I am hitting the end of the final build phase of my training this week--and I sure can feel it. I feel as if I have hit a wall and am still pushing to go right through it.
It's no longer just waking up tired most of the time, these last two weeks I have slept through my alarm more than once (and had to move a morning workout to a time later in the day). However, when the actual workout comes along, I seem to have no problem setting aside (mentally and physically) everything else in order to put together a quality workout.
I go through these strange phases where I have no hunger, and then am starved to the point of almost not being able to be satiated, and then go a long period without being hungry again.
After several weeks of feeling just about perfect I seem to be having the occasional aches and pains that are fairly typical of training. If anything I should probably be surprised that my body has held up this well for this long. Over these last few months I have gotten my body into the best conditioning it has had for close to 20 years, if not a few years longer, and have had a minimal amount of problems along the way. However, I may be reaching as far as I can go before the cumulative effects of my training program begin to weigh me down. My response this week has been to pull out any trick I can think of to help out--squeeze in some more sleep, greater use of compression gear, ice bath, whirlpool treatment, massage appointment later this week food overall and eating more quality. In addition, my coach and I have selectively skipped a couple workouts to try to avoid hitting that over-training point that might cause actual injury. I should also try to keep in mind the positives I have gained over this training period already. These include making new friends and training partners, losing 20-25 pounds that moved me off of a stubborn weight loss plateau that I had been near previously and gaining great confidence in my abilities to swim, bike and run anywhere at anytime.
Next week starts my pre-race taper period. Although my training will start to reduce, I suspect it will hardly be a restful week. More likely it will just be a bit less intense and not quite so long as recent weeks, but that is still a start.
I think the key thing for me to remember right now is that my training is mental preparation as well as physical preparation. Theses tough periods will help make sure that I have the right mental preparation for a long race day. How long? Well, that is a question that will be answered in 24 days......