Thursday, April 12, 2007

fortune's fools: race week, days 1-5

no more training. it's Ironman time.

it's race week. nothing a person does now can add to, or improve upon, anything done--or not done--in training before. all you can do at this point is get fresh.

days 1-3

i had originally planned a series of light workouts this week. but considering the scare i had this past weekend with lingering soreness and fatigue, i figured to eliminate all workouts and focus on recovery.

following my post on last week's training schedule, i'd gone out to find a massage therapist on short notice. i didn't have much luck. i did get some phone numbers, but after some long deliberation Saturday night, i woke up Sunday and decided i'd forego the massage therapy and gamble that my body would recover on its own given enough rest and proper nutrition.

i will say that i'd been having cravings for yogurt, garlic, and green tea last week (not all together, mind you), and i finally decided maybe my body was trying to tell me something about what it needed. i gave in, and pounded down garlic cloves, and then went out and got as much yogurt and green tea as i could find.

i know it sounds weird, but by Monday i was feeling dramatically better.

Tuesday, i felt positively invigorated...not to where i'd like to be, but definitely much more chipper than i had been.

day 4

Wednesday, i felt good enough to allow myself a short session in the pool (600 yards, technique only), along with a short weight session (chest and abs). that was all. everything was rest.

day 5

today was Thursday, and was spend on a very long drive out from LA to Tempe, Arizona for Ironman Arizona.

i'm not alone. i drove out with a buddy of mine (a schoolmate, and much better Ironman than I). we're meeting up with 2 other friends (also from school, and also much better Ironmans than I). we're all staying with the sister of 1 of us here in Phoenix, who has been gracious enough to host us.

we're a little worried right now. the situation here is WINDY. as in 50-60 mph sustained winds.

bad. very bad.

if it's like this on race day, we're in big trouble. BIG trouble. i don't think i'll even go out on the bike in these conditions. it'd be a miracle to even stay on the road.

we're all terrified.

and while the saying is that no one is every truly ready for the problems we encounter in life, one of the truths of Ironman is that Ironman is the race that commands a high price for inadequate or improper training. the reasoning goes like this: for sprint triathlons and Olympic distance races, the price you pay for mistakes is pain, and at the most injuries you can recover from. permanent injuries are rare. however, for Ironman, the price you pay for mistakes escalates, and very much becomes the threat of permanent injury or even death (people have died doing these races). the margin for error is that slim.

which is why we're all standing outside right now, looking at the trees swaying in the wind and cowering in the sandstorm blowing about us.

and all we can do is pray that things get better.

we are fortune's fools.

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