So how did I get from one of the most disappointing and frustrating races of my time as a triathlete to punching my ticket to Kona in 6 weeks time? It wasn't easy and it wasn't a sealed deal that I'd even be racing until about 3.5 weeks out from race day of the 2nd Ironman. Physically and physiologically we had to make sure my body was up for the challenge. Recovering from a full IM can take 3-4 weeks in itself and tapering takes another 2-3 weeks...if you do the math that doesn't leave much time for training, let alone peak training. Mentally we had to make sure I was ready to get back out there, put in the hours, make the sacrifices and do the work.
Priority #1 was making sure I was healthy coming out of Ironman Mont Tremblant. The first week was a mandatory recovery week - 3 days completely off, some easy swimming, some easy cycling and some very easy running. My body felt good and not nearly as sore as I usually am post Ironman. Likely attributed to the inability to push hard and race to my potential due to illness. Physically my body was feeling good and ready to take on more training after the first week of recovery. I attribute this in large part to weekly physical therapy sessions at Rose PT.
Upon returning from IM Mont Tremblant and knowing I wanted to try again (likely at Maryland) we resumed weekly PT sessions - working on mobility, stability and anything we could to get me through the training and racing with no pain. I committed to daily mobility sessions, on my own, post-workout between the 2 races, knowing if I couldn't stay healthy there wouldn't be a start line for me for race #2. There's no denying that training and racing 2 Iron distance races (as well as a couple
of 1/2 distance races) can take it's toll on the body throughout the course of the season. Due to some strength imbalances my left shoulder had been starting to bother me with swimming and my left hip with running.
I was fortunate enough to have access to the best treatment in town with my coworkers. We used dry needling, biofeedback, active release, and manual joint work to help decrease pain and discomfort and normalize and maximize the efficiency of my movement patterns as much as possible in the time we had. As my training load increases this year I've continued with PT to ensure I stay healthy throughout the year. We're working on run mechanics, posture, breathing patterns and shoulder mobility to get started. I'd rather put the preventative time in now rather than try to recover from in injury in the middle of a training cycle.
There were a lot of pieces that all fell into place to make the turn around happen and happen successfully. A huge part of that was the support system I had behind me throughout both races. I surrounded myself with training partners that believed in me, pushed me, and were some of my
biggest cheerleaders going into both races and on race day itself. My coach was on board and family was on board. The rest was up to me, to listen to my body, be smart with the training, and gain get as much fitness back in the tank as my body would allow. I prioritized sleep and recovery more than I ever had before during those 6 weeks. I aimed for 8+ hours of sleep every night and time in the NormaTec Recovery Boots after key sessions. I focused on my nutrition and made sure my body was getting what it needed to recover and adapt.
|One of my favorite photos - so many emotions.|
Best friend/training partner watching my finish at IMMD.