Taper time for my triathlon starts after my swim event tomorrow. I am doing the 2.25 mile swim at Teal Lake. We are swimming the length of it. This is going to be quite an event, lots of fun i'll post about it tomorrow afternoon after I get the water out of my ears ;-)
I'm going over the athlete guide now just before I have to leave for work. Lots of details.
Lots of pics and junk that makes it slow loading but in case you wanted to know the stuff I need to know and the schedule of events etc.... it's all here for your savage amusement and viewing pleasure.
I do not feel very good.
This is all part of the process and I felt this way before my first marathon and other firsts it's just that this is on a grander scale. I do not feel excitement. I feel a sense of dread and anxiety. I feel totally outclassed, outgunned, and like I am about to have my rear-end handed to me on a silver platter.
Yup this is taper time... where the mind will run me crazy with what if's, run through multiple scenarios, try to overthink everything. The wondering, the second guessing, the "WTH were you thinking" stuff... It's all part of the process. Past experience as shown me that I will wake up post race morning wondering what all the fuss was about admiring my new bling and usually two days later I am surfing for another event next year.... that's all I will be doing the day after since walking will probably require some serious concentration.
As I mentally review my training process, I will would call it haphazard at best. My irregular life interfering with something that requires regular commitment but I have no regrets. I have done my very best. Neither do I regret my decisions to not train on days that I could have. I can beat myself up pretty bad when I'm out there and unfortunately, as cool as it is for us fluffy dudes to do something epic, it also exacts a high price. Our weight makes us take a bigger beating therefore we need more recovery time....the alternative is to watch from the sidelines while nursing a painful injury.
A word about recovery. This will sound counter-intuitive but hear me out. This is where "listening to your body" is NOT advisable. I have learned that the absense of noticable pain is NOT an indicator of being ready to continue training. I hear that phrase being bantered about like an overused cliche by folks that probably don't understand the first thing about it. The term is vague at best and relies on the individuals interpretation of what they are feeling.
What it boils down to is absense of pain = good to go.
Let me give an analogy.
Have you ever used some sort of glue to bond something together or made some sort of repair that required a cure time? I have, many times, especially at work. I also cannot tell you the number of times I have seen a repair fail because it FELT ready. They picked it up, tested it, it felt fully cured and because of the demand for that piece to be ready, was hurredly pushed out the door to shut the requester up and get them off the departments back.... that is until it failed shortly after operational stress was placed upon it out in the field.
Haste makes waste.
Just because I FEEL ok, because I dont FEEL pain in my day to day activites does NOT equate to readiness to go out and give it another good tug out on the bike or run. The muscles and the deeper tissues may be recovered enough to not interfere with normal activity but are not ready to operate under training stress.
I have had it happen to me more times than I care to admit to. In the past, I would feel fine, invincible, 10ft tall and bulletproof for the first 2 miles.... the problem is that there is always a mile 3 for those who are too stubborn to quit while they are ahead.
In the past, I have been one of those numbnuts that would push until the "check engine light" would come on and then not worry about it because my "engine" is still running.
Not this time.
I have learned my lesson... no such thing as too much rest. It's one thing to be new and ignorant, it's quite another to be stupid. Ignorance of recovery is cured by education, stupid is cured by pain. I have been stupid more times that I can think of and paid the price.
The best race strategy I have ever implemented for events where I dont feel as confident as I should is to NOT fall into panic training where you really kick it into gear. Rather, to cautiously maintain what I have and go into the event as well rested and deeply recovered as possible.
A recovered body can be pushed to perform. A stressed body will be pushed until it fails.
I choose to rest and recover. I pledge to keep it light duty.
When race day comes, what ever "A" game I have will be brought to the field.
This is my pledge to you.