10 days out from Victoria 70.3. That final push. Taper week is near, but it's not here yet. And man these last weeks have been a slog.
I use this training guide called "The Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide" by Matt Fitzgerald. I really like it. It takes all the guess work out of training. Just look at the day, do the workout, bingo bango you're race ready in a few very long weeks!
Only problem is it's hard...damn hard. And these last few sessions focused on "race pace" effort have left me drained. Mentally, physically, emotionally drained. And I look it. And I feel it. My audible "old man" noises have increased at lease four fold in the last 14 days (think groans when standing up, sighs when sitting down, odd exhales when exiting the car, various random cracks and pops, you get the point).
So here's the interesting part. I may be walking around like a creaky heavy-breathing zombie but according to all of my metrics I'm stronger! My heart rate is lower at speed, my output is higher, my run times are faster and my energy metabolizing is on point.
But that doesn't mean the workouts get any easier. If anything, they get worse! And just yesterday I simultaneously pulled muscles in my right foot, left calf and left neck (I think that's the technical term...?) all at the same time while doing nothing more than a big ol' cat stretch on the chesterfield! Some may use the word hero, but I digress....
Also yesterday (and the day before) I totally crashed in my workouts. Like, totally.
I've entered what I call the "hypersensitive state" before race day. Every little crack or twinge of pain seems like it could be catastrophic. Couple that with the sheer training volume leading up to taper week and all of my muscles are like tensioned guitar strings; one wrong pluck away from snapping, but when strummed just right they make beautiful music (God how cheesy was that!?).
Being on the brink means I'm ready. My body will recover next week and be stronger than ever. My brain will recover too, and my motivation will return.
So stay the course. I may feel at my weakest, but by all accounts I am stronger than I've ever been. Race Day ahoy!