Life isn’t always as convenient and fun as a walk through the woods to the creek for a picnic. If it was, people probably wouldn’t be obese, depressed, and unemployed. Instead, life is a lot like a box of chocolates (Thanks Forrest!) where you really don’t know what you are going to get.
In fact, I got nothing but the icky chocolates over the past few weeks. A client with a very complex house-sitting situation left town and my obligation to the business kept me from enjoying my usual triathlon training routine. There were also some additional early morning hours required at work that exacerbated the distractions from training.
To make matters worse, the increased stress led to additional distraction from the proper triathlon training diet. Some how, fast food found its way back into my stomach. Those compromises between fresh home cooked meals and fast, convenient food were pushed to an extreme.
By the time the client returned and my schedule opened up, my training on average per week dropped from 5+ hours to less then 3 hours. And today, my body felt every minute of reduction in training and every over processed carbohydrate I’ve eaten.
Today’s run: 80 min endurance run, which turned into a 58min run that only covered 4.8 miles. Given where I was a few weeks ago, this is shameful. While my muscles were in pretty good shape, the main problem was my inability to breathe and a heart rate that kept spiking higher than Mt Everest. I simply couldn’t catch my breath and as I pushed on, the heart rate rose to ridiculous levels, the chest tightened and life sucked even more.
Previously, I was able to maintain 12:00 pace for quite some distance (1hr +) with a heart rate in the low 160’s. Today, dorking (remember the dork run?) along at 13:00 pace still brought on a heart rate of 170+ with my lungs feeling like filled balloons, gasping for air.
While I really don’t want to believe that a three week reduction in training and a less than ideal diet would cause such poor performance, I have to remind myself that I am sensitive to airborne allergens. With such dry weather and so much burned land around Santa Barbara, the particulate count is at ridiculously high levels. This has impacted my cardio performance before. Perhaps, next time I will try taking a Claritin before the next big workout.
So, with just one week from the Santa Barbara Triathlon, I am not feeling ready. Granted it is a very short distance sprint, but my hopes of crushing last year’s time of one hour and four minutes are diminishing.
All of these distractions have reminded me of how important triathlons and associated training is to me. Time to put into place an action plan to prevent further long-term distractions from happening again. Triathlons are a huge part of me and I can’t ignore it.
I look at the thumbnail above, two pictures of me running 7 months apart, and am reminded of how far I’ve come. I don’t have time to recover from distractions that shouldn’t exist. I am a triathlete.