“Fast” and Furious – Week #3.4

Only a few days to go before the Marseille race…

When I see French sweets like chocolate bread or raisin bread, I cannot resist. I gotta eat them. I know that I already ate and that I’m not even hungry but I can’t help…I gotta eat them.

That’s what is going on at my family’s house, here in Bordeaux.

My weight was 69.5k on the morning of the London race, in May. But on this Sunday morning, 7 days before the Marseille 5150 race, I weigh 73.3k.

It’s already 10 days I am looking at myself in the mirror and trying to understand why I sabotage myself this way. But I don’t find any solutions.

So on this Sunday morning, 7 days before the Marseille 5150, I make a decision.

I am going to fast. 24, 48, 72 hours, I’ll see what my body says.

I’m emailing Coach to tell him about this. « Keep fasting until 72 hours » is what he says.

The first 24 hours are super easy. In fact, after a 3h ride + 1h run brick session, I am already down to 70.3k.

On Monday morning, I weigh 69.4k.

Apparently, a 24h fast is enough to help me go back to my race weight. But Coach said 72h so…

But on this Monday afternoon, it’s the beginning of the end. It is a day off so I am going downtown Bordeaux to visit the city a bit. But after walking 15 minutes, I am light-headed and decide to go back home.

On Monday night, food is all I think about. I am obsessed with idea of eating. Not even sweets but simply some pasta, some Goji berries or a slice of bread with almond purée.

But I’m holding on. It’s Monday night, 11 :30pm. 24 hours to go.

Tuesday morning, 7am, I weight 69.3k. I did not lose 1 gram during the last 24 except certainly toxins or things you cannot see on a scale.

I start working on my computer but I can’t even manage to keep my head up.

I am supposed to ride my bike 12k to a small village, to meet Coach at 9:30 and go together for an open-water swim. I don’t know how I am gonna make it.

9:31am, Coach asks me right away « How are you ? »

« I am in a secondary state. I don’t know how I am even moving forward », I tell him, dressed with a jacket and some pants, even though it’s 30 degrees outside.

« You’re right. Fasting for 72 to 100 hours is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Even harder than running an Ironman », he answers.

Once we reach the lake, « Greg, swim for an hour. Follow your own pace ».

Paradoxically, speaking with him, swimming and seing other athlètes makes me forget about the hunger and I am suprised I can keep on training.

Relieved, I set myself ready to ride back home, thinking I’m done for the day. But Coach says « Greg, meet me at 5 tonight. Come with your bike. And take your running gear. Oh and take your swimming gear as well ».

« Alright Coach ». You know I’m not the kind to complain and ask questions.

« The goal of tonight’s session is to empty all your reserves…and then bring you back up big time for Sunday », he says.

It’s late afternoon and I’m facing 1h of bike climbs, 30’ of hill sprints and 30’ of swim sprints. The rule is always the same « Greg, follow your pace ».

The bike is done. I tell myself « Come on G, 2 more sessions to go ! »

The hills are done. « Come on G, only 1 session to go ! »

The swim is over. I find one corner where I can collapse and tell myself « できた », « できた », « できたぁぁぁぁぁ » !!!!! (できた or « dekita », in japanese, means « I did it » or « I was able to do it »).

« I feel like I finished an Ultraman », I tell Coach.

He usually speaks so highly of me and my work ethic but here, he looks at me Dead in the eye and says « Now the challenge is to take you of of this state and make you skyrocket for Sunday ». That shows how depleted I probably looked.

He then explains everything I have to eat, day by day. He knows where I wanna go. He’s been there before. I trust him completely.

I ride back home. I weigh 67 kilos. I see my family and the first work I tell the mis « I need a hug !!! » 🙂

I lie down on the floor. It’s only 20 minutes later that I get up to cook myself the most delicious cucumber salad I’ve ever prepared 🙂

Wednesday morning, meeting at the pool. 1h easy but I stop after 45 minutes. I got the sensations I wanted and I still feel somewhat « fragile ».

Wednesday at noon, I am rewarded with a big piece of méat and enjoy a nap in front of the Tour de France.

Wednesday afternoon, meeting at the track, 20×400. I am supposed to follow another athlete running in 1’45/lap.

After 5 laps of nice strides, I have the same sensation than in the pool this morning. So I tell Coach « 5 more laps, then I stop, then I stretch ».

« No Greg, 20 laps »

« Alright ».

I keep the laps going. Watching on my technique et cheering up on the other athlete, crying at this pace.

Lap 17 is done. Coach says « Greg, I want the last 3 laps in 1’30 ».

But I do them in 1’25 and 1’24. « Good job Greg, one to go ! »

« Can I run it in 1’20 ? », I ask.

« For sure, go hard ». He sees my start and screams « Yeah, that’s the kind of craze we need to see in Marseille ». I finish the lap in 1’14.

« You already can run 10k in 37’. In 6 months, you’ll be at 34’ and soon you’ll reach 31’ ».

« And by the way Greg, we worked well. You’re ready. Right from tonight, you can eat as usual, recharging and recovering ».

Only a few days to go before the Marseille race…

Believe in your dream and never stop.


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