Put simply, and to plagiarise as ever, you've trained to train, your now trained to race an you wonder whether you might just be able to get that bit extra in the last few weeks to train to win (whatever your win might be!)
I know my body pretty well and have no doubts that the weeks 6-3 prerace are where I can make some real differences, but some for good and some for bad. Put simply my goals are to max my running volume, see my bike load climb and sustain or increase my swimming. Much like everyone else then... but with the increased training load comes stress, both the physical from the training itself but also from maintaining the rest of my life as a partner, parent and worker. So after two great days at the Tour of Wessex I bailed on the final day. This was probably necessary as it allowed a faster recovery to get back to the rest of my training programme, and enabled me to be back with my family a day early which was a real pleasure. That said I was still carrying the aches and pains of my bikecrash and was not sure I was on track to meet my goals. Nearly 16 hrs of training in the next 6 days saw me overcome the painful ribs and log some solid running. By Sunday night I was tired, had a sore calf and a bit of a sore throat. Today is a rest day.
So now I have to decide how hard to push this week. The plan says more of the same but the body feels tired and a bit worn. But that's how it is meant to be isn't it? Surely the peak block of training should see you close to your limit but not beyond, so that you can gather up all your fitness gains, shed a bit of fatigue in your taper and go out and smash it. I have done enough IM to know now that so long as I dont crack I should be able to make those goals, but run a risk of getting overcooked!
Twist or stick... I still have enough time to push the envelope a bit more, but will look for signs of real deterioration. If I have two sessions in a row where I feel I cant hit my own goals I will rest 48 hrs and then try again. If the sore throat develops then the same rules apply. If however I can hold it together then I have 12 more days before HIMUK to put those finishing touches towards a PB at IMA.... Oh yeah it is also about this stage in training when we start getting unrealistic ideas about how fast we are gonna go come raceday.