Toughest week of the Ironman Chattanooga Challenge? Is it possible to have the toughest week in Week 9? Is it too soon? Is it too late? Should a week be defined as toughest week at all? Week 9, as it turns out, was the toughest week of this challenge for both KC and I but for different reasons. One had it tough because of a physical scenario and the other because of a mental scenario.
As I said when I challenged KC to this Ironman Chattanooga blog challenge, we are going to give you the good, the bad and the ugly because training for an Ironman is hard. There are going to be life situations, physical ailments, mental plateaus and everything in between that can derail you for a day, a week or a month but overcoming those obstacles is what makes you an Ironman. My motto when it comes to the 140.6 mile race is that you become an Ironman during the journey and that the actual race is your victory lap. This theory is proving to be true after the toughest week of the Ironman Chattanooga Challenge to date.
This was an interesting week and start to the new year. I did my last “long” run, last Sunday, a 16 miler, in prep for the Disney marathon, then woke up Monday morning to do an easy 4 mile recovery run. On my way to the front door to take off on my run, I felt a weird pain in the ball of my left foot, behind the 2 toes next to the big toe. It felt like an electrical shock or as if I had stepped on a big piece of glass, except there was no broken glass anywhere, there was no blood, no cut, nothing. I only had socks on at the time because I had left my Hoka running shoes outside from the day before (they were wet and dirty from running in the rain), so I have no idea what happened. I didn’t think much about it, went out and ran 4 miles with no problem or pain. Since that run, I have attempted to run several times and it’s uncomfortable. Walking around I’m aware of it, so unless I experience some kind of miracle between today and Friday, I will run the Disney marathon, if not, I’m out.
Since I am a WebMD doctor, I have diagnosed myself with Metatarsalgia.
At first, I was upset about it early in the week, then I started thinking more clearly about it. First off, I’m already qualified for Boston 2015, so that already makes me feel better about the situation. The only reason I was planning to run a marathon again was to better my qualifying time. Secondly, I truly love to run. There is something about it that centers me and gives me a feeling of peacefulness that I don’t get from biking or swimming. So yeah, I miss that a lot!
Anyway, I woke up this morning and I was mad. Mad at the universe (I have to be mad at something or someone, right?), so I decided that I’ll show you, you Universe! If I can’t run, then I’ll just bike my ass off, ha! And so, I did just that. I did 100 miles, a century, and it made me feel so much better. Hey, I did my first century of 2014, sweet!
So that was my week and I think it ended on a positive note. Like in any life event, be it personal issues, work issues, health issues, etc …take one day at a time and know that there are no problems, only solutions …you just have to find them.
Upward and onward!
Jason’s Toughest Week of ICC – Week #9
When I went to bed on Sunday, December 29th I knew that the upcoming week was going to be different. The training plan called for a whopping 29 miles FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. I had just run 23 miles on Saturday and now was facing the idea of running ONLY 29 over the course of 5 days. This week was a scheduled pull back week for me before I enter into the overload weeks. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to handle it but I put a brave face on when the alarm went off on Monday morning and did what I have not always done. I got on my bike with the mindset that I was going to be going to the pool 4x this week. I made up my mind and so it was.
As each day went by I found myself not making excuses to skip the pool, but instead I was looking for ways to get to the pool. I was looking for ways to get out of work early and jump into the drink and take full advantage of this week from a pull back from running perspective and to do all I could to help my legs recover from the previous 5 weeks. Getting them prepared for the 67, 69 ad 71 mile weeks coming up.
This week was a true focus on recovery and that helped me get past the idea that I just wouldn’t be running. I took advantage of what the schedule gave me and put in place a recovery schedule of:
- Herbalife24 Endurance Strength ordered and stocked up on.
- Scheduled visits with Dr Tim of St. Onge Chiropractic and Sports Therapy 2x per week during overload weeks up to and including taper and race week.
- Swimming 4x per week in the evening during the next three overload weeks. My swims will be between 1200 and 2000y with very little exertion. That being said I hit 1:35/100y this past week……yee-haa!
I am also going to put some additional misery to the overload weeks. On Sunday I ran at Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve and it was extremely hard. My gluteus, hamstrings, quads, calf muscles and hip flexors felt the entire 10.76 mile run. This course is tough, much tougher than the course at Rocky Raccoon. Adding this on Sunday for 12 miles will make the race seems much easier. It is about mental training as much as it is physical training.
In the end my mind was able to get through the recovery week but not without adding a few extra miles to the plan. I went for 33 miles instead of 29. I feel mentally stronger for it already.