Three weeks ago I shelved my Ironman NZ training while we prepared for the arrival of baby #4. She safely made it into the world on the 15th of September and has been occupying our time quite nicely ever since. Four months ago I drew a picture of how I thought this baby would affect my training:
That picture is pretty much spot-on. We are still under the right-hand lip of the mushroom cloud; I haven’t donned lycra or speedos for two weeks and that won’t change for at least another week, after which the older kids finish their school holidays and go back to school.
But I have been running. Quite a lot.
Running is really helping me get through this time in good shape. Sleep deprivation, stress and worry load up on me when we have a new baby. It happens – I can’t avoid it. But if I can broker a mutual deal to get out the door for 30 mins to an hour every day, if I throw on the cap and trainers, if I get out there and hit the roads and trails, I always come back with a great big smile on my face. Every single time. An outdoor run clears my mind. It twists all my stress, depression and anxiety knobs back to zero and I can once more really enjoy the new baby time.
For my triathlon fitness, I’d love to swim and bike right now, but they just take too much time – too much time to get to the start line, and then too long to get the blood pumping. I considered using the windtrainer for the bike, but being stuck in the garage, inhaling lawnmower fumes and staring at the wall, requires more motivation than I have right now. And would that leave me feeling like I’m a kid again? I think I’ll save that motivation for the 20 week training block.
So here’s how the fitness looks now.
Swim and bike are in freefall. But my running fitness, at 30 TSS/d, is not far off my all time high of 32.4 TSS/d. Another solid week of running should see a new high score there. And the best part is that the running injuries are just staying at the “little niggle” stage and not progressing any further (fingers crossed). Perhaps I’ve learnt to listen to my body and back off when a niggle appears? Or it could be the stretching. Or the self-massaging. Or the lack of biking. Or…
I’ll probably keep building the running for the next 3 weeks (might even add a bit of speed/hills work) right up until I start my 20 week IMNZ training block. Then I’ll cut the running right back and load up the cycling with 2-3 big weeks. That should restore my cycling fitness and place me well to start executing my chosen training plan. (I’d better start sorting that training plan out, eh?)
I’m sure the new baby will have other ideas!