With today being day thirteen since my stomach virus hit, I can say somethings are returning to normal. My diet, however, is not. I am slowly working my normal food back in, but it is taking time. It is amazing the things we take for granted – like being able to digest food without pain for example… I am eating enough calories of “soft” foods, so my training is getting closer to normal. Friday was just plain fun. I went to spin class – it was a challenging interval workout and I gave it my all. It felt so good to be on a bike again and riding hard and strong. After, I swam with my friend and we did a fast workout of a total of 1,600 meters. This was my first time back swimming with her since I was sick – I enjoyed the challenge and pushed hard to stay with her.
Saturday I gave my bicycle trainer another chance. I inflated my tires (minor detail I overlooked last time) and noticed a difference. It takes a few minutes for the fluid in the fluid trainer to warm up. It didn’t feel as sluggish as Wednesday. The tension still has to be off – I worked hard but my speed never registered over 13 mph. Earlier this week I made sure my tire circumference was accurately entered, so I am not sure what is wrong. The benefit is that it is hard enough that I am strengthening my legs for the hills in Syracuse. When I get on the road I will have a better idea of my speed. Hopefully that will come by late March.
This morning I ran my long run. I much prefer to run outside, but I was practical. I have not gone much over four miles post tummy bug and I didn’t know what to expect. My gym was my atmosphere and the treadmill was my running ground. The first five miles went incredibly well. I felt good, my pace was consistent, and my heart rate stayed where I wanted it in my zone two. From miles 6 through 8 I had some side stitches on the right, where most of my stomach pain was when it was at its worst. I ran through it taking a minute walking break each mile. At mile nine I kicked it up a bit. My running coach had written out for me to run in zone three the last three miles. I was running 11 miles, so I picked it up. The stitched went away too. I finished 11 miles, on a treadmill, feeling great.
Living in the midwest, training indoors becomes a necessary evil for most athletes, cycling especially. On Friday evening I went to my triathlon club’s meeting. A guest speaker was a local professional triathlete. One unique aspect of his training is that he does just about all of it indoors year round. A few years ago he was in a cycling accident and was beat up pretty bad, he also has a young son. Training at home gives him time with his family as well as piece of mind of safety. He shared that since he took his training inside his race performance has improved. A big factor is the mental toughness he has developed. Training inside can be grueling on the mind. He attributes his ability to stay focused when racing ironman distance triathlons to his experiences of riding for five hours indoors and running over 20 miles on a treadmill. His story helped me this weekend with all of my indoor training. Breaking through, my latest mantra, is essential to reach new levels. With my race just three weeks away, today was a big break through – I not only strengthened my body, but I challenged my mental toughness. Stomach virus or not – I am ready.