My Legs Are Tired

Posted by on January 19, 2010 in Training

It’s one of those things that most triathletes face on a regular basis:  tired legs.  I’ve always dealt fairly well, but in the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself skipping workouts because of the deep tissue fatigue I’ve had.  It doesn’t help any that I’ve been playing football with friends with fairly high intensity, or that I’ve been busting my butt on the bike trainer both in solo and group training sessions.  The real problem for me has been generating the discipline to do long runs. With a half-marathon just under 9 weeks away, I’m feeling a lot of pressure, all self-imposed.

I don’t understand fatigue that well.  I acknowledge its presence, meaning I know when my legs are feeling heavy and tired, but I don’t understand why I should be falling victim to the condition in terms of getting out to train.  I have a youthful mentality; I don’t believe my chronological age, and still believe that I should have near-instant resiliency.  The empirical results however are becoming an element of stress for me.  Perfect example was this morning; I committed to myself that I’d run a 7.5 mile loop through Central Park, but when I got up, the feelings of fatigue made me instantly bail on the plan.  Later, in the shower, I beat myself up over the colossal failure to get out.  As I look back on this morning, I realize that if there was a gun to my head, I’d be able to run and do so well, but I didn’t and now feel as if I was weak mentally.  I beat myself a lot over this kind of thing, but the pendulum swings both ways.  When I am tired and when I overcome it and complete a training session, I feel fantastic and tough for having overcome things.

With a tough social schedule this week, and with a trip to Vermont to go snowboarding/skiing this coming Thurs-Sun, I don’t have many opportunities to get out and make amends.  I might be able to run tonight, but it would be a 10 p.m. start.  I’ll swim tomorrow morning, guaranteed.  And, I’ll cycle indoors on Thursday morning.  If I get all three in, it’ll help mitigate the current freak-out.  Then, in Vermont, I’ll burn a gazillion calories and work the legs a lot, so that’ll be good.  On Sunday, I’m not going to board or ski, but I do plan on doing a long snow run.  There are snowmobiling trails in and around the house, so I’ll try to do a 30 minute run in one direction, then negative split the return.

Re the NYC Half-Marathon on March 21st, I’m nervous.  I will try to pick up my mileage between now and March 7th, (since March 14th is the Miami Triathlon), but even if I do, the half-marathon will be the day after another short triathlon (ski-bike-run).  At this point, I am considering offering my slot to someone else, but I am also considering doing the half anyway as a survival event.  I always learn a lot from pushing myself to the extreme and in this scenario, it could serve to be very helpful in light of the brutal Alcatraz race on May 2nd.  Argh, even talking about that event is stressing me out; I have so much work to do between now and then including tons of work in the hills.

Dammit, I thought this was supposed to be fun!

On a separate note, my good friend Matt has decided to do the Nation’s Triathlon in DC on September 12th.  It’ll be his first, so I’m excited to bring him into the fold.  I hope he’ll get hooked.  Another good friend Carin will be participating as well.  She’s done a couple of races already including the NYC Triathlon in July 2009.  I’ve offered advice and tips to her, and I’m excited to see her in this event.  I also found out that a bunch of my new teammates on the Terrier Tri team are also competing, so it’ll be very cool to have a great group of people around me.  I expect to be feeling great that day, and with the opportunity for my Uncle Charlie who lives in DC to finally see me in what will likely be my 76th triathlon, it’ll mark a great way to close out the 2010 season.  A few weeks later, I’ll begin training for Ironman South Africa, so rest assured that I’ll be enjoying every second of this last 2010 race.

Now to get my butt back to training.  Writing this, I realize, is therapeutic and motivational.  All I can think about now is getting out to run!

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