As I inch closer to Ironman Wisconsin, I have one major question gnawing at my insides:
Will the fact that I probably won’t run more than 16 miles (ever) be a problem on the marathon?
I am trusting the hell out of this process and one reason is . . . I have no choice.
From Day 1 of Ironman Training (sometime around January 3rd) I have had to reel in my training. I simply wasn’t prepared for the intensity and made a few mistakes early on just to save face.
For example, we had early training rides (indoors) of 3 and 4 hours scheduled in February and I reluctantly suffered through them, even though my longest ride in many many years was an Olympic race (or thereabouts) of one hour and twenty minutes.
After several post-ride collapses that included long naps and limping around the house, I decided to implement a new strategy. I said to myself, “Self, if there are times when you feel you ‘could’ finish a long workout, but know it will put you down for a couple days, walk away on top.”
So, that’s what I started doing in the pool, on the bike, and on runs. If my workout was starting to feel like a detriment to my body, I would save myself. Four thousand meter swims became 2,500, four hour bikes turned into 2 1/2. Two hour runs, 1.5. But, the difference was, I always made the workouts count from an intensity perspective.
I had to remember that I literally just started running last year and other than some light biking and swimming over the last decade, the thought of doing Ironman Distance was laughable.
The other day I expressed concern to my coach about my running history, or more accurately lack of history. He simply said, “Stay the course.” And I trust that opinion.
Instead of panicking into long distances I have focused on a gradual, consistent build knowing that as I approach my first Ironman, I had to be at peace with patience. Trust the process and shine for one day.
Last night as I was running my planned 90 minutes (which turned out to be about 80), I added up the mileage. Sunday was an hour Monogetti run (sprint workout) of about 8 miles, Monday was around an 8 mile hill explosion, and last night was about 9 miles with some nice hills in the middle. Tomorrow I have another Monogetti waiting and Saturday is a 45 minute brick run after 4 hours on the bike. That’s will equate to around 30 miles of pretty intense running in 7 days.
I have already given in to the fact that (aside from passing a kidney stone) the marathon will likely be the biggest test of pain tolerance in my life. 26.2 miles of pounding after the swim and bike. I guess asking why I’d want to do it is a fair question and I think the answer lies somewhere in a quote I saw posted by Payge McMahon today: