IMLP Prep Week Nine - Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

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?

 I am the tall nervous nelly in the middle of the frame.

I am the tall nervous nelly in the middle of the frame.

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!

 Summer's here!!!

Summer's here!!!

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.

 I can handle it!!

I can handle it!!

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.

 Off we go!

Off we go!

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.

 The agony of defeat. My sorrowful Santa Barbara finishing photo.

The agony of defeat. My sorrowful Santa Barbara finishing photo.

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.

 The Legendary Chrissie Wellington in my favorite finish photo of all time. 

The Legendary Chrissie Wellington in my favorite finish photo of all time.