It's hard on the body. It takes me away from hanging with Alice and the family. It's painful. It would be nice to enjoy my Saturday's and Sundays.

It's easier to train and stay motivated when you have issues.

For me I got back into it to initially prove a person I worked with wrong who laughed when I told him I was an Ironman and 50lbs over weight, even though I hadn't done an Ironman in 16 years. I then lost the 50 lbs and showed him that being an Ironman is always in your spirit and once an Ironman, always an Ironman.

Then it was to keep me sane during some difficult economic and restricting times at work. I needed the mental break to take my mind off work and put some joy and success in my life. After that it became about being the best I could be and making it to the World Championships in Clearwater, Kona and ITU world championships representing my country.

After that my motivation to train for Ironman's became to ensure I stay in shape, show myself I'm still mentally and physically strong, keeps you confident in yourself and it's a twisted weight loss program. No matter how much I let myself go by signing up for an Ironman you know that motivation to be ready for race day will bring you back to where you want to be.

Now I'm re-evaluating. My priorities and motivations are starting to change. I'm losing the joy of training and racing Ironmans. Maybe I just need a break from it? I'm not sure. If I cross the finish line in Boulder it will be my 9th Ironman in 6 years. It would be 10 but I had to drop out of Ironman China after 10 hours. Oh, and I did do the ITU Long course championship. So it could be argued that I've done 11 Ironman's in 6 years. Not to mention just as many if not more half Ironmans.

Although it could look like burn out. I see it more as "done that been there got the tee shirts".

I've been going through a lot of personal reflection this past year. Lots has happened personally and career wise. Having blood clots a couple years back got me thinking about mortality. It's taken a while and I'm finally getting some clarity.

I never thought of mortality before. I'm now at an age that I am, often. I often think of the Steve Jobs Stanford Convocation speech and I can really relate to this paragraph...

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

There is other parts that resonate with me as well. To read the full speech you can click here.

This gets me asking myself what's important to me. If I had less than five years to live how would I change my life?

What I'd do....
1.  Spend more time with family and try to do as many fun things together. Could be hanging out in the back yard with a fire, going to local events, pubs, restaurants and family travel. I'd take advantage of all the cool things Ontario has to offer.
2.  Stay in shape and workout a reasonable 5 - 7 hours a week and add in some new stuff. Maybe weights or boxing or whatever.
3.  Eat healthy, probably a Ketosis diet. I find that great for the mind and it keeps the weight off.
4.  Enjoy my beer responsibly.

What I wouldn't do...
1.  I wouldn't put in 19 - 24 hours a week of training. You can't take a fit body with you.
2.  I wouldn't do any job that I don't enjoy fully or is all consuming just for the money.

As I write this I'm pretty sure this is going to be my last Ironman, at least for a while. Mentally that will help me enjoy the next 6 weeks of training. I'll want to train and smell the roses as best I can. I guess it's the equivalent of a professional athlete letting everyone know it's their last year playing.

We'll see how it all unfolds. I had a moment on Friday in the Pig & Whistle and I visualized a complete different mind set that gave me a whole new perspective on life and how I'll engage with it moving forward. It has to do with letting go and not forcing or controlling life but riding the wave of life and enjoying the ride.

On the 7 day challenge of eating healthy, no snacking and no beer. I made it through Day 2. It WASN'T easy. After the run I thought nothing would be more relaxing than sitting down with a beer and watching the World Cup in the Pig & Whistle and maybe having some movie style popcorn.

Then we went out to the Keg for fathers day and it would have been nice to pig out on some appetizers and have a big steak, baked potato and beer. Instead I had salmon, vegetables, ice berg salad and diet coke.

I've been getting the hunger pangs and fighting through them. For a snack I've been having yogurt or making a protein smoothie.

The reason I'm able to keep focused is I keep thinking how hard it is to train with the excess weight. It's more difficult to do the training with the excess weight than to stop eating. I keep thinking that if I can get through 7 days and even lose 5 lbs I'll be farther ahead. I can't think beyond 7 days then it becomes a fantasy of what could happen and not a reality.

Over dinner I was talking with Reid and I told him how much discipline it takes not to eat. He said to me I was looking at it all wrong. That you don't focus on keeping disciplined, that you focus on what it takes to be successful. It's about wanting to achieve your ultimate goal and doing what it takes to succeed.

It's very cool when you get to a stage in life when you start learning from your kids. Tonight was just the four of us going for dinner and having good meaningful conversation. It was a great fathers day present.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive week+ start to the training...and hey what about IMWI next year we both get new age groups?!? actually based on kids schedules this summer Im not so sure Ill even sign up for next year WI ....keep it goin...