Last week was a recovery week, and I relished in it...perhaps too much, but I really didn't care. I got 8h15 of serious quality workouts in (the plan said I should have been closer to 11h) and I am beat. My body and my mind are craving a break - everything is tired, I can barely focus on my thoughts, and any physical or mental activity is the very last thing I want to do. I'm sleeping so hard, so deep, that I don't even move through the night until the alarm goes off, and then it's a marathon of snooze-button hits.
Every single workout has become a chore, a mental effort, a near-regret. The start of every session begins with "god I wish I didn't have to do this" and ends with "finally it's over." Small efforts feel huge, and big efforts feel insurmountable. And with two weeks left before the taper, only big efforts remain.
When I signed up for Ironman Mont Tremblant, I was so bloody excited I was shaking. I so looked forward to testing myself and pushing myself beyond anything I've ever done. I told everyone "I can do it, I'll just have to dig deep and get it done." And to this point, I certainly have. But just how deep you have to dig - that's the slap in the face. No matter how deep you dig, you need to dig deeper. But dig too deep, and you're done - injured, sick, or 100% drained.
It's a fine line to walk, and the longer you walk it, the finer it seems to get. My mind and body are telling me (a lot, lately) that this needs to end, that an extended break is needed. I'm not injured, I'm not sick and even though it feels like I'm 100% drained, I'm not. Not yet, at least. But the next two weeks might take me there.
I keep telling myself it's only two more weeks of big work before the taper, and when the taper hits, life will seem better. That's my hope, at least. These next two weeks, the biggest of the training plan, seem critical to me - they pull out the last bit of gain stored somewhere in my body and mind. I just hope it's there, and that an injury isn't waiting in the wings.
And mixed in with this, as usual, is life. This is what I miss most of all - family time, working on the house, being there. Two more weeks of sacrifice for me means two more weeks of sacrifice for my family and friends as well. I take ownership of that, and it does sting. I'm not the only one digging deep to keep going.
And as much as I do this for myself, I do it for them. I do it so I don't let them down, so that their sacrifices don't become all-for-not. And while that puts more on my shoulders, I have to remember that it just adds strength to the shovel when I need to dig deeper than I've ever dug before.