Monday morning, the day after the New York City Marathon. Thirteen days until the Ultra and I felt like I had been hit by a Mack Truck.
(Did you take a sick day from work?)
No, I put one foot in front of the other and made my way to the car.
(Why didn’t you just take a sick day?)
Being a Monday, I was determined to be in the pool by 5:30 a.m.
(Why would you do that?)
I wanted to stretch out those legs. I start every week with a swim and I didn’t want to start making excuses.
(You know that the week starts on Sunday, right?)
When you race on Sunday, your week starts on Monday.
(So now what? Run another marathon? Hibernate until the Ultra Marathon?)
When the Apollo astronauts were landing on the moon there was a point called the “dead man’s curve.”
Too close to the surface to abort, they had to be sure that their every move was on target. That’s what I was.
I had used the marathon as my training.
Training was done. Now I just needed to take it easy.
(Do you understand what those words mean?)
No, not really.
(So, what did you do?)
I wrote a plan. A “not to train” training plan.
(I don’t understand.)
I mapped out exactly what I would and would not do for 13 days.
I didn’t want to get hurt, but I knew I couldn’t sit still. The best way not to get hurt is to bike in the house.
(Like circles in the living room?)
From September to April, I keep it mounted in the sun room. The bike is ergonomically fitted to my body. The only way I could get hurt is if the bike fell on me.
(Isn’t your bike like 10 pounds?)
Ok, maybe not the best analogy. I confined myself to 30 and 60 minute sets on my triathlon bike.
I did 500 meter swims. I ran 5Ks.
(You trained for a sprint triathlon?)
It’s “not training” that is the hardest part of racing. The closer you get to race day, the more you feel the need to “do more.”
It would have been near impossible for me to sit still, so I confined myself to distances I wouldn’t get hurt doing.
It’s important to know your demons.
(What did you eat?)
Anything I wanted. My go to food for those two weeks were pizzas.
I would walk into EJ’s Pizza and devour a whole one. I was about to run 37 miles, so it didn’t matter what I consumed.
I was going to burn it all off. I even had a few for lunch at work.
My coworkers used to be shocked to see me devour a whole pizza during lunch in the teacher’s lounge.
That week they just looked over at me and asked:
“Race this weekend?”