….These were the words Hillary told me as I was chatting with her just prior to my travel back home from France. The underlying reminder to me here was that yes – we just accomplished a HUGE milestone for us as a coach/athlete combo. We nailed it. But, this was a gentle reminder that my season wasn’t quite over yet.
After this trip I spent a week doing one thing: Sleeping. I kid you not. I slept 10-12 hours easy every night. Took 90 minute naps in the middle of the day. And still felt exhausted! About a week after coming home though I started to feel a light at the end of the tunnel and, while I’m still having NO issue sleeping well through the night, I’ve been able to get back to some real workouts and see how the bod would respond.
I’m happy to report so far so good and it looks like all systems are go for IM Chattanooga at the end of the month! I’m super excited for this because I will also get to spend time with 3 of my athletes and share the course with them on the 27th!
I’ve had a lot of questions since the double about how it was done. I touched on one of the biggest points above: sleep! Not only for recovery, but it was SUPER important that I prioritized getting full nights of sleep during the training cycle as well. This was tough sometimes. When things get busy, I absolutely hate letting myself sleep in, which some days could mean that I was starting my training day at 9am. Just thinking about that gives me anxiety now as I LOVE the 6am-10am period for knocking out a training session and some work before the world is really awake. But, learning to shift things back a bit was absolutely necessary, and reminding myself that sleep is an important part of this job (lucky me!!) was necessary.
FOOD! Eating was also key here. I was most certainly lean and fit for these races but I definitely was not the leanest I’ve ever been for a race. In fact, going into Vichy I felt quite puffy as I fought off the post-race water retention from Copenhagen. I didn’t get on the scale much during training unless I was concerned weight was too low. When you train like a maniac you also have to eat like one too, and just one day where I didn’t get enough calories in would set me back in training for the next 2 days. I learned my lesson quick there, and made a constant effort to be fueling up. There was no counting calories, just a constant effort to eat all. The. Time.
Massage. I also stepped up my massage game for this training block. Every week, I have been having an in-home massage and I have to say, it’s made the world of difference to my body! It’s important to realize that just when you go pro suddenly your body isn’t immune to feeling the effects of training! I still wake up and take my first steps like an 80 year old woman. And I still would be grimacing after sessions to do things like bend down to pick up my keys when I dropped them. The body certainly takes a beating during this build. But I am lucky to have found Anne Pike who has worked wonders for my recovery with her massage skillz. A weekly massage, whenever humanly possible, was added into the routine. All of my little tweaks and pulls that seemed to incessantly bug me last season miraculously went away, and despite all the hard work I was still able to head into each day strong and confident that my body was holding up well.
I plan to continue to focus on these 3 as I get ready for Chattanooga!