This is a diary entry.
A raw, naked, honest article of my current state of emotions, 37 days to Ironman Gurye, Korea 2017.
Before I begin, let me reintroduce myself to you. I’m a hard-headed Taurus born girl with the Chinese zodiac of a Tiger. I am 31 years old. I am a passionate person, with grit and perseverance to complete things that I set out to do. But I have also always done it with as much of a smile as I can muster. I am a Sanguine. An optimist, an idealist, and a lover of sunshine and good laughs. I don’t like disappointing the people I love.
When I set out to become an Ironman in 2015, my biggest challenge was sticking to a training regime. I’m a free spirit, I don’t even like having the same type of food 2 days in a row, let alone stick to a training routine for months on end. If you have read my book, you would know that the biggest torment of the Ironman journey for me was simply the training. But I did it. Not without obstacles and challenges, but I did stick to it in the best way possible, and I did become an Ironman.
Fast forward to now, 2017. Last weekend, I followed Gary and the team on a 200 km ride – something I never thought I’d do, or even want to do, ever. When we were about to reach our car, the mileage was only 194km, so Gary asked if I wanted to make it 200. As much pain and fatigue I was in, I agreed, because, hey, 200km would look pretty damn good on my Strava now, wouldn’t it? So we went a little further ahead, but Gary kept going even though my watch had showed 198km by then and I couldn’t understand why. To add on to that, Gary swerved in and out of traffic light junctions and at one point, I thought I saw him almost get hit by a car. I started fuming. And when we finally got back to the car, I was in full blown rage. I started tossing things out of the car, I started yelling at Gary and I started to cry. I don’t even know what I was angry about, except that I was so so so so tired. And in pain.
Today, Gary breaks the news to me that this weekend, they were targeting a 210 km ride. I stopped in my tracks. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. That’s insane! I can’t do it. I won’t do it! No! My face felt flushed, and tears started welling up in my eyes. FEAR. That’s what I felt. I never thought I’d feel this AFRAID to train. As if I was given the death penalty.
Come to think of it, this past couple of weeks, I have been having quite a bit of these emotional outbursts. I am moody, and snappy, and my dear husband receives the worst of it all. I snap back at the smallest things, I cry when I can’t achieve the speed or pace I want to achieve, (heck, I even cried when my foot hurt during the PJ Half Marathon) and I go to bed feeling miserable at night, instead of feeling proud of the workouts I have done. I wake up in the morning, dreading the day’s workout.
And I know what this sounds like. I’m burnt out, over-trained. I am in the midst of a mental breakdown. Maybe? But compared to Gary, I don’t think I do even 75% of what he does. He does so much more, when I do a 35 minute run, he does a 60. When I do a 60 minute bike trainer, he does an hour and 20 minutes. How can I be over-training and he is still surviving this? I feel weak. I feel defeated. This is not what I am used to feeling. I AM an Ironman. I made it. Why do I feel like I am back at square one?
The truth is, I may not be up to par with Gary’s training hours, but I am way over the top with my own personal records. This is by far the most training I have ever done and I need to tell myself that IT IS OKAY to feel tired. As hard as it is to accept that I am not as strong as the guys I ride with, I have to. I am not a strong as my husband, I have to accept that too. A quick chat with my brother, the Ironman, made me realise that I need to see what’s right for me.
I guess, the reason I want to write this out is, I wanted to share how I am feeling. Keeping it in, and pretending that I am tough enough to ride through this journey is bumming me out, so here it is. I am struggling to cope, and that’s OKAY. Everyone is tired. We’re at the peak of our training volume, and it’s only a couple more weeks to taper down, so if you’re feeling just as tired as I am, it’s OKAY. I need to just take it in my stride and just hang on for a couple more weeks. I’m going to be an Ironman again and I’m confident of it.