As the days get longer and summer comes into full swing, it seems like these three things are the focus of my weekends. Summer has definitely arrived, it’s currently 106 degrees outside my door, and with that, new worries in my training. Obviously the importance of staying hydrated is huge and I am constantly drinking water, but it never seems like enough. I am also battling the sun every workout. I am very light skinned, thank you mom, and that presents challenges when you are training in the sun for hours. I am very aware of this and have made it a point to always have sunscreen on, reapply, and stay in the shade as much as possible. This was not working. I was getting burnt during every bike ride. One ride I reapplied sunscreen three times and still came home burnt (not as bad, but definitely still red). It is difficult to stop and reapply sunscreen so often and to carry a big bottle with you when you are trying to ride…it wasn’t working. So I finally caved and bought some Desoto “cool wings” to protect my arms, shoulders, and back. So far I’ve only worn them once and surprise, I did not burn (well, anyplace that the wings were covering at least). They are supposed to be cooling so that when you sweat, they actually cool your body temperature down, but that is yet to be determined. What I do know, is that I have to wear them. I can’t keep burning myself every time, and it makes for an even more difficult recovery when I am coming home burnt and exhausted.
My legs and the back of my neck are still an issue that I can’t seem to find a solution for (I am not wearing pants), so I will continue to carry and reapply sunscreen for now.
Luckily, this has yet to bother me on my runs, as my runs are still on the “shorter” (when the heck did 9 miles become short?!) end and I haven’t burned yet. But the runs will get longer and I will then need to carry sunscreen with me on my runs. I haven’t figured out how this is going to play out on raceday yet. I was not planning on carrying anything with me on the course…
Besides the burning, I have been developing some amazing tan lines that are just going to be ridiculous come November. I have tan lines from my shorts (2 different lengths), my watch, my bike gloves, my bike shirt, my running tanks, my calf sleeves, and the summer barely started! I have two weddings this summer and finding a dress to cover those is going to be a challenge.
I have also become an epic nap taker. I have always been good at naps, anywhere, anytime (plenty of naps have been had in my car during lunch or right before going into the gym after work). But I tended to do power naps…give me 10 minutes and I would pop right back up and be ready to go. With all this training, I am tired, and worn out by the sun, and I just sleep. Not sure if this is totally normal yet, or if my body is just adjusting to the longer distances, but I nap…for hours. If I sit on the couch, I’m done for. Usually within about 5 minutes I am out, and I am in a deep sleep for a good two hours. It’s glorious and apparently needed, but it definitely takes up a lot of time. Around these parts in the summer months though, there isn’t much else you want to be doing than resting inside a cool house. But if you need me on the weekends between the hours of 1-3, I am probably sleeping 🙂
My distances are going well in my training. I’m slowly building up my running miles. I did my longest bike distance last week, 70 miles. Mentally for me, this was a big deal. 70 seemed long, and for the first time after that ride, I felt like 112 was actually possible. I had done 67 miles before, but I came home crying after that ride because I was so sore and tired. After the 70 (other than needing to eat a little more), I felt good. So that was a big accomplishment. I also did my longest swim distance this past week. It was not all at once, I was swimming 400 meter repeats, but I still got the distance in and I felt good. I’m getting there!
I still definitely have moments of doubt about whether or not I can actually do this. But I am becoming much more confident. I truly feel that I signed up for the race with almost zero belief that I could do the distances. I bought the insurance so that I could start to train and then pull out when I wasn’t able to keep up. But this journey is so rewarding and with each workout (even those that don’t go so well), my confidence builds. I might do the same distance, but I feel stronger than I did last week. Or I’m getting faster. Or my distance is increasing. Each time I surprise myself that my body is continuing to get stronger and go farther. It’s so encouraging. And when that happens, I feel more and more like I will be able to complete an Ironman. It’s still going to be hard as heck and hurt like hell, but maybe I can do this. My goal for the next couple of months is to maintain the distances I am at now and focus on refining my nutrition during the workouts, and taking less breaks, therefore getting faster.
My 70.3 is 10 weeks from today, and I want to feel strong for that. I have already hit all the distances in each discipline, so I know I can do it, I just want to be able to do them all together, and strong.
I have a couple trips coming up this summer which I was initially concerned about how that would effect my training. Worried about where I would be able to find a bike or a pool to train. But I have changed my view on it and I am SO looking forward to the amazing landscapes that I will be running and biking through while I am gone, in addition to the much cooler weather. I know I will still get the workouts in when I can.
As far as our house goes, we are back in, and were back in on that Wednesday after my last post. It took a little time to get things back in order (thank you 4 day holiday weekend), but for the most part they are back. Still have a few things to organize, and still have to paint and put in baseboards, but that seems so minor now. We get to enjoy our house and cook food in our kitchen and it has been great :-). Very grateful to have our normal routine back.
Lastly, I have a lot of thoughts and emotions surrounding the many tragic deaths to bikers that have occurred in the valley in the last few weeks. I don’t have the energy to write an entire post about it right now. But what I do want to say is PLEASE watch out for people on bikes. Pay attention, stay off your phone, know the laws. The majority of people on their bikes are following the rules and laws and are just trying to get in some good training. It is very scary to ride your bike out there. Give them some space, yield to them where appropriate, and PLEASE just pay attention. I will do my part as a driver and will continue to try to be very alert on the bike and will continue to follow the biking laws.
As always, thank you all for your support, whether you are reading these posts, giving me encouraging words over social media, or checking in to see how the training is going. It really does help!