this is how it goes:
race day ... (read below) despite short hours sleep on eve of event, unable to sleep a wink whilst the mind processes all the emotional load of the day. Steven and i both lie, thinking the other unconscious, waiting for breakfast.
race day +1 ...feel great, but unable to wear shoes due blistered carnage attached below ankles. good appetite. sore bum not helped by 8 hr drive
race day +2 ...back in work. still not sleeping. buzzing. limping on blisters. riding buses. eating well.
race day +3 ...no training. getting a bit more sleep. eating well. feeling positive about next race. write training schedule. feel strong.
race day +4, 5, 6 ...introduce some gentle training. feel good on it, enjoy relaxed approached. lazy long wetsuit swim, a ride with my sister. by now i am also enjoying the relaxed feeling of not having to fit training into daily life. stay up late, meet friend, drink beer. starting to eat treats.
race + 1 week - this is where things tend to get tough for me. i am now throughouly mentally relaxed, have been enjoying a diet of treats and beers, and no exercise. i'm starting to feel the effects of this too....and its time to get the focus back.
but i surely need a little more recovery? am i really tired still or just feeling below par because of lax nutrition and late nights? motivation is ebbing away now...and there's always a good reason for a few beers...
this is a fairly standard pattern for me - week 1 i feel great, highly motivated and look after myself for optimum recovery. training is not an option because of a lack of skin on my feet! then i relax...and fatigue seems to kick in, at precisely the time that i 'plan' to step back into training.
so many times in the past this has been followed by a couple of weeks of very poor training, sporadic motivation and abandoned sessions. with hindsight, i'd to conclude that i started back too early.
with only 8 weeks to Wisconsin, i cant afford that lousy initial 2-3 weeks. so, i am going to act on these observations and eat and rest as if in full training whilst following a much reduced programme for a further week, 2 if necessary. to get back into my 'routine' i will be swimming daily - substituting a swim for one of my usual bike/runs - i will have a focus on the sessions, but this should be as stress free (ie non competitive, technique based) as possible.
with that in mind, i'm off to bed !