Thursday, June 30, 2016

Trust the Training

So it's been a rough week for my Olympic training.

"Oh no!  What happened?"  you might ask.  "Did you get hurt?"


I got inside my own head.

That is never a good thing.

Last week I was totally feeling like I've got this Olympic Triathlon in the bag.

This week I was pretty sure I was beyond stupid for even thinking I could try it.

My own worst enemy is myself.

It was really just Tuesday.  I don't know why it was a bad day, nothing went terribly wrong.  In fact several things went very right.  But my perspective in my head didn't allow me to see that for awhile.

I had a swim in the morning with a specific set of things I was supposed to do.  It's one I have been doing on Tuesdays for a few weeks now.

w/u 200 yards
4x100 descending @ 2:35, 2:32, 2:30, 2:28
2x250 @ 2:30 100
6x50 "fast"
c/d 200 yards

Last week I felt like I totally kicked this workout's ass.  This week it was a lot of work.  The exact same workout but for some reason, in my head, I really struggled.

The reality is that overall I did it better than last week.   It just didn't feel that way for some reason.

After the swim I had some time at home to eat and rest before I met up with my coach for a bike ride.

It's been a lot of fun riding with Jon since school got out.  We talk about my training and we figure out things that aren't working and how to fix them.  We laugh and in general have a good time.  At least from my side, hopefully he has a good time too.  :-)

Tuesday we headed out on a new adventure to tackle some different hills.  It was a windy day but the sun was shining so it was all good.  We headed out to Lewisburg Rd.  Jon wanted me to really attack the hills and give them all I had.  Not a problem except that all I had was a wheezing pathetic mess.  At least from my point of view at the time.  Actually, I only really struggled that badly on one small, short, steep section.  I was working so dam hard and hardly moving and my breath was just struggling and I felt like my lungs were gasping for any oxygen that it could get.  By the time I got to the top I was pretty sure that my legs hated me as well.  I wanted to stop so bad.  I just wanted to get off the damn bike and walk up the hill.

But Jon was right there.  Encouraging me all the way up that stupid hill.  Telling me I was doing awesome.  lol  If I could talk I would have said, "I don't think so!" But all my effort had to stay focused on moving up the hill so I couldn't even harass him back.  :-)

I was so frustrated.  All I could see was how hard it was to breath and how slow I was going.  Even when Jon was telling me what a great job I had done I still couldn't see that.

We got to the top and took a moment for me to catch my breath, drink some gatorade and use my inhaler before we got started again.  I still had some more hills to get through but I was pretty sure I had done the steepest one so that made me feel a little better.
When we made our way back to the car I told Jon that I had been frustrated on the ride and didn't think it went well.  He was quick to disagree with me and reminded me that I worked hard and he pushed me hard on purpose.
I think I sucked and my coach thinks I rocked.  Think I need to fix something.
But I had gotten inside my own head.

I'm much better than I used to be about it but every once in awhile I go there.  Even though I know I shouldn't.

Then I made it worse by comparing.  Yep, that's the worst.  Take a frustration and then add to it by comparing myself to others and trying to prove that the negative thoughts are right because I can't measure up to others around me.  Then to add fuel to the fire I went on the Tri at the Grove website and looked at the results from last year.  I am pretty sure I'm going to be last.  Or very close to last.  After all the work that I've put in that added to my frustration.

So I admit it.  I wallowed for a bit.  Okay, not for long, only one day.  But still, I did wallow.  Then my husband kicked my in the ass, figuratively of course.  :-)

We were talking about my day and I was crying and I could tell he was a bit annoyed with me.  The way that only a husband of 26 years can be.

Because another layer of my worries about my triathlon that is coming up is not disappointing people.  It's a weird thing and totally my own thing.  Seems stupid when I write it down.  But it goes like this...I have a lot of people that have helped me on this journey.  They have supported me on the daily grind (husband), encouraged me and given me guidance to help me be a stronger athlete (coach, actually two coaches since Bri is my swim coach), and cheered me on and given me hugs and love when I needed (friends & family).

