Weekly wrap. Week 32
Just like a child, opening a Kinder Surprise, I received something I have not planned for, nor anticipated, when I opened my tapering week. To my surprise, I was a person, who was throwing a boomerang for the first time in my life – what usually happens, it hits you in the back of your head. You have heard about such things on the internet, you saw it in the movies, but it would still plant a dent in the back of your head.
After a difficult week before, I was happy to start tapering, to go easy, start resting and mentally prepare for my race in 2.5 weeks. All I had hoped for that I will feel better, I will be more energetic and in overall, there will be more colors in my life, especially those happy ones – pink and orange, or coral. One of those. Instead I have received a whole palette of grey, light grey, dark grey, something-in-between grey and navy blue. My tapering week became a week, where I had to question my training, my decisions, timing, even if I should have registered for the Ironman. I was tired more than I was during the killer week before.
I had few decent, I would say amazing even workouts during that week, but results became secondary, because the mental and physical stress which accumulated during the build-up got did not go away. And those sessions I was doing empowered the stress I had from before. All in all, what a gloomy week. Glad it passed.
Form vs Function
Despite the gloominess and rainy season in my mind, my capabilities are on a good level at the moment I am writing. Most recently I have run a 1 hour test session where I tried to hit my planned marathon pace – I was able to maintain 4:12 min/km, which blew my mind and I was surprised. Bike seemed to be flying under me as well, I could easily push 34 km/h without tiring myself out. Swim. I would rather skip talking about swim. It is so short during an Ironman anyway… I am unhappy with my swimming, I think it will be the only part, where I might be losing time, compared to last year. But I have learnt to battle the leg cramps, which still occur.
My weight started to stabilize itself, which is good and if I were to come back in time 2 weeks ago and tell that to my old-self – I would be happy. However to my, now-panicking, mind, I am at loss and I am from time to time afraid that I am getting fat and my ABS do not look the way I had imagined.
Some sessions are difficult to attend to and get myself out there lately, reflecting – I pushed too hard on the last 3 days of my tapering week start and I am paying the price for it now. But when I actually do the session, I am happy, I feel strong, confident and ready. From my form – I do not look uber-lean and ripped, even though I had hoped to look so by the start of Ironman Copenhagen. However the functionality is there. So I got to a point, where I am trying to make myself happy with the function, rather than form. That is an old saying from my days, when I was modifying my car and getting it lower and looking more race-y – Function of the car > Form of the car. Because a lot of people modded the cars in a way, where it became impossible to drive. So now, I feel that I am very drivable and those in-between training session and intervals were a good proof to it. Let us close those paragraph with a huge hope that this function will fly with me to Copenhagen in 3 days and will stay there up until the finish line.
I can not wait for the trip itself. I love Copenhagen. It is a beautiful, friendly city and I am most happy to be able to race in it. I will be leaving for it on Sunday, in less than 3 days from this post. I have a plan to do a loop of the bike course on Tuesday and reduce my training amounts even more, last year I have done that and it helped me a lot (had an incident with local taxi, where the driver pushed me outside of the road and almost caused a crash though). Hopefully I will be able to write a quick post next week, when I am in Copenhagen and give you a status update on what is happening and how do I look like.
While battling demons, I have been approached by new ones, which are briefly touched in the paragraph above. And the latest and greatest demon which I noticed – was Agassi’s book that I was reading. I do not want to spoil it whatsoever – but the fact that I was going through similar doubting emotions as Andre, while reading the book, it started to emphasize the ones I was having within me. To some extent, Agassi’s book is very open and honest and he gives a lot of details into what is happening with an athlete, during his preparation. I am no Andre Agassi, but my mind decided to jump on to the same railway. I understood only yesterday, that this book became sort of catalyst to my doubtfulness and indecisiveness of my choices. So I am putting a stop on it for now. I will try to pick something up, which will take me places with a lot of pink, magenta and orange colours for my trip to Copenhagen.
Amazingly, my friend Justinas had some scary extra-sixth sense on what is happening with me reading Agassi’s biography, he had given me my dream-book for my birthday today:
To make things even more pink and orange and happy, this is precise book that I thought of, during my yoga today in the morning, when I decided that I do not want to read “Open” until Ironman is done. I thought to myself that I am a bit sad, that I did not order it and it will have to wait, while I will have to think of something else to read during my trip. Some ideas and thoughts are hanging in the universe in a very strange and satisfying way. And I am lucky to have such a thoughtful friend. The book is a biography of a frontman to my favorite band “Tool” and “A Perfect Circle” and it is supposed to be inspiring, Maynard James Keenan and “A Perfect Union of Contrary Things”.
Gear down. Gear up.
Last Friday, during my interval session on the track. During my last lap. During last 200 meters. (To make it even more dramatic – imagine that had run around 12 kms already on the track! And only 200 m were left! OMG!). So, during my last, dramatic 200 meters, where I just wanted to sprint out and be done with the workout, some child ran out onto the track, I tried to bypass him going right, he moved right towards me, I moved even more right – putting myself outside of the track and my foot under the fence. This resulted in my favorite shoe of my all running career getting quite torn:
Felt unlucky, a bit sad and tidbit disappointed. However, I tried to focus on the positive things – luckily my foot did not get injured, it was just a shoe. Luckily I did not fall down, luckily the child did not get hit by me, running at 16 km/h speed. Right away, I tried to re-focus and think of a way out – I will have to buy the shoe as soon as possible and hope it gets delivered on time, prior to my leave to Denmark. Worst thing scenario, I will ask my wife to bring it to me. Despite the unpleasant situation, I tried to focus on the positive, put down the negativity around the situation and just be happy about the session in general and about the possibilities to get the shoe. I am happy to say, that the order got shipped so fast – I had my new pair of shoes on Monday! Three days after the incident. So my shoe shelf almost looks as if I were sponsored by Asics and gives me some pro-athlete vibes:
Song of the week: Moderat – Milk
Reading: Andre Agassi “Open” (60% into it)
Game: Transistor got backlogged, picked up “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition”
Average Weight: 77.8
Average Suunto Recovery: Getting up to 45%
So after a pretty rough start to the tapering and all different things happening to put me even more off. I had quite a tiresome week at work, where we had to do a lot of specific project activities and in general, I had to look after a myriad of things, to set them going and going in the right direction. Now at Friday evening, the ending to this week is quite sweet and milky-smooth. That is why I decided to change the song of the week to “Milk”. It is a perfect serene explanation of smoothly textured, soft and mellow sounds to a lot of roadblocks and tough situations, which happen during the week – and how it spans out to be just one flowing trail of happenings which sleek out in the end, as long as we do not try to break the flow and adapt ourselves to it. I am pretty amazed with how it finished and it is spanning to get even better. Tomorrow we will go out with my wife to celebrate and spend a good day together. I have received the best book I could imagine as a gift. And last but not least, I finally received my new triathlon suit after a huge screw-up from my side on the shipment request – super happy and can not wait to rock it in Copenhagen: