A tough couple of days.
Friday, May 20 - light headed, dizzy, confused stomach
Morning swim was fine, day was good, evening run not good. Out of the office at a decent time, I was on the Thames path by 5.30. But shortly after hitting the trail, my head went light with some dizzy spells and stomach felt completely empty but not hungry. So, I pushed on at a slow pace. Tough, but I eventually reached 60min and attempted a 10min hard effort. A weak performance but given the situation, I couldn't be too upset.
I decided to skip core and weights and meet friends for a pint. Quick shower and post work-out feeding and feeling better. Rushed to the pub and got myself a Guinness, ahhhh! 30mins later, 3/4 of a pint down, I was standing and chatting and a quick dizzy spell hit me. Wobbly, but not enough for anyone to notice, I placed the pint on the table and decided that was my sign to go.
Headed home for dinner with Natsuko, but that wasn't enough. 10pm came around and I felt starving. Within 10mins I had downed over 500 calories of fruit and bread (heavy bread, my comfort food), and it hit me, my first binge of training. Even this didn't satisfy my hunger, but I could see where this was going, so bed seemed a better idea than 1000 or more unnecessary calories.
Saturday, May 21 - feeling weak
Up for standard 6am start but couldn't get out of bed. Feeling weak and generally not up for exercise, I laid back down. 90mins later, I realized it was too late to get in the full 5hr session and then spend time with Natsuko (it being her birthday), so I decided to switch Sat and Sun, 3hr session today and 5hr session tomorrow. Forced myself from bed, out on the bike, easy 100RPM cycle, shook out the cob webs and feeling better. Run was ok, just happy I got it all in and had time for afternoon picnic in Haggerston Park before heading to Viajante for her b-day dinner.
Sunday, May 22 - wind, wind, wind
Up at a decent time on Sunday, out for 4hr bike and 45min run but mother nature had a different idea. As I set out down Kingsland Road, she seemed determined to stop me in my place, but I pushed on. Reaching Richmond Park and hoping for some respite from this relentless foe, I quickly found the open park was a breeding ground for today's wind. There was one point that a strong gust of wind dropped rpm's from 92 to 84 without warning and without any change in gear, the strain in my legs seemed to double instantly. Mentally this was tough, 4hrs straining through the weakest gears, the whole time feeling my effort was completely inadequate.
Finally finished and exhausted. This 4hr 45min felt twice the effort of the one a few weeks ago, and I almost immediately headed for a nap. Two hours later, I emerged in a good mood but still feeling the effects of the wind (which mentally extended into Monday when I woke up groggy and spent the day internally debating my effort levels).
Tuesday, May 24 - stomach
By Tuesday morning, I had convinced myself ironman is still a great idea, and I've put in a good effort sticking to the program so far. This mood carried me through a productive work day into the evening run.
75min with 3x6min sprint efforts, two and a half sprints down when my stomach went sour. Stopped in my tracks, literally, I found the closest pub and slipped through the crowd to the bathroom. Later emerging and straight back into the run, 5mins went by before it went off again. I pushed through the on/ off pain for 30mins before reaching the gym again. With the pain coming and going and spreading to my head, this was enough of a sign to throw in the towel on the core and weights session and head home. Still feeling ill, Natsuko fixed up Japanese rice porridge (their version of chicken soup) and in bed before 10am.
The rice porridge must have worked because I woke up at 5am feeling ready for some training! Unfortunately the gym doesn't open until 6, so back to bed for a bit.
While the experience wasn't enjoyable, these few days are all part of the learning process because in a race of 10hrs+, there will be some points where the next stroke, pedal or stride is too difficult and finishing seems an impossibility. But having conquered these obstacles now will provide the attitude to carry through on race day.