I had a really long and good talk with the coach last night. After yesterday morning's fiasco, I emailed him and told him what had happened.
When he called last night, he expalined what is happening to my body - that when the body eats up all the carbs and protiens, it begins to attack the muscles, which is why I feel so fatigued all the time.
He gave me a ton of recommendations outside of solid food (of course, not dismissing the importance of solid foods), which I am working on obtaining today. Ensure, protien powder, etc.
We talked about the training schedule, especially this weekend's five hour trainer ride. He explained that his approach to my training this year has been in an effort to save my back and knees, so he has had me an alternating weeks of long run versus long brick, rather then put them both in the same week, as a traditional build program.
I probably totally lost you or bored you to death with that technical stuff. I get a little lost sometimes too.
Basically, he acknoweldged that, with this pattern, I have never had an actual "recovery" week. I have had some shorter workouts, sure, but never a solid week of short workouts. While that has served the purpose of keeping the body parts safe, it has also contributed to the fatigue.
So given the NIU trip on Sunday and the current state of my depletion, we agreed that we would use the rest of this week as recovery, so that my body can catch up. The trainer ride was cut to three hours (so very doable) and he said not to try to make up the lost long run. Rather, we are back on track next week, and hopefully on a body that's not eating itself.
So I am using these next few workouts - today's swim and bike, tomorrow's brick- as more maintainence, rather then building workouts. He pointed out that, even with the race seven weeks away (!), we still have time, and that I have already built enough base to step back.
So as long as one foot is in front of the other, I am still moving forward.