Anatomy of a cock-up

My training week’s in tatters and I’m hobbling around on bloody sore (and possibly injured) legs. How did this happen?

It all started on Wednesday. I was getting excited about doing the Robina race at the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series next weekend. So I decided I’d better get in some open water swimming practice. Down to Lake Hugh Muntz I went and after a lively 3km bash I head home with a bit of a sniffle. The sniffle progressed to a snuffle and by dawn the next morning was a full-on head cold.

sick.jpg

This isn’t the first time I’ve caught a cold after swimming in Lake Hugh Muntz. A scan through my training logs revealed this: In 2009-2010 I had 7 swims and got sick 4 times after. Not REALLY sick though – I tended to be back in action after only 1-2 days off. In 2008 all of the main swimming pools on the Gold Coast were closed for a few weeks with maintenance issues. bacteria_0.jpgDuring this period I had 5 swims (in 2 weeks), but was sick after the 1st one only. I’ve heard a few rumours of people getting sick after swimming in Lake Hugh Muntz, but I also know a few people who regularly swim in there and are not affected at all. Googling around led me to a 100+ page GCCC management plan for Lake Hugh Muntz which reveals concerns about the ongoing water quality, but nothing to make me think I can’t swim there. I will continue to swim there, as it really does help with my open water swimming and navigation skills. Hopefully I can build a tolerance to whatever the heck is in there!?!

So Thursday’s training was aborted. I caught up on sleep instead. Ahhh. Friday I was feeling a bit better and it was long run day. So off I went. I was trying to keep my heart rate around 136 but even though I dropped my pace down from the 5:15 min/km I was running last week to 5:30 min/km, my HR still ending up averaging too high. Ididn’t help that my body was trying to deal with the headcold. Nevermind, 145 is still a pretty low HR for me when running (I averaged 175 when running the Gold Coast Half Marathon in 2008!).

I’d planned a 1h50 run having successfully running 1h40 the week before. The plan also had me introducing strides into the long run: every 5 mins starting after 40 mins. 1h50 following the same flat route as last week, took me to the base of Vantage Point Drive and then up to the tower at the top – maybe 80m above sea level. I was pretty excited to get up there for the first time, and I was feeling quite fresh and fit after my rest/sick day the day before, so I ignored those warning voice in my head that was saying “You shouldn’t really be adding hills to your long run without doing a few in shorter runs first!”

So, we have:

  • long run,
  • + 10 mins longer,
  • + strides (first time in a long run),
  • + hills (first time in ages!),
  • + recovering from headcold.

You can see where this is heading!

Saturday my calves are damn sore. I self-massaged them a few times but it hurt like I was grinding my thumb into an open wound – I wondered if I was doing more harm than good! Sunday was to be my super-long ride day. I’d planned a 4-5hr ride which was going to take me over Tomewin and back via Hogan’s Road and Bilambil. It’s a really scenic ride with some nice hills, about 1000m of climbing, and a great flat time trial section through canefields in NSW. When the alarm went off on Sunday, I stood up and my legs were killing me. Not good. I decided to listen to my body and headed out for a flatter 2hour ride along the coast to NSW and back.

yf50_no_racing.gif

So my hard training week has effectively turned into a recovery week and I have two munted calves – and it’s all because the race next weekend. What a cock-up!

Well, my calves are in no shape to race, so the race is off. And that’s probably a good thing because a short, sharp race 17 weeks out plays no part in getting me to the start line in Taupo in March in good Ironman shape. Another lesson learned? I doubt it!

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