Weekly Wrap. Week 33
To mix things up, I will start it off with a bottomline – I should have had a better idea, how to structure tapering weeks and the ones, which will lead me to the race. I had been smashed and up again during this week, sometimes not wanting to do a training session, sometimes not wanting to go for an Ironman, sometimes not understanding what should I do. Instead of going according to the plan I had put – I decided to approach this week on ad-hoc basis, trying to understand how I feel and where and what should I skip.
And to tell the truth, I had to skip a lot and adapt a lot:
In general, I managed to get to 9:14 hours of training, instead of planned 12 and did my main sessions, apart from one. “Brick” session, where you do a bike and then you run afterwards, just as soon as you finish your planned bike ride – some sort of an imitation of the race. This is used to get your legs used to running right off the bike and just the mental preparation to work with, what I call, “jelly legs”, which have mind of their own for first few kilometers. It was super hot during this Saturday in Vilnius, I believe it was 33 degrees and I came back from my bike ride a little bit later than at mid-day. Went for a run, and at 2 kilometer mark already thought, that I want to come back home. It was very humid, extremely hot and in general, there was not much to breathe. So my “brick” session, which was supposed to last about 3 hours, lasted only 1:40 hours and even now, I reflect upon it and I am not sure what will happen during the Ironman. In 2 days. Oh my, the Ironman race is in 2 days.
Travel-time within anxiety galore
As I have mentioned, my previous week was filled in with anxiety and indetermination, questioning my every session, questioning my plans, questioning my previous training and whether I am prepared. I felt as if I were back in the university, during my philosophy studies, where I learned that Descartes questioned everything, until he got to unquestionable sentence – “I think, therefore I am”. This would lead him to conclusion that the only unquestionable part is our mind and our thoughts, which base our existence. Unlucky for me, I am not smart as Descartes and did not find anything in my thoughts, that would allow me to stop questioning everything. Despite this indecisiveness, I still had things to do, pack my bike, pack my stuff and travel to Copenhagen. I had help from everyone at home – my dad, my lovely wife and even my doggo, who was overseeing my bike packing. Not really, he has a crush on our youngest cat and he eagle-eyes the cat only, nothing else. That cat is his “Descartes’ unquestionable sentence”. However, to me it felt soothing, that everyone was helping and being around me during that mind-bending day
Late into the Saturday, way past how I envisioned my Saturday, I had my bike ripped to pieces, folded and cuddled with soft materials, to protect it. I have heard and seen horror stories of bikes destroyed during the flights, so I am obsessively careful about packing mine, of course, that cloth, adds extra points of protection, it travels together with the bike (cat does not, unfortunately):
And because I was staying in Copenhagen for whole week, I had to do something about my supplements and ensure that I eat similar to what I did in Lithuania. That made me look like I was smuggling a lot of drugs for a rave party in the forest. Luckily I got some feedback and thoughts on Facebook to pack it properly and had no problems during the travel:
Fast forward a delayed flight in Kaunas and I am in Copenhagen, yet again way behind my planned arrival time and with plans to do a run session when I land down the toilet. Adapt, adapt and adapt after you have already adapted. I do look like I was thrown out of home with all these bags. Good thing that hotel administration knows me already, so they were not so surprised as the first time:
I have spent whole week working at Copenhagen. There has been so many tasks at hand and in overall, it was extremely productive week. I felt inspired by that week and due to its intensiveness, I had less time to worry about the Ironman. One of my colleagues, helped me out and provided me a road bike, so I could do a recap of the bike course like last year. This year, I did not want to do it on my triathlon bike, as I do not want to mess its pristine condition after my dad helped me get it ready. Plus I thought it would be easier to check the course on a road bike, instead of a time-trial bike in a tucked in position. Bike was not the greatest, but I did ride through the course and it all came back in the memories, the corners, the views, the distance and some dark thoughts as well. I came back home tired and stressed for first 15 minutes, I even had a whole beer after about 2 months of no-alcohol to get some thoughts calmed down. Basically, it is quite stressful to navigate through a such bike-heavy city as Copenhagen, not really knowing where to go, relying on a Google-Navigator in one hand and keeping your eyes on the road. This bike course in Copenhagen suits me very well. I much prefer flatter courses, as I do not like to go downhills on 80 km/h speeds, like I had to year before in Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau, despite the fact that I do like going uphills. Well nevertheless, I present you the creator of my 4 hour painful course recap, the yellow bike, with saddle, which is so rusted, it does not move:
Next year’s resolution – to simply rent a proper bike or not to be scared and do it on my own time-trial bike. At least it was yellow and made me feel, like a winner of Tour De France. As for my room-mate, he kept sleeping in all the time and did not train at all during this tapering week. I guess everyone interprets tapering differently, but I was envious to come back and see him sleep all the time:
One day to conclude them all
Strange feeling it is to have one race in the end of your season, for which you train the hardest and knowing that afterwards – you can basically start resting. It comes close to the exams you have at schools, where you study for 12 years (or less, depends on education in different countries) and then you have to attend the exams for all of those years. Which summarise all your efforts and all your studies. Today, I feel pretty much the same. However, different to my exams at school, 11 years ago, I feel prepared, I feel ready and I feel confident. I know I can do it, I know what I have to do and I know what kind of difficulty it is. In comparison to last week, where all this knowledge was bugging me out, this week – I feel at ease. I am grateful to have this knowledge, to be prepared and to want to do my best at Ironman Copenhagen. The feeling differs from me going to those exams at school as well. This time, I really want to do it and I am prepared to be the best I can during all of its duration, to go through ups and downs, to sustain those mental downhills and to be there on the finish line. I know my legs can take me through it. I have a secret, which I am afraid to say out loud, but writing out loud is different – isn’t it? The secret is, I feel that I can run a sub 3-hour marathon. That means I have to do a 4:15 min/km pace. My last running training sessions felt re-assuring that I can do that. I have been easily sustaining 4:13 min/km pace with a good enough heart rate. The only shadow which is being cast on me – it is that “brick” session, which crushed me. Will I run out of its shadow? I certainly hope I can. This bike is supposed to help me out in it, it should have my legs ready and do not tire them too much for the run. I trust in it. I trust in myself:
Sunday will show. Sunday will deduct one number from the pool of numbers, hours, sacrifices, skipped training sessions, skipped rest hours, skipped dinners with friends. Sunday will be the catalyst to all the things I have done prior to it. It is a strange feeling, however it is fascinating. Sunday will answer all my questions, doubts and show my mistakes.
Song of the week: Probot – Red War
Reading: A lot of stuff at random
Game: Finished “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition”, playing some “Life is Strange” now
Average Weight: 77.2
Average Suunto Recovery: Getting up to 40-60%.
As I had to put down Agassi, I wanted to dive into Terry Pratchett. This time I had a Lithuanian translation, so it should be easy to read and understand. How wrong was I, I have read 100 pages and even under questioning of special forces, I would have hard time to explain what have I read. I tried to do “Small Gods”, but I hated it so much, that I was about to throw it away in a garbage bin, but suggested one of my colleagues to take it and he agreed. I guess this book was definite closure between Edgar and Terry. Kind of a pity, I wanted to like him and to read him, ever since I played “Discworld Noir” game in 5th grade. Oh well.
Cheers and see you in a week, after I am done with this beautiful race and come back from this astonishing city of Copenhagen. I am still in awe, of its friendliness and happy vibes. I adore it.