Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What a difference a year makes

Protein and Sunshine
It's already July and that means that Vineman 70.3 is THIS Sunday!  Originally, I had signed up for Ironman Frankfurt AND Vineman, apparently not knowing how to look at a calendar and impulse purchasing Frankfurt. This resulted in the realization that the races were a mere 7 days and one long inter-continental flight apart.  Both races were never going to happen...either I was going to still be in Europe watching #letour, or I would be here and racing Vineman.  Vineman is one of my fave races and I think this year will be number 9 in a row...I'd like to know how that is possible!  I couldn't break the streak right?!!  Thankfully this year, the organizers let anyone who had completed 5 or more Vineman's register early and not have to panic about registering within the first 30 seconds and hoping that Active.com doesn't fail midway through the transaction.  This is also the only way I know that I had done 8. I was sure that I had done 5, but had no IDEA that I am so old  that I've been doing triathlon for so long.  I think I still tell people "oh, about 5 years" when they ask how long I've been racing.  Goofball.

A year ago over July 4th weekend, I had hit the bottom stores of my iron reserve within my body and didn't know what in the heck was going on.  Ironman Texas had been a complete bust and I had had no idea why I had raced so poorly.  Then I remember going to to masters on the 4th and swimming two lanes down (10 seconds/100 slower as a base than my usual) and not even being able to lead the lane.  I was advised to not do Vineman and to let the iron continue to come back up.  I got it tested the week of Vineman and consulted with a Dr that if I raced, it wasn't going to plummet my stores, but that a participation in the race was more advisable than a RACE.  Duly noted.  And that's exactly what I did...I don't think my body was capable of much more than that.  I was so glad to just be able to race and ever since then, with continued supplementation of Iron, my levels have returned to normal.

How you look when you have energy!
Side note here- I was re-tested at one point and the Dr (non sports of course) said, ohh your levels are back up to normal, you can stop supplementing.  So let me get this right, if my levels are back to normal and holding constant while I am STILL supplementing, why on earth would I stop?  I love my health care provider in a general wellness sense, but man I wish they had a special "for athlete's only" section where Dr's who were also athletes could treat us weirdos.  Another thing that I have learned about iron supplementation over the past year is that as SOON as you become a slacker and stop being diligent about supplementing (again, my experience here) is that the levels go down pretty quickly.  And when the levels go down, it's just an ever so noticeable, hmmm, where'd all my energy go?  And you don't always notice that as anything out of the ordinary, because you are in training so you are supposed to be tired...

So this past weekend, on the 4th, I went to masters and swam in the sunshine and remembered that "wow, it's been a year since the poo hit the fan".  THANK BUDDAH that I'm not in that place any more.  If nothing else, I will have the period of time from after Los Cabos this year, through now as a better training block than LY since I am healthier.  And who knows how long it took to really return to proper training after Vineman last year. So that makes me feel good about the build leading up to Kona that is just underway.
What I dream about...

So this Sunday, it's time to shake out the cobwebs.  I haven't raced since Ironman Los Cabos...I was supposed to race Escape From Alcatraz, but my heart wasn't in it and jumping off of a boat into freezing water had zero appeal, so I decided to save the hunger for another day.  I think that my true passion lies in racing LONG distance and that Ironman is where I have the most fun.  The other races are tougher for me to get excited for, as my most favorite part of the year is October in Hawaii.  That's the race that finds me in my dreams year round.

Bon Courage to all of those racing this weekend!

No comments: