Soy registrado y me preparo para doler!
Well, we made it to Cabo and with my feet up, sand beneath me and ocean in front of me I am finally getting to relax a bit and reflect on the last couple months of getting to the starting line.
In short, it has been far from ideal…but that is the norm. The smart athlete learns to adjust, stay positive and just get your butt to the starting line. The lead into my fourth Ironman has also been very different, which is a good and bad thing but enough to expect very different results and a drastic race strategy – show up and blow up!
I started out this year with the “less is more” approach to training with a deeper focus at work, setting up the year to achieve one of my top triathlon goals and make sure I was stronger, fiter and highly motivated after August. I knew I would have to spend the first phase getting my riding and swimming back and have the optimal balance in order to run well enough.
However, after dealing with shin splints before racing Pamama 70.3 my training, especially my running, started to have an abundance of “less”. I took my lowest week of training before Pamama and took the week after it basically off. This was not easy to do with it being only 4 weeks away but I knew if I could get in a solid 3 weeks of injury free specific training before Cabo I would have the confidence to be able to race it.
And that did not exactly happen either …but I am somehow still optimistic. I raced the Desert Tri two weeks ago and I was waiting for results from an MRI to see if I had a stress fracture so I did not do the run. I rode the bike loop until they kicked me off of it and then tried to hobble a lap around the lake. It was a week before the Desert Tri (3 weeks out from Cabo) that I have done my last training run and I am just trusting if I can run on Sunday that I will have the endurance.
owning the aquabike solo division
This has been my first injury to pull me out and it has not been easy to deal with. Especially that it is running and I had such a focus on it last year that I really wanted to rip some runs off the bike this year. No excuses and no complaints. I am a lucky boy and I am on the beach in Cabo San Lucas with friends…life is very good. Dealing with this injury has put things in perspective and maybe a blessing in disguise to keep me fresh at the end of the year but it has been a roller coaster of hot and cold, race or rest.
Some lessons learned
- If you have shins splints – DONT RUN – the only real way to get rid of them (thank you James).
- Its always best to get an X-Ray and an MRI for tracking down the real issue – If anything it gave me peace of mind and confirmation that I did not have a stress fracture – something I needed to know before Cabo.
- The real “race” is between your ears. Confidence is what it takes to execute your best performance and it is the same sort of confidence that you need to take when dealing with any setback. Keep the big picture in focus and keep playing the part of the champion.
- If you think you need to use the Graston technique and take a cresent wrench to your shin you may just piss off your tendons and develop tendinitis of the ATT – dont try this at home!
- Use your downtime to get aggressive with active recovery – I have been practically living in my 110% overdrive compression/ice socks between meetings at work and on the couch or foam rolling between.
- Get a plan and stick to it. Dont use any additional mental energy going back and forth about schedules or take yourself too seriously. Adjust your original plan and do what you can.
In the end, I found that my shin splints went away but I developed some Tendinitis of the ATT from the bike among other things (like “fixing” myself with a cresent wrench). Change with additional forced change. I planned on posting a “less is more” training comparison after the race that outlines my training to each Ironman I have done. At a very high level, I have done much less overall volume but much more strength training and quality race specific training than in the past. I also consistently trained with my buddy Ryan Pearson for the first time and he has made major changes from his previous 6 Ironmans and I believe he is in for the race of his life.
Ryan will be crushing dreams on Send it Sunday
I am more interested to see what this change provides and how Ryan does than anything else. In many ways this is one of my most exciting races because I am not afraid to fail and I really do not know what is going to happen but I am sure to learn a lot from watching Ryan and myself.
“One of the things that enabled me to continually progress was a willingness to change my approach. It didn’t always work but I sure learned a lot!” Gordo Byrn
And that leads me to my new race strategy. I wanted to race Cabo and then use Ironman Coeur d’Alene to go out as hard a possible and just see at which point(s) I blew up. A unique opportunity when you have nothing to lose. Now with this questionable run at Cabo, more rest than I have ever had since I started sport and nothing to lose I am taking my race strategy of “show up and blow up” out on the course this Sunday. I am going to SEND IT! I will swim on the edge, ride strong and smart on the bike without fear of failing and I am just praying my healthy run legs are going to be waiting for me in my transition bag for the marathon. Nothing to lose, no excuse but no stupidity about doing real damage to myself. The CI is very simple. If this is going to help me achieve my goal for the year I will continue and if not I will stop. However, if I make it to mile 15 you can believe I will squeeze every last drop of push I have in me to the finish line. That keeps it exciting!
Thanks for the support and hope to see you out there!