This weekend was the conclusion of the two most solid weeks of training in my life. And pretty much every darn bit of it was done...solo. I traveled to Coeur d'Alene Idaho this weekend alone to train on the Ironman course for 48 hours straight. What a difference from last year. Almost all of my training was done in tandem with either PIC or Steve, or both. A lot of laughs last year was, and a lot of nonverbal learning went on. I learned a lot from Steve, following around his wheel.

I could whine and moan about all the solo training these last two weeks, but then I would just be pulling your leg. I really enjoyed it. I think a well rounded athlete does all different kinds of training, because there is much to be learned in different settings.

One of the many awesome views from the IM CDA course

Bike training along side someone wise taught me pacing. Pacing without any numbers to refer to, I didn’t wear a heart rate monitor then but I developed a sense of my perceived exertion on the bike. It taught me how to pull, how to pull an even strong pull without making rookie mistakes, and how to ride close to someone without being nervous.

It taught me descending skills, something I still get chicken about. I still rejoice every time I am alone and can go my own speed rather than fighting to stay on a wheel despite my natural fear of crashing.

And yes, those are permanent fixtures of my arsenal. But training alone has taught me entirely new things. How much to carry to be self sufficient. I learned that a quiet strength can be developed because it’s only you getting yourself out the door and getting it done. And when it does get done in this setting, it’s strong, because the inertia is completely your own. I learned how to pull through head winds without taking a pull, to develop a consistency that relies on me myself and I.

Keeping my own schedule has allowed me to train in a way that is best for me, I never waited for anyone to get ready, and this weekend when I collapsed into bed for a nap without a shower, I didn’t even feel bad.

It also refreshed in my memory just how much Troy takes care of me. Me taking care of me is a surprising amount of hard work, and I was very ready to fly back into the arms of my husband. We don’t have one of those families where the mom holds it all together, ours is very much one where Troy is the glue and cement that keeps the pieces from flying apart or imploding. When I arrived home, he said "Son, your tired, let's lay you down in bed". I walked into the bedroom and while I was gone Troy had purchased a brand new bed, sheets and pillows (long overdue). It was a super sweet treat from him, he's always looking after me.

This weekend there was no one to say good job to. No one to tell me good job. I went to CDA on my own two feet, and trained my butt of. When I finished, I refueled, I napped, I drove the course for the umpteenth time. There were people out there training on the course like me, all of them with groups and it would have been easy to make friends and become a tag along. But I didn't. I kept things to myself, and I'm glad I did.

The hills in CDA were pretty steep and they had lots of fun with me. They took complete advantage of my compromised legs. And I don't blame them, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. However, I plan on getting them back in 5 weeks, and now I won't even feel bad about it.

5 weeks until IM CDA, a little "absorption" (AKA hibernation) is on tap for the next few days. Thanks to everyone who sent me ample kudos these last two weeks. You've been my virtual training partners! Also, a huge thanks to Chuckie for the last several weeks. He's put in overtime dealing with my slews of emails being directed at him every night. Thanks for keeping me rolling Chuckie!