Sunday, July 15, 2007

Slag Man

Oh yeah, this is what Ironman training is like at its peak…I had forgotten. Everyone knows that in the course of making iron you smelt it and get various by products like slag…that’s me right now…slag.

This is my third iron distance race that I am training for and it is still a mystery how exactly it all works. When I train for short distance races I usually end up feeling stronger and stronger, faster and faster. Every time I have trained for an Ironman I end up feeling weaker, more fragile and slower. It must really be a meltdown process, a process of separating out impurities, a process of completely breaking down and building back up from scratch.

To be honest the process can be a bit frightening as well. You train to the edge of breakdown and then back off just in the nick of time for a bit of recovery and then you turn around and drag yourself right back to that sore and tired place. Go too far and you are injured, not far enough and you will pay on race day.

At this moment I am sitting on that razors edge hoping that I don’t, or didn’t, fall off. The past two weeks of training have been difficult at best. Yesterday I did a reverse training triathlon…no not a race…I started out with an 80 mile bike that had a little over 4150 feet of climbing, a six mile trail run off the bike with temps in the low to mid 90s and then a 2000 meter swim. This morning I did a 14 mile easy run. I was running along pretty well but my left leg was tightening up, mostly in the calf but also extending up into my hamstring. I stopped a couple times to try and stretch it out but my calf just seemed to keep getting tighter and tighter. I took a bit of a walk break and then started running again and then I felt a quick pull in my lower calf and my run was over at mile 12.

I honestly don’t know if I have just strained it a bit, if it’s nothing or if there is actually a pull but I wasn’t taking any chances and I walked the rest of the way in and have it on ice right now. This next week is definitely a no running week. I believe I can easily afford a week without running and I hope that whatever happened out on the train today was just a warning and not an injury.

At times like these I keep one thought in mind and that is I know how beaten up I begin to feel during peak Ironman training and I also know that as I start backing off and heading into the taper I will start feeling better and come race day I will feel fantastic. So long as I can stay injury free, and assuming I didn’t just injure myself today, I should be right on track.

Now to e-mail my massage therapist.


  1. I am hoping that you will be feeling better by tomorrow. An injury for you right now would not be good. We'll keep you in our thoughts.

  2. Fingers crossed SB!

  3. As I recall, sweetie, all three of those events weren't in your training plan. Don't push yourself until you get injured. XOXOXO GG

  4. Hope you keep going strong. I'm pretty sure that training to the razors edge is an exact science and a lot of time and dedication. I don't know if I could ever get to that point, but I am impressed by those of you that do.

  5. and we pay to do this. Take care of that leg.

  6. There is always a fine line between going to far and thinking we have not gone far enough.

    I'm less than 2 months out of my IronMan myself....I feel it..

    Take care of that those leg guns of yours... You will be just fine taking a week off of running..Hang in there.

  7. I was suprised to read that you stopped at just a "twinge" - usually you go until something breaks! You'll be back to peak form and smelting some iron in no time!

  8. You made me tired just READING your workout.
    Sorry to hear youre hurting - the massage sounds like a good fix.
    I'll cross my fingers its only a minor set back.
    I am crossing my legs too, but thats really another story..... an indication of good hydration. :-)

  9. yikes.. get that fixed before it gets worse!!

    yeah Oly was fun.. I think Im gona sign up for HIM.. Ha!


  10. Ouch. Fingers crossed!

  11. Take it from me buddy - don't take hamstring pain lightly!

  12. Thanks for posting this. I was really starting to wonder about how draggy I feel sometimes.

    I'm tired and dizzy but focused on completing everything on the plan. My coach says to cut some of the running and I'm going to listen to him.