Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ironman Training: Taper Time takes me down.

Only one week ago today, I was out for the last hundred of the season before Ironman Wisconsin.  I was feeling good and in the company of three others who are doing IM Wisconsin and a handful of other  volume junkies.  It was set to be a gorgeous day.  I was feeling a bit tired, after open water swim and long run Saturday, but by the time I got out the door I was ready to roll.

And, bam! Just five miles into the event, my snazzy profile rear bottle cage attachment snapped, fell into my ride and just like that, I was down, another meeting with pavement, which almost always has the immediate and often long term effect of slowing things down.  Really slowing things down.  Pavement and I, we've been together more than a few times.  In fact, the last time I went down was another "last long ride" in 2010, when I hit the road pretty hard along with another friend who was training for Ironman. Crash! 
This time, my injuries appeared to be slight (road rash) and my bike was fit for continuing the ride. After shaking off the nerves and cruising gently for a few miles, hunting down some bandages at a grocery store, I was prepared to finish the ride.  It wasn't really until we were more than half way through our ride that I realized my ribcage was bothering me as much, if not more, than my arm, shoulder and knee road rash.  And so it went.  By the time I got home, exhausted and a little elated, I realized that I had a problem that was less visible but rather uncomfortable.  For an entire week, I've been taking ibuprofen. No way that rib is broken, but most likely a bruise worthy of the sort of discomfort that makes sleep difficult, and running unpleasant.  I took this as a signal that Taper starts Now!  I spent the week organizing, cleaning, resting, crafting, and watching Netflix.

Seven days later it all feels pretty good, although I've got a lump on the affected rib.  But now, to deal with the accompanying burnout that a crash and inspired rest brings on!  The last time I went down,  maybe three years younger, maybe going all the way to Canada, somehow brought humor and enthusiasm to the whole thing.  Today, sitting at home, I'm having a tough time wrapping my brain around any of this.  How much training should I be doing this week/today?  What's the impact on race day going to be?  Who cares?  Essential signs of burnout, indeed....So maybe I'll just have to go back to square one.  After all, a year ago I was going through the same motions with the wrinkle that I was flying back and forth to Oregon as Dad's condition worsened.  A year ago, the stress and sadness level in this house was remarkably higher than today.  In fact, It's sort of a no-brainer that I'm hitting the anniversary marker of a grieving process and the next month, in whatever shape it comes, will most likely be a difficult one.  So I'm gonna throw in the towel and call it a truce.  I'm going to finish Ironman, that's do-able, but I'm not sweating the whole taper/exercise thing.  My work, essentially, is done, and now it's time to get my life in order so that no more chaos ensues before race-day.  Calm, rest, focus, order.  And while we're at it, let's dedicate this year's race (like last year's) to this guy:

Over What hill?! Where? When?
And, a selection from my annual Ironman CD:

Billy Joel's original music video, Pianoman.

And with Elton, more recently.


  1. You are right where you are supposed to be! It's gonna be GREAT! love ya tons, girlfriend!

  2. You've done it before, and you'll do it again. Hang in there, but don't hurt yourself.