Wednesday did not really go as planned. There are just some days you lack the motivation to train. After working ten hours and sitting in traffic for an hour swimming and running tend to lose their luster. I got home, got some food in me, tried to perk up and made my way to the SRC (ASU's student recreation center). I swam about 1000 meters, and then quit. Got on the treadmil, ran about 4 miles, and then quit. What a terrible day of training. I was pretty disappointed with my overall effort. I vowed to make Thursday a better day.
I had two options on Thursday: 1) Wake up at 3:00 a.m. and ride my bike for 4.5 hours, then go to school, and then go to work. Or 2) Sleep in, skip school, ride for 4.5 hours, then go to work. It is not hard to understand why I chose the latter. Some may call that "senioritis", but I call it priorities :)
So, like planned, I finally got to sleep in a little bit; 8 a.m.. Typically, the first hour of riding functions solely as a warm up, the middle 2.5 hours are a little bit below race pace (about 18 mph), and the last hour, if I have some remaining energy I try to push a little bit without making my heart rate jump too much. I have been riding the Bee-Line highway which is the bike course for Ironman Arizona. On the weekends it is fairly busy, or atleast I see another rider every few minutes on the course. But this Thursday it was rather bleak. I saw one other rider the entire 4.5 hours. Talk about being lonely.
These long rides in which I am alone for 4-6 hours are probably the most mentally draining workouts of this entire experience. You can only keep yourself company for so long until thoughts of quitting start entering your mind. "Why the hell are you doing this," "It would be much easier to be sleeping in right now," "All your friends are sleeping in," "You are not even a good triathlete," "At this rate you won't even finish under 15 hours," "You think you will qualify for Kona? Good joke." All these thoughts come and go throughout the workouts. And the longer I am out there the worse it gets. The volume of training is not what usually gets to me, it's this mental overload that continually wears on you. The only thing that keeps me going sometimes is knowing that soon enough I will be hearing the crowd cheering, and the announcer at the finish line saying "Daley Ervin you are an Ironman!"
"All men who have achieved greatness have been great dreamers"
-Orison Swett Marden