This weekend I had my first “Boulder Breakdown.” It was just a mini one, but I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Last week was such a busy week!!! Coach is slowly cranking my volume up and I hit ten hours of training last week. The weekend was especially busy. I did a 90 min spin workout on Friday night right after work that was pretty intense. I pretty well ate dinner and collapsed into bed that night after my workout was done.
On Saturday I was up early to meal plan for the week before I had to head to Canmore for my swim clinic. Luckily Neil was a sweetheart and did the grocery shopping that day! When I got home I joined him on a few errands, we made dinner, relaxed and watched Die Hard with a Vengeance. It was then lights out for me.
I was up early on Sunday morning and made some tuna fish patties and roasted up some butternut squash and chicken breasts before it was even 9 am! Once the food was ready I got dressed and headed out to Edworthy for my long run. I had 1:15 to run and needed to include 2 x 8:00 at tempo pace in the second half of the run. It was beautiful and sunny out and the perfect morning to test my new Oiselle funnel neck top.
The run went really well and I hit my tempo paces bang on! There was no rest for the wicked though as I still had a super easy 30 min recovery spin and core to finish up before my workouts for the week were over.
Once I was all done all of a sudden it was time for us to get started on dinner! Holy smokes, where was the weekend going? It felt like all I had done was work out and prep food the majority of my weekend. I probably really just needed to eat at the time but I got a little worried that if this was how I felt now…how would I feel over the next few months as my training volume ramps up even more?
I whined to Neil, but he knew the right things to say…that training hard and doing well at Ironman Boulder is my really big goal for the year. I wouldn’t train for an Ironman if I didn’t love the training. I’m seeing improvements in the pool, on the bike and on the run so my hard work is paying off. And yes, all of the food prep for Whole30 does take time, but we are eating healthfully and I’m feeling great. It was reassuring to have him remind me that this was important to me, and therefore important to him too.
Like I said, I’m sure this won’t be my last Boulder Breakdown. Training for an Ironman take a lot of commitment and passion. There will be times when I feel like I can’t do it all. Ironman definitely takes a very supportive spouse who understands how much it means to you! I feel very fortunate that Neil gets it.
Do you have mental breakdowns during training? How do you turn those emotions around?
I remain amazed anyone can seriously train for Ironman and hold a full time job. I wasn’t working for much of my training and just barely did it. My theory is that the breakdowns are related to being exhausted. If I was just tired, I’d work through the “don’t wanna’s” and get my ass out there to at least start. Those usually came around after a longer or much longer warmup, and ended up being ok. However there were some days when I’d wake up and know I wasn’t going to swim. No conscious thought required. If you’ve been getting your regular workouts done and it’s going well, or as well as these things can go, having a few extra rest days, or mental health days tossed in is probably a good thing. My coach was really good about shaking up the workouts every now and then so it wasn’t just swim, bike and run. So instead of a run go snowshoeing or X country skiing. Instead of a spin do elliptical (Gawd though I hate it!) or the nordic ski thing, or a rowing machine. Instead of just a swim, do a water run instead, or through out the little baggie with the drill notes, and swim for fun. Every once in a while I’d do the workouts at different times, though that’s really though to do around a work schedule, and pool hours, and, and, and.
It can’t be all train train train. I was very fortunate during the peak of my training to have a job where they didn’t care what hours I worked, and I didn’t even particularly have to spend much time in the office. So I’d show up in the morning, get done whatever meetings were needed, and dig in. If it was a nice day, I’d bail out before lunch to do my bike or run, then work late afternoon and evening.
Yoga and massage saved my butt. Quite literally. I had no guilt about putting these on my schedule, and even skipping or moving a workout if necessary. Talk to your buddies about it. Someone that has done it. Lots of them around.
Krista @ Read. Bake. Run. Repeat. says
Last year I got overwhelmed more than once about the hectic race schedule but I survived and you are strong so I know you will too! 10 hrs of training, that’s amazing!
Crystal Rhyno says
Love your pic. You look so happy! I have mental breakdowns at least once every two weeks. (Mainly work related) But I do get what you are saying. I get overwhelmed & I am only training for a marathon. You got this. Take a deep breath 🙂
Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says
I’m amazed at the dedication it takes to train for an Ironman. I’d LOVE to do one (uh, maybe just a half?) but the time is overwhelming to me. At times I definitely struggled when it came to marathon training.
I have never trained for an ironman, but I know that I had a few breakdowns when I was training for my first marathon last year. Sometimes they happen and you just have to remember that you want this and that the next week will be better 🙂