Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ironman Training.....

Ironman Arizona is in 17 days!  Little did I know when I signed up for this event a mere 347 days ago that my life would become little more than a training, sleeping, eating, laundry-doing, eating machine.  Did I mention eating?  Sure, Chuckie has been "training" me for an Ironman all year.  But only in the last couple of weeks has it felt like I'm in Ironman training mode.  Before (let's just say before Hawaii), training was great, it was an addition to my life.  There were the Train Like a Pro Wednesday's.  And Train Like a Pro Saturday's.  But I had plenty of time to, you know, grocery shop.  Blog even.  See/call/write my friends.  Make the bed.  Brush my teeth.

Since returning from Hawaii (yeah, I know, it looks like the family vacation blog won't happen.  Or the way cool ride up Haleakala), things are different.  Maybe it's just me.  Maybe with Arizona looming on the horizon my focus has become laser-like.  You know, eye on the prize.  Or maybe it's the training.  The schedules that Chuckie has been sending my way.....but I think it is a combination of both.  At this point, I am actually surprised that there is not a permanent imprint of my bike saddle on my ass.  I am also surprised that there are any other type of drinks out there other than electrolyte based (don't even mention beer or wine.  I'm hungover just thinking about it).  Gel blasts and sport beans are a new group on my food pyramid.  Compression socks go with any outfit.  Really.  And the sniff test has been reintroduced to my daily workout gear (you know the test, sniff the shirt/shorts/socks and if you don't pass out from the smell, it's good to wear!!).

And the training.  Oh, the training!!  All of a sudden, a 2 hour ride seems like 20 minutes - it's nothing!  My senses are all messed up....2 hour ride = short.  4 hour ride = not as short.  6 hour ride=about right.  Endless repeats in Lefthand Canyon?  Sure, I'll cry for a bit but whatever....I'll do it.  5000 in the pool?  Bring it.  Super secret CV workouts?  Yep...not afraid (although anyone who has witnessed me in the gym doing said super secret CV workout are probably afraid of the dripping sweat girl who is cussing at her heart rate monitor).  

And what does all this training also mean?  I'm hungry.  All the time.  Breakfast #1 usually includes a veggie egg scramble and cinnamon raisin toast smothered in Justin's Nut Butter.  Breakfast #2 (a mere 2 hours later) includes a mix1 and an almond butter/agave sammy (yes, I have eaten my weight in Justin's this year and drank cases and cases and cases of mix1!!).   Then there's lunch, early afternoon snack, late afternoon snack, dinner, post-dinner snack and pre-bed snack.  That's right, I'm eating like a teenage boy!  And I wake up feeling like I haven't eaten in, well, 10 hours!

And what does all this training and eating mean?  I'm tired.  All the time.  If I could eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep, train....that would be perfect.  However, my family would probably (hopefully) miss their mom!  I avoid stairs like the plague.  I'm sure it looks pathetic to anyone who has seen me climb stairs in the last few weeks.  Really?  She's training for an Ironman?  Why is she gasping for breath and holding her legs after climbing 12 stairs?  She must be really out of shape... I also now have race-brain permanently.  I only understand heart rates, power numbers, yards to meters conversions, electrolyte content of all sports drinks, and gear choices.  Please don't ask me any complicated math problems such as 1+1, or how many is in a dozen (isn't that 13?).

With all this training and eating, I certainly didn't expect bottle-making to become such a big part of my life.  I remember when my girls were babies and we had to make bottles for daycare every morning.  Measure the formula, mix in the water, shake and repeat.  I am doing this once again.  Measure the formula EFS, add water, shake, chill, repeat.  Measure the formula Ultragen, add water, shake, chill, repeat.  Fill the bottle, add nuun, drink.  Don't forget the hand bottles!! Then, at the end of the day clean the bottles so that in the morning, you can do it all over again.  Of course, sometimes the sniff test goes into effect here as well.  Let's see, the last time I washed this bottle was 9 days ago and it's only a little funky smelling....it's fine!

Another side-effect of the training is the amount of clothing I go through in day.  And since the weather has gotten colder, there are now multiple layers of clothing that I may wear.  Last week, a ride in the cold and wind had me wearing the following:  sports bra, base layer, arm warmers, jersey, long sleeved jersey, long sleeved shirt, vest, jacket, shorts, compression socks, knee warmers, wind pants, gloves, booties, hat (that would be a grand total of 14.  I think).  Did you know that amount of clothes takes up almost a full load of laundry?  That was just one day!  Oy vey.

I sure hope this doesn't come off as complaining because......wait for it......wait for it......I LOVE IT!!!  This has been an amazing journey so far and in 17 days I get the opportunity to line up and swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and the run 26.2 miles.  I can't wait!

And then I'll have to stop eating like a teenage boy or else I'll gain 15 pounds in 2 days.


Meredith said...

And when is there time to clean the house? That's the one I struggled with the most. The end is near!!!

Beth Tennant said...

Hey Michelle
I sure wish we had figured out a way to fit in a little "us play" time but reading your blog I appreciate how far down on the list that comes in. I know you will absolutely kill this event and I do hope to see you and hug you before you go!
Keep up the laser focus and you will be rewarded and really tired!

Jamie said...

I can totally relate to this post. It makes me sorta miss training for Cedar Point.

While crazy, stressful and stinky, enjoy this time.

You only train for your first ironman once..