In my last weekly update I wrote “With exactly one month to go until the race, the window of opportunity to get in some key sessions is closing, so it's important to take full advantage of this period of time”.
The path to the start line of Ironman is seldom smooth sailing, as has been the case this past week. Last Friday I was finishing up a great ride with a number of intense intervals, when my lower back suddenly tightened up. Fortunately I wasn't far from Sands Beach when it happened, so within half an hour I was off the bike. I've suffered with minor back pain in the past, but thankfully I've never had any long-term issues.
The discomfort lingered for a few days, which led me to take the weekend completely off training – a first in many months. I've talked before about the difficulty of knowing when to push through discomfort in training and when to back off, but in this case it was a simple decision. For the first time since being here I found myself with time on my hands, which on the plus side allowed me to catch up on (more than) a few episodes on Dexter. On Monday I felt significantly better and did some light training, which I've slowly progressed over the last few days.
Obviously this hasn't quite been the week that Brian and I envisaged, but there are still some positives to take away. Up until the weekend I'd had probably the most consistent month of training I've ever managed, so taking a couple of days off was somewhat of a relief for the body. In the last few days – even when the intensity has been easier – I've definitely felt that little bit fresher. Today's 45 minute run at race pace felt very comfortable, much more so than in previous weeks. At this stage the approach to training is more conservative than it would normally be – specifically with regard to intensity - but it's a case of adapting to the situation we're dealt with.