Sometimes It Feels Like Hazing.

The things we go through to enter the (half) Ironman sisterhood and brotherhood. My hazer isn’t some beer-guzzling 20-year old. She’s the sweetest coach ever – a super nurturing, upbeat cheerleading, retired pro triathlete. Just what I need to get through the race and help with the grief. For weeks, I’ve followed Beth’s training programs to the letter.

Last week, I did 7800 yards of swimming, 55 miles of biking, and 20 miles of running. There were lots of drills in all three disciplines and a 10K mixed in. This week, we had to make some adjustments.

The mental game begins when you don’t want to fess up that maybe you’re not as tough as your coach thought. Do I shatter her delusional, oh-so-favorable impression of me? Do I shatter my own dream of finishing this thing if I don’t finish everything she maps out for me? Or do I give it the old college try and find out what I’m made of for the first time? Oh what-the-hell, maybe I can do all that. Oh hell, maybe I can’t…that’s what hit me on Tuesday when I felt a pang in my hamstring. Maybe I’ll just do the run without the tempo intervals. I hadn’t slept well the night before. I was cranky. I felt off. I know the mantra “Listen to your body.”

Wednesday, I did my 2600-yard swim with 2 sets of timed 1000-yard intervals with an easy 50 yards in between. I PR’d both. I was spent. The only writing I got in that afternoon was a couple of emails to my coach. I dropped the hint that I might need an extra day off next week. Okay, I may have mentioned that I hit the wall. (Some Ironwoman wannabe. More like IronWhiner) She fired back, “Take it now, if you need it.” I love my coach. I thought I could hold off until Saturday, but it became blatantly apparent that my body wanted it today, making for a double switcheroo of this week’s workouts.

I may be over trained. I may be fighting off a bug. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m just utterly overwhelmed by what’s to come. This morning, she sent me the schedules for the next two weeks, which immediately produced that deer-caught-in-the-headlights panicked look with a WTF smirk that can only be reproduced by the Franchise Tax Board. Tonight I will rest and watch Survivor. Tomorrow, I hope I feel like one.