I can’t believe it’s been over a week since my last update! There are a number of reasons for this: a 4-day weekend with no real training, the heat may have gone to my head, and the Tour de France is so controversial that I can hardly concentrate on anything at all!
Last Tuesday I did my first lane swim in an outdoor pool. It felt quite fabulous and now I’m trying to make my two swims during the week be in the outdoor pool. It takes a lot of planning to take my swimming gear to work, the pool, to work, and back home again. That is probably my biggest challenge right now: planning. Especially when I’m trying to find a way to carry all of my gear for bike riding AND swimming in one day, all based around work. Whew! It’s tiring!
That being said, I’m growing ever-more confident that I will, indeed, complete my first Ironman. I feel stronger than I ever have before and I’ve been training in the heat to prepare my body for the hell that will be Penticton in August. Running in 35oC heat always causes me to have thoughts like, “I have to stop. I can’t do this.” However, I overcome those thoughts with how it is good training and I can most definitely do this! This mental training is just as important as the physical training that I’m doing.
Last weekend I had a 4-day weekend. There is a wonderful music festival in the boreal forest that feeds my soul with music, food, wonderful people, and lots of dancing. It is the one weekend a year that I leave my running shoes at home. Despite it being an inconvenient time of year, it is very important to me to have this weekend of solace from training. It’s important so that I can continue my training with vigour and passion. That being said, it is also kind of difficult to get back into the swing of training once a lull has occurred. So I am taking it slowly but surely. This weekend I’m planning a 6-hour bike ride with a 1/2 hour run afterwards.
I have also been trying to fit in time to watch the Tour de France and to tend to my garden, both equally important to me. The garden is mostly weeded and I’m feeling better about it. The Tour, however, is a gong show. Doping and controversy hover over the race like a dark cloud and it’s discouraging to watch. Rasmussen, the man in the yellow jersey, has just been kicked out of the race by his team. I imagine that his team found out he has been doping or transfusing his blodd and his team wanted to save their ass. As an athlete and a cyclist, it makes me a bit jaded. I understand that these riders are under a lot of pressure, but it hurts the riders, the sport, and the fans who defend them continuously. Not to mention their sponsors. After so many years of the TdF, will people continue to put up with this bullshit? I am not sure. Every year I watch it as much as I can (although this year has been sparse because of so much training and other stuff going on in my life) and I even get cable just to watch it. Perhaps I won’t do that next year, I’ll just read the cycling news networks to find out who is doping, transfusing, or getting kicked off of his respective team. Or perhaps I’ll be a die-hard and just put up with it. At this point, I have to wonder if anybody in the tour ISN’T doping. Oh well, I’ll just keep watching so much and hope that a something good happens.
As for the rest of my training, it’s all coming along nicely. I’m incorporating more yoga and meditation, which are treating me right. My body feels so good now. I think I could do Ironman right now. It’s a great feeling for sure.