Ironman Triage – Ironman Training Week 21

Ironman Triage - Ironman Training Week 21

Beautiful Sand Hollow Reservoir!

This Week in Numbers (Largest Numbers I’ve Ever Trained!)
Swim: 12,700 yards
Bike: 186.99 miles
Run: 32.0 miles
Total Time:   19:13:44

tri·age

 [tree-ahzh]  Show IPA noun, adjective, verb,-aged, -ag·ing.

noun

  1. the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine medical priority in order to increase the numberof survivors.
  2. the determination of priorities for action in an emergency.

This week was a big week on top of a big week and I feel like I’ve entered another new phase of Ironman training.  This one I call TRIAGE!  Let me explain….

Another gorgeous shot on a gorgeous day of training out on the bike this week!

It all started back in January with the first little twinge of something in my knee after training camp.  I jumped on it quickly and within a week the inflammation was gone and I was good to go.  Then in February, there was that pain in the all-to-familiar spot on my knee.  Aleve, ice, massage, Graston, an extra day off and the choice to forgo a long run……..about four weeks later and I’m good.  Pain and stiffness gone!  Started riding my AMAZING new Fezzari bike in March and noticed my left hip and back seemed to be bothering me in the aero position.  Got so bad during a ride, I actually had to get off the bike to stretch.  Changed a stem, massaged and stretched, within a week, good to go!  Excellent, I’m figuring this entire injury prevention thing out!……….

Then there was last Wednesday…….
I had a 14 mile tempo run on the schedule for Wednesday.  It was a beautifully warm day and I headed out for the run in the early afternoon (just in time to fry my body in the sun).  I was a little nervous about the five-1 mile intervals I needed to complete at a 7:00 pace, but I figured I would give it my best effort.  It ended up being a good run!  The “I nailed it!” kind of runs.  I surpassed the pace, coming in about 6:45-6:50.  I was happy with the effort and my body handled the demand well.  As I cooled down, my left lower calf seemed to be REALLY tight.  I thought about cutting the warm down short, but just pushed through (dumb….).  I was pretty sore the next couple of days in that area.  I didn’t have anymore running until Saturday, so I just let it recover and the pain subsided.

This is what happens when you run in St. George (at Noon) in March WITHOUT sunscreen.

Saturday we had a long brick.  The longest single workout I believe I have ever done.  We road almost the entire Ironman bike course coming in with 100 miles and then ran 10 miles on the run course.  I was strong and steady on the bike.  Nothing incredible, but definitely solid.  I was very happy!  My nutrition was perfect!  I’ve got it dialed in to consuming roughly 400-500 calories every hour topped with A TON of electrolyte supplements.  I got off the bike ready to run and feeling good.

As we started out on the run, my calf was tight, but didn’t seem to hurt terribly.  I just kept going and it loosened a bit.  I had just ridden my bike for over 6 hours, so it is no surprise to be a little uncomfortable somewhere.  I could “feel” the calf the entire run, but it never bothered me enough to change my gait or slow my pace.  We finished the 10 mile run with an 8:01 average and I went home one tired, but happy camper………with a very sore lower left leg!

This is what my hands look like when I change my own rear tire! You should see my face 🙂

By Sunday morning, I realized I was going to need to do some serious Triage for this sore spot.  I was bummed.  The rest of my body felt AMAZING for the beating that it had taken the day before.  I was not stiff nor sore ANYWHERE else, but in this darn lower leg.  I’ve had plenty of knee pain, hip pain and other weird twinges, but NEVER in this area of my body!

The good news is that this week is a taper week for my first triathlon of the season at Leadman 125 in Lake Mead.  The only running on my schedule is minimal and I will just skip it.  Rest is the order of the week, and that is clearly what my body needs.  I’m just hoping come race day, my leg is ready to run…….injury free!

My legs kind of look like a candy corn with all those tan lines 🙂

With less than 6 weeks to Ironman race day, things are getting interesting.   I have to say that most of the hard work is behind us.  After Leadman this weekend, there are only two more weeks of standard, long training before a taper to May 5th.  There is one last 10 hour workout on April 14th.  The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is pretty darn bright!  BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS LEG!!!  It is the elephant in my room right now.  It is all I think about.  This is a soreness I’ve never had before and it is stressing me out.  It doesn’t hurt to walk.  I’m sure it would hurt to run.  I’m stretching and medicating.  Massaging and icing.  I’m being conservative in workouts and taking the time to rest……….Please!  Someone tell me that it will all be okay and this is just a little blip on the screen……It is making me CRAZY!

In reality, I know that this is all part of the program.  This is how training goes.  There is a constant learning about what your body can and cannot do.  We all have limitations.  Some of us can run miles upon miles, upon miles without even a blister.  Others seem to lace up their running shoes and immediately have tendonitis.  We are all just different.  That is why it is so very important to listen to your body and HEAR what it is telling you.

Part of my nightly routine.......Ice is the BEST medicine!

Over the past years, I have fallen victim of many injuries, most in the over-use category.  Through each one of those injuries, I have learned a little more about the limits of my body.  It has breaking points, but I can also push those breaking points if I do it correctly.  Ironman is definitely new territory and I am AMAZED how good my body feels week after week.  Coach M structures my plans so well.  I definitely could not have done this on my own.  She has created a way for me to train at levels I could only have imagined just a few years ago.

So right now, my focus is triage.  I will be conservative and strategic at taking care of those aches and pains as they come over the next 5 weeks or so.  If only our bodies could be flawless………Can you even begin to imagine?!?! 🙂

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