It's been three months since I've posted anything. I've been training all this time but things have been complicated and I haven't known what to say.
I have the same coaches again this year and the training plan they create for me works well for me. It's good, solid training but it doesn't "cook" me, as they say. I have been mainly swimming on my own, although I have a training buddy that I swim with fairly often. I've actually been doing a lot of early morning swim workouts! I am not a morning person but it's not bad at all and it's nice to have the workout done before the day begins. I have also been running alone. I like that. I got an iPod for Christmas and I really enjoy having it with me on my runs. I have never been one to listen to music. I find it quite distracting when I have to concentrate on something else at the same time but for running it works - it helps me keep my pace and pass the time. Through the winter, I've been spinning with my club. I've built some good friendships there. The workouts are hard, though, and that's where I've run into a bit of trouble. I don't recover well and every couple of weeks, the intensity catches up with me and I need to back off. I've learned to listen to my body better and take care of myself so I don't get hurt so badly that I have to stop altogether. There were a couple of dicey weeks there where my legs were hurting a lot but I've got that under control now and am managing it better. All in all, I feel quite fit again and I feel that I am close to being back to where I was before my surgery.
I have been under a great deal of personal stress this winter. It's really something that's been going on for a while but it has intensified lately and has taken a real toll on me. It has affected my motivation and has taken some of the joy out of my training. I have kept up with my workouts but haven't always had my heart with me when I do them. This year's Ironman (Mont-Tremblant, August 18) is especially important to me, though, since my training is something I can control and since the training and race are something I can do for me. The workouts are therapeutic, too, and that's good for my mind and soul as much as for my body.
This is a crazy, time-consuming, life-altering sport and sometimes I wonder why I do it when other things demand my energy, especially right now. But, it's part of who I am now and, ironically, it helps to keep me balanced. I need it and I am going to carry on, one workout at a time, until things fall into place again.