Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy. – Dada Vaswani
So far I have written only about the good and positive stuff. But as in life, it’s not all roses. For the sake of history, I’ll put down also some setbacks I’ve come across on the road. Luckily there have been no serious issues (knock on the wood).
There is time, but you have to make compromises. At least for me it is pretty difficult to joggle between family, work and trainings. The key is to have an agreement with your better half, that during the training period, you will be less available. Even simplest training plan helps here. We use Google Calendar to schedule our days and we both have access to each other calendars, so we are always aware, what the day/week brings and how to manage the time. Of course it is not feasible to stick to the plan 100%, there will be unplanned events, and there will be days where you have to miss a workout. Due to work, family or other reasons. Don’t sweat it! For me it was mentally really difficult to miss a training. I felt that if I miss this workout, I will get weaker! Wrong! With all those hours you put into training, one missed workout doesn’t have any significance. Of course. if you’ll miss two weeks, it will be a problem, but then it’s completely different kind of problem (motivation and consistency). What brings us to the next topic.
I’ve been lucky enough to stay away from the serious injuries. But still, I had some minor problems that forced me to re-schedule some workouts (replace cycling and running with swimming and vice versa) – pain in the lower back, that forced me to take some medications and skip a few workouts, pain in the calves that was the result of the bike fit (added Aero bars and changed the seat position and height) and that eventually made me change the saddle height to the previous position. And now I know why it is a bad idea to walk around in flip-flops (lost half of the toenail, fortunately didn’t make me to cancel the run workouts).
One problem that I encountered is also related to ones health. In the beginning of June I decided to do a quite comprehensive blood test to see how my body is handling the training load. Most of the values were OK, but the test showed really low level of ferritin and it messed up also some other values. It meant that I needed to start taking Ferrous Sulfate. Two months later the figures were already better, but far from ideal.
Two weeks ago I had first major setback in trainings. First, I had issues with overall nutrition, I had bad appetite, didn’t eat enough and lost 2kg. On one hand it’s quite good to carry less weight during runs but on the other hand, my body actually became weaker. And second, during the last long ride (145km) I forgot to follow my nutrition plan, drank too little and didn’t consume enough carbs. After the ride I was more tired than after an intensive race. I decided to take a week off. Only did three easy swims, and one really easy run at the end of the week. Luckily I was almost the whole week busy with IRONMAN 70.3 Otepää Social Media, after all, it was the race week! I will not start to count how many hours I actually slept during this week, but I definitely ate a lot and tried to enjoy the training-free period.
On Monday, I decided to start the new training cycle with intensive bike ride just to see if the body has recovered. Everything was quite ok, legs were good and HR was also under control again (Strava link). I have my motivation back, gained those 2kg’s I lost and feeling is normal again. Next up, Gran Fondo Estonia!
Only 6 weeks to go until IRONMAN Mallorca!