And My Dear…I’m Still Here

Feeling great except for this leg cramp…

Hey all! I’m still here training – just haven’t been blogging much. I actually blogged last week and I was wondering why I didn’t get any comment notifications through my e-mail. So when I came to post this week I realized I never actually published that blog, which should help give you a sense of how hectic my life currently is. I’ve copied that blog post at the end of this one so you can get all caught up if you are interested.

I continue to find it tough to blog about this process for a number of reasons, some of which I’ve talked about before. Since I shifted to making most of my income from writing rather than speaking to give myself more training time, I’m writing a lot and this blog tends to get gets pushed to the side.

While I’m on the subject, here’s the first in my new series for US News & World Report profiling athletes who are breaking fitness stereotypes:

And I continue to imagine that if what I blog about feels repetitive to me, it must be painfully repetitive to those who are taking precious time out of their day to read it!

This journey has easily overtaken both my first and second marathon as the thing I’ve wanted to quit the most, but I’m still out here training. For those of you friends/family/fans who are still taking time out of your day to read this, send good vibes, leave supportive comments etc., I’m eternally grateful!

This week the struggle started on Monday. I was doing an indoor workout utilizing an elliptical, a stair climber (one of those endless staircase machines designed by satan,) and a treadmill. In addition to providing different challenges, this was supposed to be more fun than running. And it was, if only because I got to watch television while it was happening. Also, I wasn’t running, so bonus there.

During the warm-up on the elliptical my left calf started cramping. Regular readers know that this is a consistent problem while running, so I thought that at least since I was using machines it didn’t have to stop me. It persisted through the stair climber, got worse when I was back on the elliptical, and felt a bit better on the treadmill. It started to seriously cramp in the car all the way home. By the time I got out of the car I was sporting a significant limp. It was at that point it dawned on me – I do not have a cramp in my calf, I have a muscle pull. Also, I am an idiot. Effing great.

The good news is, I babied it Tuesday, did a modified workout on Wednesday and by Thursday it was 100% better, for which I am very grateful. I lost a couple a workout and a half, but not any real progress.

Last week’s blog:

If You Can’t Take The Heat – Too Damn Bad You’re Training For An IRONMAN

Training has been going along fairly smoothly (at least by my standards) but I had a wee setback earlier this week when a spike in the heat and a particularly late start meant that I working my hardest at the hottest time of day and I just overheated on a bike ride and had to cut it a few minutes short. To be clear it’s WAY hotter in other places, but this is Southern California and none of us can deal with any kind of weather. Literally everyone I passed on the trail – whether they were biking, walking, or riding a horse (no, seriously, there are horses on the bike trail,) said something about the heat and I returned in kind!

Heat is not my friend and we are entering my least favorite part of the yearly training cycle – as it gets hotter outside and the workouts just keep getting longer! Plus we’ve just ended a cycle and the new cycle replaces my weekly interval ride on the trainer with intervals outside (now when will I find time to watch American Ninja Warrior and Million Dollar Mile?) It should be cooler than this at my IM (though of course nothing is guaranteed) so hopefully I’ll have had the advantage of training in hotter weather than I have to race in!

The new schedule is:

Monday: Tempo Run
Tuesday: Long Bike, Pool Swim
Wednesday: Interval Run
Thursday: Bike Intervals (outside,) pool swim
Friday: Day off
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Bike Long Intervals, Open Water Swim

What’s Next…

About Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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4 Responses to And My Dear…I’m Still Here

  1. gsantollo says:

    Just gotta keep slogging through. Through my heaviest training block I’ve wanted to quit 3 times a week for a month, but I made it! Ironman mont tremblant this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice workouts. I tend to bail indoors when it is hot. But Saturday I had a hot sticky run. Nearly collapsed when I got done. You are awesome for following the plan.


  3. Cicci says:

    I love reading your blog, even if it’s repetitive!
    I’m trying to think of a way of putting this that doesn’t disparage your considerable atheticism, but it’s just so nice to see someone work their effing as off, and maybe succed (I hope so!), or maybe not. All those ableist a-holes shouting “all you have to do is want it enough”. Which as you know, couldn’t be further from the truth.

    To use myself as another example:
    I *love* dance. I ADORE Ballet. I also unfortunately have absolutely zero – nada – zilch skills or talents that are useful for dancer. I’ve still taken ballet classes as an adult (that’s how I found fat acceptance – the Fat Heffalump, Kate Hardin and then you!!) and I’m frank when people ask me:
    “Nope, I’m actually the worst student in the class. I will never go beyond beginner’s class.”

    And without faii, people try to reassure and tell me that of course im not as bad as I think i am.
    But I am! Why does that even matter?


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