Fast forward 9 weeks from now, and it'll be 3:33 p.m. on June 23 in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. I will have been in motion for 8 hours and 33 minutes, and I will, fingers crossed, be on the run. I will have swum 2.4 miles and ridden my sweet steed Lyle for 112 miles.
But then the run. 26.2 miles. Right now, that feels as impossible as running from Denver to Idaho does.
How's training going might be the appropriate question here. I would respond that question, but that would require energy, and I don't have an extra ounce to spare.
O.k, since my kids are parked in front of America's Funniest Home Videos and I'm parked on my bed, I'll expand a bit.
I am wiped. I am sore. I am actually looking forward to my appointment on Tuesday to get my lip and brows waxed—YOUCH!—because I get to lie down for 15 minutes and have somebody "take care" of me. I am shorter on patience than I normally am, but I'm not as strict of a mom as I typically am either. (See above: no energy to spare.)
But before I get too whiny, here's what's going well:
—I am 85% healthy. My neck decided that it didn't want to turn to the left or right after our trip two weeks ago to the east coast, so that's a bit of an issue especially when I swim, but I have faith it'll iron out. My chip-fractured foot barely whimpers anymore, so that's a win. And the rest of me, while ouch-to-the-touch, can be calmed down nearly nightly with some Trigger Point love. (Nearly nightly—or at least 2 times a week: again, the energy thing.)
—My training is working, which is always a nice thing to rediscover. Yesterday, I had a 90-mile bike followed by a 30-minute run. (And yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous, but Ironmother training is like shopping at Costco: inflated training/prices don't faze you as much. $14 for sliced mango? Steal. 90 miles on the bike? NBD.)
Anyway, I rode most of the Harvest Moon course twice, and averaged .6 mph faster over 90 (solo) training miles than I did last fall over 56 racing miles. The wind plays a big part of speed on those open prairies, and it was mostly in favor yesterday, but I'll take the victory. Around mile 87, I screamed, "Way to get this the f*(& done, Dimity!" I usually only refer to myself in third person when I make a mistake—a habit from my high school tennis days—so to have that just fall from my lips felt pretty badass. I'm glad I flew on the bike, because the run was...well, let's just say I was not flying.
—My sleep is deep and plentiful. My bedtime, already slightly early, is now eking towards ridiculously early. I looked at the clock last Thursday night (a long week, it should be noted, even if I weren't ironmothering). The blaring red numbers read 7:15. "That's not so early, is it?" I thought to myself. I didn't dive under the covers then, but these days, I need to be asleep—not crawling in bed—by 8:45 or 9. Because most days, I'm up in the early 5's for at least a 90-minute workout, and I'm not slowing down again until 8:45.
—I've figured out my favorite point of any workout: the 66.6% done one. (And yes, I can calculate that specific point pretty well now...you should've seen how many times I mentally sliced and diced 90 as the denominator yesterday.) There's something so sweet about being two-thirds through. You've mostly conquered, and now you just have to finish 'er up. Doesn't matter if it's a short swim or a long run: I savor it every single time.
—I can honestly picture myself at the finish line. I had a fake-it-'till-you-make-it kind of 'tude going on for most of my training, but now that I am in the thick—double thickness, chocolate milkshake thick—of training, I can actually picture myself crossing the line. I can see my husband with a ridiculous grin on his face. I can feel the medal around my neck and the tears on my cheeks and the elation and relief in my heart.
I know I can do this.
So there's that. Then there are these minor details:
—I am so sick of myself (and my go-to music: the Fun. station on Pandora). All the training buddies I thought I was going to gain through this experience—joining a master's swimming team; hanging as I ran with my neighborhood buds; watching movies with other Ironwomen as we pedaled for hours—have not materialized. No blame to be had; just life and different schedules and injuries.
Maybe I'm just not deep enough, but somewhere in a 16-hour training week, I just get bored of the thoughts that repeat in my head. I wish I were solving the world's problems, but mostly I just think of things I have to do—pay for the yearbooks, schedule the vet appointment, answer Sarah's email—and then promptly forget about them until the next workout, when the whole list comes flooding back.
—And I am also sick of eating. (And yes, I realize that's a good problem to have.) These days, my daily training torches nearly 1,500 calories, and the long sessions hit the 3,000 mark. Replacing that—plus my normal 2,500 or so I need just to type and breathe—means I have to be shoveling something substantial and nutritious in my mouth every few hours. I don't want any more almonds or carrots. Sick of quinoa and roasted veggies. If I never see another baby carrot weighed down with hummus, I'll be just fine.
Plus, ever since training kicked up a notch, low-grade nausea—not barfy, but not hungry—kicked in too. The only thing that really sounds good is milkshakes, but I'm limiting those to once a week, max, for obviously reasons. (The chocolate Five Dollar Shakes from LarkBurger are my fave, btw. Yes, they're pricey, but this whole expedition is draining my bank account, so what's an extra weekly $5 shake?)
—My guilt is at a motherlode high right now. I know this will be my only Ironmother race—I say that with complete certainty—but my kids live in the present, and the fact that I've wanted to do this for nearly 30 years doesn't register with them. There's no I-let-them-down episode that sticks out, but eight months of concentrated training for a day-long race has consumed me both mentally and physically, and lately, I feel more selfish than I am comfortable being. Needless to say, I am taking the summer (mostly) off after this.
I wish I had some neat way to wrap this up--something about only 63 days until this party starts—but now it's nearly 8 (I took a break from writing for dinner and baths) and I'm starting to get nervous about my workout tomorrow. 9 miles, my longest run since I fractured my foot, with a 5:15 a.m. start so I can be back for lunch-making duty.
What can I say? I need to start getting ready for bed.
Do my Ironmother experiences resonate with your training? And do you have any easy recipes that make loads of healthy food? (I especially like using the slow cooker...a little work at the beginning of the day for a great reward at the end.)