Thursday, February 12, 2015

Behind the scenes of a first time ironman-in-training

10(ish) weeks into my IMCDA training and I've learned a lot. A lot. About watts. Heart rate. Shoes. Nutrition (more calories, all of them). The need for chamois butter or Ruby's Lube. There are things I've learned that are valuable, overwhelming, helpful and handy. But then there's just the reality of being an iron-distance athlete in training.  In no particular order of importance or value... the things I've learned about life in training for IMCDA:

My hair is going to be in a bun 99% of the time. Odds are it's dirty too.
Bun. Always the bun. 

My chin has gotten so dry from swimming that I slather it in Vitamin E oil several times a day. I keep asking my boyfriend if he still loves me even though my face looks like sandpaper.

Goggle lines will last all day. I'm accepting the fact that I will probably still have goggle lines at the Ironman finish line.
Why do I always smirk like this? No goggle lines yet but rest assured they're real.

Oh, and swimming at lunch will SLAY you for the day. I can't hold my eyes open and my second workout feels like 'The Walking Dead'.

Yoga pants are where it's at. I'm not sure my quadzillas will fit into jeans much longer and I just can't bring myself to put them on anyway.

Oh, and taking 'before' pics to see my body's progression? Ouch. Reality.
They might be strong, but they are also insulated.

There is a line of enough caffeine to function, without pushing my heart rate into hummingbird range. It's a very thin line.
All the coffee. All the tea. Tazo Awake tea is my new obsession. 

My sugar cravings are through the roof. I never DON'T want pastries, ice cream, desserts.

I am so hungry that I sometimes dream about food. Like being in a bakery with HUGE cakes to be eaten.

I kind of expected to lose a little weight. I haven't. Actually, I've gained (muscle, right?) weight, but it's not thrilling me. (Do calories from dream food count?)

Looking for a bike isn't SO MUCH FUN YAY! It's stressful, and nauseating, and anxiety inducing. Saying "no, I'll pass, sorry" is painful for me. But I can't just buy all the bikes.
Baby I still love you but I might need to see other bikes. 

Comparing is bullshit. Don't do it. Social media might rock in so many ways, but when it comes to seeing other people's training, it can be really discouraging if you let it.

Bike shoes you've worn for 6 years, without socks, smell awful . Like roadkill. That fell into a porta-potty. On a 90 degree day. In a swamp. Get new shoes.

Plan more food. Or you will just eat like a frat boy, and then feel like a garbage disposal.

Buy more lube. All the lube.

SLEEP! Training is like having a newborn. When your bike sleeps, you sleep. (Or you read Harry Potter til an hour past bedtime, even though you've read it 28190 times, or the Deep Dark anxiously seeing how the Silver Valley tragedy plays out)

Turn off the headphones, the netflix, the stimulus, and just pedal in the zone sometimes.

Mood swings are no joke. I get irritated whenever Jordan blames IM training for my shifty mood. But then he feeds me froyo, and it's all okay. So maybe he has a point.

Running gets sooo slow. And sometimes, slow feels fast. And those days kind of suck. When it feels so fast, and then you realize your concept of fast is completely ass backward.

When your amazing team kit comes from Coeur Sports and you try to think of a cute way to photograph it... it comes out something like this: #makingCoeurproud #nappingundermykit
I'm sorry Kebby and Hailey. I had some cute idea in my head and then I fell asleep mid picture! LOVE THIS KIT!!! It's excellent to nap under too. 

You have to say no to things. Not everything though. But sometimes, it's okay to miss things. People will forgive you in the end. Sometimes you are working out, and sometimes, you just need to rest and relax.

But don't miss everything. Don't let training be the reason you don't get out and do things. Am I the only one who is already so tired that it's hard to be motivated for stuff? Mostly during the week. I can do a lot in a weekend.
hair did, make up did, snacks made, house cleaned, superbowl party!! 

Sometimes it really is a battle between eating that stick of butter, or rubbing it on your dry scaly face after a swim. (hint: neither is a correct choice)

It's still an amazing journey. I love riding, and look forward to every time I can get on the bike. That's new!  I never used to look forward to my trainer. Now I love being on the bike. I feel like apologizing to Jordan on a daily basis when he is sweet and supportive of my rest, tells me to eat more, helps me out, and encourages me. I was a little less patient when he trained-granted our relationship was newer then and I selfishly wanted ALL THE TIME. I may be half asleep on my keyboard around 2:30 pm if I swam at lunch-kills me. But I love it. I. Just. Love. This.


  1. This was a fantastic read! I found myself laughing and nodding my head from start to finish. I must ask - do you think you could write a post about balancing Ironman training and being a mom? I just don't know how you do it or where you find the time. You are very inspiring to me!

    1. Thanks Kristen! That's a great idea for a post! I will definitely start working on that one. Sometimes, I don't know where I find the time either :-) But thank you!

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