I don’t like being reminded of the date these days. It’s getting closer to race day, and though I’m starting to feel more prepared, I still have a LONG way to go.
It seems training never goes as planned—for anyone. My daughter is dealing with a terrible time crunch that makes training nearly impossible. My son has misbehaving calves that are causing him no end of pain and suffering and, at this point, might force him to defer the race to next year. And I’m still battling my Achilles, though I am finally seeing some progress.
I’ve been working one-on-one with my amazing Pilates instructor at The Movement Studio, specifically to rectify this situation. For weeks now we’ve been using a jump board on the reformer, jumping and landing over and over again, first on one foot, then on the other. It’s a killer glute workout, especially if you use a band around your thighs.
But—I didn’t get it. What was the point of this?
Then one day last week I went out for my sad little 5k run (as a friend joked, only 37k to go), and as my feet hit the pavement over and over I started hearing Mark’s voice in my head from the jump board: “Soft landing.” And I thought, Oh. Soft landing. Like, RIGHT NOW. Immediately my feet came down differently—they came down the way we’d been training them to come down for weeks on end on the jump board. Duh.
This has changed everything. While I’ve given up looking for The Answer, the way my foot lands is certainly a big piece of the puzzle. Running is not yet problem-free, but it’s definitely feeling better than it did a month ago.
The 3k swims are no longer scary and don’t require a nap afterwards. Same with the 100k-plus rides, although this past weekend my weather app failed me and I ended up riding in both rain and hail for over two hours. By the time I got home I was a shivering mess. But the ride itself was not as hard as it had been a few weeks ago.
As a swimming friend likes to say, “You’re never ready for Ironman.” The closer it gets, the more I believe this to be true. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually feel ready. And injury seems to lurk around every corner. I wake up one morning with a creaky knee. Another morning it’s an achy shoulder. I feel like by the time race day comes around I’m going to look like this: