This might seem a little extreme for a blog post but I promise I have a good reason. Working with two coaches this season has resulted in a suddenly very noticeable increase in both volume and intensity over the past few months (as well as, you know, training for a half Ironman!). I’ve been working with Coach Gerry for years, but Coach Jim is a very recent addition. What’s great about working with the two of them together is the way that the workouts tend to work in tandem––Coach Jim is also a disciple of Gerry’s (along with several other high performing professional athletes), so he has insight into the full scope of my training. And with Jim to push me along now, I’m putting in much more volume than I have before, and making gains in ways I hadn’t expect to make them.
I’m freaking out. I’ve got about 5 weeks to go until the first large scale test of my athletic abilities (Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa!). Too many thoughts are going through my mind. Do I remember how to transition? Should I go back to gels? I haven’t climbed enough. I need to climb more. How good is my run, really? My hydration system sucks.
If you’re a close friend or family member, then I apologize for having blown up your phone at some point over the past couple days with my freak out texts. Strangely enough, I remember a similar period of freaking out ahead of Tahoe, but by then I was so burned out on training that I just wanted it to be over. This time, I don’t want it to be over. I want a time machine.
With the prospect of two (possibly 3) Ironman events looming on this year’s calendar, I spent a lot of time going back and forth on whether or not to use a coach this year. In theory, it’s easy to know what a race will consist of – my next race in Santa Rosa is a half-Ironman. And, in theory it’s simple to determine how your body will adapt in order to get you there. But in the end I decided that professional guidance was a bit like insurance––you might not need it, but you know you’ll be taken care of if you do.
I’m not sure what it was, but something happened in August. Maybe it was the changing of seasons or the tilt in the air as we slipped from summer into fall. Maybe after half a year of tracking candidates and following campaigns, I was ready for a new challenge. Or maybe, simply enough, it was just unfinished business.