OK, it wasn't so much of a thwack, as a silent appearance on my computer screen. It was my new training program from Coach Dave.
It was like the end of the summer holidays and Day 1 of school - and my "textbook" for the coming months had just landed in my inbox, arriving with a satisfied thump and returning me back to irongirl normality.
I think St Pete was quietly relieved when I informed him of its arrival, as it would be fair to say I was starting to go slightly stir-crazy with no real structure to my training routine.
After IM New Zealand I knew I needed a decent break and that was never so evident as when, a couple of weeks later, Coach Dave emailed out a suggested training program for those of us who were ready to do something. I took one look at it and wanted to cry. In fact I may have got a bit of sand in my eyes that morning...
Yep, definitely not ready.
Contrast that with last weekend when St Pete decides we should cut short our Sunday morning run and stop at 30min instead of the hour we had planned. Determined to finish an hour of exercise/training I agreed but only on the condition that we come back to the beach immediately so I could do a 1km ocean swim. I was almost hypothermic by the end of it but there was no way I was getting out of that water until I had done the distance.
Ah, iron monster might be back...
It's been a great couple of months though. We've been doing normal stuff and St Pete has been enjoying having free and easy weekends that haven't been dictated by my training schedule. And while I'd normally now be in the last couple of weeks of IM Cairns training, this clear couple of months has been made easier by a change in focus to my racing schedule.
I definitely felt that my activity levels were pretty slothful but that perception was brought back to reality when the inevitable question from a new work colleague about training was raised. It went something like this:
C: "So how much training are you doing at the moment?"
Me: "Well actually I'm doing basically nothing. I'd be lucky to get in 3, maybe 4 hours of exercise a week"
C: "Ah, so about what everyone should be aiming for"
Hmm, OK - maybe I haven't been quite as "inactive" as I thought!
So what did you do on your "holidays"? My break included:
- Walking the Coast Track in the Royal National Park - such a great track I've entered the Coastal Classic, a trail run in September, along the same route.
- Completing the Shark Island Swim - the annual 2km ocean swim run by the local surf lifesaving club.
- Getting a Stand up Paddleboard for my birthday and doing LOTS of paddleboarding.
- Being beach bums - work colleagues have begun noticing how much more tanned I am than they are for this time of the year.
- Having a weekend at Port Macquarie supporting friends doing Ironman Australia - watching Leigh complete her first Ironman was the best.
- Avidly following the first Ultraman Australia - hmm, can't help myself, it's now a bucket list race...!
- Date nights - St Pete thinks The Avengers is the best movie ever. I'm just glad we saw it in Gold Class.
- Thinking about the next year's race schedule...
With D's accident at Taupo we were keen to see him commit to doing another ironman and he was too, with IM Western Australia flagged as his preferred option. This race has been on my bucket list for a while and so sharing the experience with Coach, coming back from injury at Taupo, seemed like a perfect excuse to do it. And so that's what's happening. Coach Dave is having his redemption race in Busselton this December and myself and a couple of his other athletes, Greg and Marie, will be there too.
With Busso suddenly added to the calendar this year I needed to make a decision about Cairns. Should I still do it or do I drop it from the schedule and just do 2 IMs this year? It was a tough choice. Cairns is a great race and I have so far done every one since its inception. St Pete was still keen to head up there and to have me do it, but coach thought otherwise. With my goal of breaking 13 hours still front and centre he felt I'd be better to have a decent break then come back fresh and have a solid build up for Busselton and be much better prepared for a strong PB.
And so the decision was made. Cairns was dropped for 2015 and I had a 2 month holiday. Watch out IM Western Australia, Irongirl has you in her sights!