I feel sick to my stomach. I am so down. This is the time in my Ironman training where I start to second guess everything I’ve done up to this point and loath the fact that I have to do anymore. I don’t want to. I don’t want to feel sick, or like a Lazy Bones Jones, but my gut tells me that is exactly how I should feel. I need to bounce back out of my funk, but to what? From what? It’s as if I just woke up and decided to start training on a dusty, rickety foundation, but that’s not true, right? RIGHT?
This past weekend was a cruel shock to my system. As many of you locals know, we experienced our first Heat Wave of the summer. I live in the “Valley”, so no naughty, yet forgiving warm breezes for me, no, no, it was HOT in my ‘hood!
I muttered indecipherably to myself all week that I could handle the heat, and that it didn’t matter if I was uncomfortable, I had to get the hours in over the weekend. Then came Saturday. Ugh. I almost laid down all day, my head felt heavy, my limbs felt tight and loose, competing for the right to relax and rest. Nope. I would have none of that. I decided to run long, but not as long as I had planned because I did not want to be completely zapped for Sunday. So, at 11:18A I walked outside my house into the high 90’s heat, and started to run.
Right away my head felt like a bowling ball propped on a swivel. No Bueno. Then my lungs allowed only shallow breaths to get me through each step with a twinge of comfort, as if saying, “Yes, this is possible, but honestly, why are we doing this today?” Nevertheless, I powered through my run, and drank about a trough of clear liquid upon my arrival home. I brought water with me of course, but it didn’t matter, the sun slurped out every liquid in my body and laughed as I sipped relentlessly at my water bottle at each passing mile. I’m sure it was thinking, “Taryn, this is my time to shine, I will let you survive, but you will not win this battle; so just go home and save yourself some dignity.” Thanks, Apollo.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, I thought it was Monday, and I needed to get ready for work. Uh-uh, I still had a whole other “work” day ahead of me. I made sure to be at the pool as early as possible, which was 8A, the one day EVER I might make to a pre-dawn swim work out, but the Sunday YMCA hours were in full effect, which meant I was through with my swim and on my bike pedaling at 9:50AM. Not optimal for a day that had a 110+ degree forecast. Nevertheless, I was not concerned with a hard effort on my TT bike, rather just six fun-filled hours frying on my comfy road bike.
Unfortunately, my ever-trusty legs were not on board with my plan. The nagging-niggle in my right hamstring prevented my leg from firing as mightily as I wanted/needed it to, and my eyelids were drooping down toward the asphalt; never a good sign. Therefore, it was time to adapt and come up with a change of plans. I road for another forty-five minutes figuring I would pedal until either I melted or passed out, whichever came first. Suddenly, I noticed a stalled runner and asked if she wanted any salt, she said no, but we started talking and I soon after I surrendered. The day was a wash, and it was time to go home.
While simmering on my sofa, I had plenty of time to reflect on my day, the weeks behind me, and the weeks ahead before my big race, and what I came up with is that I am much more controlling than I ever imagined I would be. I am a Virgo, so it is deemed from the stars that in my roles as wife, step parent, daughter, sister, athlete, or producer, I want every task executed exactly how I planned. However, life is a slippery mistress with a willful spirit and mind of her own. Therefore, in low times like these, I choose to reflect on the process, because I am the only human being on the planet making me do any of this. I am well aware that life will go on if I never qualify for Kona, or go sub eleven hours, or even finish another Ironman, but I will keep trying.