IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART IV
Spring is here and there are signs everywhere! As a runner who spends the majority of his time running staring at the ground 5-6 feet ahead of me, I’m surprised I notice anything going on around me. But lately, I have noticed a lot of signs out on the trail. From the little flowers that are blooming right along the edge of the path to the painted rocks that people are placing in public places and along the trail to brighten everyone’s day. The grass is greening up and judging from the hayfever I’m experiencing, I’m guessing everything is about to go from winter grey to a very colorful spring.
I have also seen some new signs out on the trail. Signs measuring the six-foot safe passing distance and reminders to please pass others in a single file way. Someone has placed a reflector sign on the unofficial path that I maintain that’s used to access the nature preserve to help them remember where to get on the path. Not sure it needed a sign because it’s really the only path like it on the abandoned frontage road, but it’s definitely a sign that someone else is utilizing my little path.
Another sign I’ve been seeing is my buddy John texting “Day Done” in our group chat that he’s completed the day’s workout. Could that be a sign that he’s joining the Gunners in Louisville this year?!?! That would be quite a sign!
I am a little behind in the weekly logging of my Ironman training due to leaving for spring break and not having access to a computer, as well as not having any desire to post about it as I was trying to enjoy my vacation. So I will wrap up the past two weeks with one post.
Week 3 was going just fine until I strained another high leg/groin muscle, this time in my left leg. This left me very sore and unable to run. The same injury happened a few weeks ago in my right leg, which left me unable to get in the mileage I was hoping to do while training for a spring marathon. Due to that lack of training due to injury, and the fact that I had signed up for this Ironman, I decided to pull the plug on attempting to run another marathon and try for another Boston Marathon qualifier. I ran Boston for the first time in 2018 and it was really all I needed to accomplish with it. I found the journey of getting there to be more rewarding than actually running Boston. By the time Boston rolled around I was overtrained, tired of killing myself, and thanks to one of the worst weather days in the history of the race, it wasn’t much fun. The emotions of finishing my first Boston Marathon were special, especially on that day, but I will cherish the effort it took to get there more than the race itself, as I ran it much like a victory lap that I couldn’t really enjoy due to the weather. Enough about Boston. I pulled the plug on the upcoming marathon because there was no way I would be ready, and I didn’t want anything messing up my Ironman training. Boston will have to wait until a time in the future when I really want to do it again. I will get to enjoy watching my son and his girlfriend run Boston for their first time instead of running it with them. Actually, running it “with” them isn’t even a possibility, as they are much faster than I am.
So in Week 3, I was only able to get in one 5-mile run. Biking wasn’t affected and I was able to get in what I needed to. I rode the Saturday 1 hour 45-minute ride on Friday instead because I was leaving on vacation Saturday. One thing I was able to accomplish with my bum leg was to work on a small portion of my running path that is plagued with potholes. I took a shovel and filled them in and was proud of my work.
Week 4 was a week for touring the Confederate South, as my wife and I took our daughter on a college visit tour of two southern colleges, Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and the University of South Carolina in Columbia. On the trip back home, we also stopped in West Lafayette, Indiana for a look at Purdue University. There was a lot of walking involved in these tours, a lot of sitting in cars, and not a lot of great opportunities to workout. I did squeeze in a spin bike workout in the hotel gym with a short two-mile brick added to it on Tuesday and decided not to worry about missing anything else.
We did a 4.5-mile hike in Gatlinburg, Tennessee through some relatively tough terrain. Lots of uphill walking, stones, and climbing. It was a good alternative workout. I’ll take it.
We walked a ton during the tour of Purdue. It was a big campus and the tour guides walked us everywhere.
Upon getting back home on Friday, I was able to do the planned 90-minute bike workout but chose to do it on the spin bike at the gym instead of outside. After having some decent weather on our trip, I was a little disappointed to find Illinois was rainy and colder. Sunday’s 60-minute run went well on a windy but sunny 30-degree day.
So I think I will benefit a little from taking a little break to get back on track. I had originally planned to follow the “Just Finish” plan but I have given in to peer pressure a little from my training buddies who are all following the competitive plan. I will make sure to stay in the planned zones and not overdo it.
On to Week 5!
Week 3 & 4 Training Totals:
Swims: None > Rides: 5 total / 87.75 miles > Runs: 3 total / 14 miles