I had hit a bit of a wall with my triathlon training but managed to push my way through it yesterday. I had been putting off an early morning ride and run, which was strange as I had really enjoyed the last one I did and was very PLEASED with my times – not just satisfied or content but actually pleased. Of course I could have pushed a bit harder with the run (my stupid nagging inner voice whined) but I suppose it left an area to target with the next outting. I had decided not to do another swim, ride and run before the competition as the time would be a bit meaningless with my 2 artificial transitions and swimming amongst slow pensioners again, when I had one eye on the clock, would have been frustrating.
Despite a couple of days off before the bank holiday weekend I couldn’t find any early morning sunshine to tempt me out of bed to train and the more days that elapsed the more daunting the 70 minutes of exercise became. Why was this becoming such an ordeal, when I had gone out in all weathers around dawn earlier in the year? I did have a slight cold over the weekend and when I finally hit the roads yesterday morning I realised it was 6 days since I had last ridden and it seemed my legs were forgetting what they should be doing. As I set off there was a slight headwind which forced me into putting more effort into cruising along Bury Old Road than I could really be bothered with. I attacked the start of the big hill towards Birch but then eased off halfway up and, realising my mind wasn’t on a paced ride, I just made sure I completed the route I had intended to take and tried to save more in the tank for the run. Everything was bugging me; my MP3 player of inspirational sounds was tiresome and boring, the wind was never behind me (it probably was but I chose not to notice) I had drunk too much electrolyte and felt a bit bloated and that slight cold was definately there and generating more snot than was comfortable. Lots of little niggles but I was looking for and logging them all in my mind, constantly. The run was no better, my pace was off from the start so I just cruised around the 5k route, I tried to lengthen my stride a couple of times but I felt tired. Legs didn’t ache though. I got home to find the run 90 seconds off my best and the ride a whole 7 minutes slower, however once home I realised that session I had just endured was what my triathlon training was all about. The reason I am training is to make sure I exercise regularly – particularly when I don’t fancy it.
I think I am getting a bit nervous about the race in 19 days time but at the end of the day the time doesn’t matter (it really doesn’t Nigel, it REALLY doesn’t) the competition will be an experience and a good step towards a proper sprint triathlon in open water….. open water which I saw very close up yesterday on a family outting to the Albert Docks in Liverpool. James in the office has already entered the Liverpool Triathlon next June, I might wait a bit before committing to it. The water was far from inviting; it was very dark, I guess due to polution or sheer depth, but either way not at all welcoming.