Friday, July 6, 2012

Fighting Fatigue

The past couple weeks were big training weeks.  Hitting hours of training that some people would consider worthy of a full time job.  The high volume training period closed out with a 200km bike ride followed by a short brick run.  This week I've battled mental and physical exhaustion while preparing and tapering for an Oly race on Saturday.  It turns out studying and preparing for a Board Exam and Jurisprudence exam in the same week is a bit mentally exhausting in and of itself.

The high volume weeks were good.  I nailed some of my longer workouts during the week and loved every second of Total 200.  Total 200 was a 200 mile or 200km bike ride starting in DC, heading East towards Deale, MD, south and west back to DC.  The temperatures may have been up to 100 but I never felt as though it was that warm.  I thought the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and I got to spend the day on my bike with friends, what could be better?  I played a little with my nutrition since I didn't bring Gu Brew with me and once I was out I was reliant on the ride provided water and Heed.  Cold Heed isn't horrible, but warm Heed is absolutely disgusting.  I tried a Camelback Elixir as well, no good.  The past couple long workouts I've done I've tried to play with my nutrition and learned that my digestive system doesn't like it when I do that.  I've now seen my nutrition a second time around a few too many times on the bike.  I actually feel better once I lose it though, it doesn't leave me feeling weak or ill.  I just need to nail down the nutrition and stick with what works for Ironman as it will be a long and hot day.  I closed out the ride with a short brick run to get the legs turning over.  I originally planned on making it a long brick run but opted to shorten it as this was by far the longest ride I have ever done.  I couple miles into the run I started feeling great - not that I was running fast by any means, but I could have kept on going.  Ironman is going to be awesome :)

After Total 200 I had to shift my focus from training to studying for a few days.  The National Physical Therapy Exam was on Monday.  250 multiple choice questions on the computer.  I hate sitting for much longer than it takes me to write a blog post so sitting through 250 questions, with no water, was not fun.  I was able to throw in a quick run and get in a good swim after the test.  Tuesday I attempted a shortened version of my track workout before buckling down to study for my Jurisprudence exam.  My first mile was great - and I fell off a bit after that, even the National Park Service employee noticed I looked fatigued compared to previous workouts.  Not my stellar track workout that I like to have the week of a race, but I also did a lot more the weekend prior than I've ever done before.  I used Wednesday to get in some running and riding with friends before taking a well deserved day off.  I crammed some more on Thursday for the Jurisprudence exam and managed to actually get stressed about a test.  I don't usually stress about tests - but for some reason this 50 question standardized test had me beyond stressed.

Now that the exams are over I am able to turn my focus back to training and racing and enjoy the crap out of my last month of freedom.  I have a few more high volume weeks of IM training to crush and 10 days to ride, run, and swim in Colorado.  Before all that I'll race my 3rd Oly of the year.  Coming off my last Oly of the 2011 season I had some big goals for the Oly distance this year - but then IM training took over and I've had to prioritize a bit.  It's hard for me to go into a race that's not a key race for me.  I've ha a couple key races earlier this season including USAT Collegiate Nationals and and Kinetic 1/2.  General Smallwood is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Championship so there is going to a huge contingent of DC Tri folks pushing me to go faster and work harder on the course.  That also means if I can pull off a result it gets more points for the club and who doesn't like getting a good result anyhow?  That being said I only kind of tapered for it and my training hasn't been specific to Oly distance racing but my training has been consistent and strong so I'm excited to see what I can do at Smallwood tomorrow.   Good luck DC Tri!

Swim Smart.  Ride Steady.  Run Strong.  Crush it.


  1. Go Holli! See you tomorrow :)

    P.S. I have been so tired this week as well.