I don't want to let them down.

So I walk this fine line as far as the mental part of being an athlete.  Part of me is super competitive and gets really frustrated when I can't keep up and do what it seems like everyone around me is doing with ease.  The other part of me is uncomfortable with the attention and worries that I am going to let down the people that are rooting for me.

This is pretty normal for me and I do a much better job working through it then I used to.  Tuesday was not a day where I was able to tell myself I was being stupid.

So I had a couple of good crying jags.  But when I got up on Wednesday it was time to be over it.  I have a lot to do between now and July 23rd and I am not going to mess up all the work I have done for the last six months.

Last night we had a group run at OSU with my coach and his other athletes.  I call us the Booth Bunch.  :-)  We usually do some kind of run on Wednesdays.  Either intervals at the track or just a run where we all stop and finish together.

Last night Jon put together a scavenger hunt where we were supposed to take selfies in front of different locations or statues around campus.  I paired up with his wife Janelle who I have been having a blast running with the last few months.  She is a lot of fun and I have loved getting to know her better.
Janelle and I in front of the Memorial Union.  Just one of many stops. 
Finished up and then ran the inter mural track to get my three miles in. 
I was still sore and tired from my workout from the day before.  But when it's a competition it's amazing how you can dig deep and do better than you really think you can.  I sometimes will have a competition in my classroom for different activities.  Usually the prize is something silly like a Jolly Rancher or even just bragging rights.  It always amazes me how hard the students will work for such a small prize.  That competitive spirit is an amazing thing.

We ran all over campus and got all the pictures we needed.

We came in second out of three teams. lol  But I know that when we were running I was running much faster than I would have pushed myself if we were just out for a normal run around campus.  :-)

I was wearing my purple sparkly headband.  Jon complimented it when we were warming up.  I told him it was my Badass with Sparkle headband because I needed to remind myself that I was actually a Badass.  He laughed and asked why I needed to remember that and I told him that I had really let Tuesday's frustration get to me.

Funny, he said a lot of the same things that Joe had said with a few more coachy things thrown in.  :-)

Trust the training.  Don't be so hard on yourself, you are going to do great, etc.  He asked me if I have done everything he has asked me to do.  I said yes.  He asked me if I had given 80% to 90% effort in my workouts.  I said yes.  He said trust the training.

I'm focusing on "Trust the training."

I have done a lot of things in the last six months that I couldn't do a year ago.  Yesterday and today I have really thought about how far I have come.  I am glad that I only gave myself one day to wallow on my frustrations because in reality I have a lot to be proud already without even doing my triathlon.

Last summer Joe kept asking me when I was going to ride my bike again and I kept putting it off because I was scared to ride my bike.  This year I have ridden 169 miles in just the month of July alone.  Last June I started swim lessons with Bri and could barely swim one length of the pool without having to stop because I was either snorting water or needed to catch my breath.  Now I can swim a mile with a pretty consistent pace and few or no breaks to catch my breath.  A mile!!

Trust the training.

My friends and family, coach, and husband are all going to be proud of me no matter what place I come in on race day, even if it's DFL (Dead Fucking Last).  They will be proud of me even if something awful happens and I don't finish.  I need to let that go.  I just really want them to be proud of me and honor all their support by kicking ass.  Guess I still am working on that one.

So I have three weeks to go.  Still more work to be done both mentally and physically.

I had one rough day on the mental end of things but instead of dwelling I got over it.  (At least I'm trying, that little niggle is still in the back of my head but I'm telling that niggle to Kiss My Ass!)

I'm sore and tired but I'm still doing what I'm supposed to be doing and pushing through.  Thank God it's summer and I can take naps!!!  lol  I love naps!

I had no idea when I started running six years ago how much of becoming a runner would be working on the mental side of things.  I've come a long way since then but still have a long way to go.

Three weeks until race day.

Trust the training.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I do enjoy riding with you. Trust the training and focus on the process. That is the only piece you can control. The outcome will be what it is.