It's hard to believe that this week is Week 19 on the road to the Ironman for me. I've learned a lot, I've done a lot, and it feels like there's oh so much more to do still. The next 4 weeks will be the largest before the 2 week taper, and I'm stuck praying that this will all be enough.
I've learned that training for an Ironman comes with a lot of physical and emotional swings. This last weekend was a low, and I hope like hell that spins around soon.
Some weeks you feel like you can take on the world. Last week felt like I was so far behind where I need to be that it was hard to continue on. I felt like I was wasting my time, not making any progress whatsoever. I've been exhausted, tired, grumpy and quite frankly I hate it. I miss being cheerful and easy-going with my family and friends. I forget what it's like to actually feel good and rested. And all of this stresses me out in many ways because I don't feel confident in my training right now.
My runs have been terrible and very uncomfortable lately. My biking feels unchanged. My swim feels like it's fallen off. I keep hoping that this is because I'm just digging that fatigue deeper and deeper towards the taper, but I just don't know - I don't have that experience yet, so I'm busy trying to "trust your plan" and move on. But lately every single workout has been a struggle. The running on Canada Day was brutal. My 90min run on Saturday ended up being less than that, and it was uncomfortable right from the first step. Yesterday's brick was lackluster on the bike, and pretty much the same for the run - still happy I got 4hrs in, but it wasn't the prettiest.
All this raises my stress. I don't expect the Ironman to be easy, and I don't expect it to be easier than this training has been. But I would feel much more happy if I was showing "better" progress - something to indicate to me that my sacrifices, and my family's sacrifices, are worth it. I used to be sure that it would be, but I've been beaten down lately by just how deep I have to dig for the workouts...and it makes me second guess it all.
Through everything, every single day this year, my lovely wife and daughter have been going through this with me, and they've never given up. Not once have they doubted me, not once have they held me back. They've spent countless hours without me, with all the understanding that I'm chasing down a dream. They've never ever questioned my activities or my efforts. They want me to do this.
I don't want to let them down. I don't want to disappoint them. Most of all, I don't want to waste their time. I hate being away from them. I hate being short and grumpy when I'm tired. I hate that I probably don't do what I should with them lately. I hate that all of this feels like I'm adversely impacting them. All of this is the worst part, and it's what makes me sometimes wish that I never signed up for this race.
And with another big week coming, it makes me try harder and harder to do for them what they do for me - be there, love them, support them. It's the least I can do. And frankly, if I'm going to dig deep, I'll do it there.
To my wife of nearly 19yrs, I love you.
To my daughter of just over 8yrs, I love you.