The forced vacation was absolutely the right decision. It's hard to make a call like that when your coach is thousands of miles away and only has an email titled "Urgent Please Respond Immediately" to base a decision off of. I took full advantage of my time off and did some serious sleeping and some heavy duty, but very healthy, eating.
So Saturday was my first day back to training. I woke in the AM and still felt a bit sluggish. I'd venture to say Thursday I was at about 20% of normal, Friday at roughly 45% and by Saturday morning I was maybe up to 70%. I waited out the day, ate well and napped and finally headed to the track around 4pm, feeling at about 80%. I made it through a little more than 1/2 of my session, with the total volume meaning to be 10k, at a great clip but when I hit the wall, I hit it hard. I decided it was ridiculous for me to continue with a race only 8 days away. But it was a hard decision to make because I knew Siri would want me to finish, even if the last 1/2 was slow. I just couldn't justify running with poor form for another 5k.
After the track, I headed to the pool to do a 3k swim off. Let's say I was lucky not to have the lifeguards come in to resuscitate me. It was pretty ugly. But, I got through it. The bike ride home was rough, I could barely climb the hills back to the ALZ. I felt like I was back to about 45% again.
After a good night of sleep, I woke this morning determined to have another solid day of training. I headed off to the pool and put in a 6k session. It was a struggle, but I buckled down and did it knowing it would be the last 6k session for a few weeks. After a nice mid-day nap I headed off on the bike and put in about 2 hours with a good little climb in the middle of it. Legs were not happy, but I got through it. I had intended to run off at the track, do some more speed work, but decided against it as my heart rate still seemed too high for the effort I was putting in.
Finally, after a snack, I headed out on a short run. I wanted to see how my legs were doing and, again, realizing I don't have much time to London, felt I needed to put the time in regardless of how I felt. It wasn't too bad, but it was much like the swim in that my body felt uncoordinated and it was as if everything was moving but I wasn't in control of it. Quite an odd sensation. Apparently, it is a good sign and it means that as long as I keep taking care of myself that I should come right before Sunday.
I think, no matter the outcome, it will be a great learning point for me and for Siri. I've never done a string of races like this and I've never had a period of body meltdown similar to this either. Hopefully, we can learn from this and apply the lessons to future situations as I'm sure this won't be the last time something like this happens.