Back to Work

Today I hit the Refresh button, literally, on my Ironman training. After a brief moment of reflection, I reset my countdown clock on the blog to Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  It's time to look ahead and move forward.  I basked in the post-IMAZ glow for two weeks, and now it's time to get back to work. Of course, that's easier said than done -- especially after not exercising since the race.  So, I added a little motivation on my bathroom mirror.  Something I'll look at every morning when I get out of bed.  I still have "Remember THIS Day" and "It's the journey, not the destination" scrawled on notes stuck to my mirror as well.  But this note is smack-dab in the center.  Staring me in the face.

I know this Post-It might seem harsh.  But I need to kick-start myself emotionally as well as physically.

That's what I attempted to do this morning with my Fortius trail run in Agoura.  Several of the usual suspects (Richard, Ann, Mike, Karen, David) were running the CIM marathon in Sacramento. But we still had a solid turnout on this crisp, cloudy morning, including a new teammate, Chris.  He volunteered at IMAZ near the first aid station on the bike route.  I'll look forward to sharing what I know about the course with him as he begins his own journey towards Ironman Number One.

The plan was to run for two hours today, but my IT bands wouldn't cooperate.  As you can imagine, my legs started tightening up around the third or fourth mile.  We weren't even doing much elevation today (600 feet total).  My left leg really started acting up around the turnaround point for us (just shy of an hour), the same burning, tingling sensation around my lower kneecap I felt at IMAZ around the eighth mile of the run.

Something is definitely not right with my leg.  I mashed my way through the rest of the run, taking brief moments to stretch my left leg and then my right -- which started acting up around the seventh mile.  The only bit of good news I can take from this run is that I was never winded or overly tired.  Fitness-wise, I feel fine. Once again, like at IMAZ, my body betrayed me.  But I'm not sure I can really write that in good conscience since I didn't stretch in two weeks, gained five pounds and generally did nothing constructive for my training.

I'll be fixing that starting today.  I've applied ice bags, rubbed pain gel, stretched, and even howled in pain from being overly aggressive with the foam roller.

Yep, time to start training again.

I also ran with a new pair of shoes today, the Asics 2160 trail shoes.

I bought them last night from Road Runner in West Hills, in a half-size larger as often recommended for running shoes.  This is my third pair of Asics trail runners, the 2140 and 2150 being the previous versions of the 2160.  It's too early to offer a legitimate review, but I can say that my heels were a little sore after the run, which is unusual, and the shoe was tighter than I expected last night when I wore them to a dinner party to break them in.  I've had nothing but great luck with my Asics so I'm confident this pair will eventually work out well.  While the Asics 2150s were a little on the heavy side (around the 11.5+ oz mark), I rarely had fit-related issues and after IMAZ my feet weren't sore.

So, on two wobbly legs I managed to run just over 10 miles in just under 1:45:00.  Not my best run, but for my first run back, I'll take it.

And, as my Post-It note implies, I certainly won't basking in that "accomplishment" for very long.

After all, Ironman Coeur d'Alene is nearly seven months away.

198 days and counting.

PS: Here's my blog post from one year ago today.  It's interesting to me that one year ago today was apparently the first moment in my training where I realized I could truly become an Ironman.  I'm really glad I wrote this stuff down!