Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fabulous and Frustrated....At the Same Time

I've been back to work for almost three weeks.  One week of training and getting my room ready and then the first two full weeks of school with students.  

I'm also getting ready for the last triathlon of the year in one more week.  So I'm back to working out before and after work and no naps!  Sadness!  lol  

The first week back to work it was very hot which means my classroom is extremely hot.  This made me really tired when I got home.  I had two bike rides that week.  The thought of getting on my bike and riding in the heat and concentrating on traffic and such was a little more than I was ready to deal with.  I went to the YMCA and rode the stationary bike instead.  Not ideal for my training I'm sure but it was better than skipping it completely.  I didn't have to think hard, just had to keep my feet moving and I had a fan blowing on me.  Both times I also got the stationary bike that gets a nice breeze from the ceiling fan.  Winner!  

I also had an interesting thing happen when we were doing a track workout with my coach.  We decided to move it from our regular Wednesday after work time to early Thursday morning because it was just so stinking hot.  Thursday was a prep day so I could be a little more flexible with when I got to work.  It was so nice to be running in the cool morning air!!  

I had looked at my workout and what my intervals were supposed to be before we got to the track.  I should have double checked what I had in my head one more time before I started.  I also should have done the math and realized that I must have read it wrong.  I'm going to chalk this up to how tired I have been.  :-)  I was supposed to do 4x800 with a four minute walk/jog in between and then 2x400 with a two minute walk in between.  I thought I was supposed to do the 800's in five minutes.  Eight hundred yards is half a mile so that would mean I was running a 10 minute mile pace.  I didn't realize that.

The first 800 I ran in 5:24.  I was not happy about that because it was way longer than I thought I was supposed to do.  I did my rest interval and then started my second 800.  I was almost done when my coach, Jon, caught up with me.  He said he thought I was moving pretty fast and asked what he had me down for.  I told him five minute 800's.  He checked his phone and laughed because I was supposed to do the 800's in 5:30 (an 11 minute mile pace).  Oops!  He told me to keep trying for the five minutes and see where we ended up.  I finished up the second lap and my time was 5:10.  Oh my!  I had two more 800's to complete so Jon said to keep trying for the five minute mark.  My third 800 was 5:03 and my last one was 5:02.  I couldn't believe I ran that fast for two laps!!

Then Jon said to do my 200's at the faster pace as well.  New goal for the 200's was to get them done in two minutes, thirty seconds.  I got 2:32 and then 2:28!  I could not believe that I ran one lap at a pace faster than a 10 minute mile!

After our workout Jon and I were talking and he smiled and said to me, "You know what this means?"  Since I'm a teacher and I know how this works I had to laugh.  Yep!  Now that I have shown I can do it faster the expectation is that I keep doing it faster.  

I had another run the next week that had intervals in it where I was supposed to go that fast and then not walk but just slow down my run in between. It was really hard by I somehow managed to make it happen.  That was pretty cool.

Last Saturday I had to get a 24 mile bike ride in.  I rode from my house out to the end of Scravel Hill Rd. (where I get hills) and back.  I had done this exact route a couple of months ago and new it worked out perfectly.  It was a little on the cooler side when I got going but my hubby let me borrow his warming sleeves.  They were perfect!  If I wear a shirt and then a long sleeved shirt I get too hot.  If I wear just a shirt, my arms get cold.  I was completely comfortable the entire ride.  Now I have something else to put on my list of things I want for triathlons.

I really worked hard on this ride.  I wanted to try and finish with a 13 miles an hour average.  Don't know why that was the number I had in my head.  But with the hills it would be a bit of a challenge.  I thought I had gotten stronger enough that between going faster on the hills and then being able to go faster on the flats I might be able to make it happen.  The ride felt really good and I knew that I had done it better than I had earlier in the summer.  On that ride I averaged 11.5 mph.  This time I averaged 12.8 mph.  So close to the 13 number I was trying for!

The next day I had my last long swim.  I was supposed to do 1900 yards with intervals.  This is what was in my TrainingPeaks:

w/u 200
5X100 (descending 100's @ , 2:34, 2:32, 2:30, 2:28, all out! (30"RI)
2 X 250 @ 2:30/100 (RI 45-60")
8 X 50 "fast" RI 20 seconds

c/d 300 easy swim (focus on head and eyes straight down, hips and legs up, glide)

It was a lot and I wasn't sure how it would go.  There were several times during the workout where I wanted to cut things short.  I would think that it was just hard today and it wouldn't be a big deal if I didn't do quite as many sets as was planned.  Except that it would be, at least for me.  So I plugged away at it.  Garmin figures your average pace for a swim with intervals based on the time you are swimming, it doesn't count the rest intervals.  So my total swim time was 47 minutes and my average pace was 2:28 per 100 yards. Which is pretty darn good for me.

A picture popped up on my Facebook "On this day" feature.  It was from the summer I started running.  It was a bit startling to see because sometimes I don't realize how big I was and how far I have come.  (I still myself as the way I look in the picture in my head).
Me & Miss Kendall at a friend's wedding. 2010
The weird thing was that I was frustrated.  I was frustrated with the bike ride, the swim and how I looked.  

It was like I was split in two.

One part of me knew that I had a really fabulous track workout, a solid bike ride and a good swim.  I should be super proud of myself.  Especially since I was back at work and managing my training before and after work while super tired.  I looked at the picture from 2010 and can see how far I have come on being a healthier me.

But the other part was frustrated and discouraged.  Not going to lie, there was some comparison going on.  Sometimes it gets old being the slowest at everything.  (Yes, I know, I'm probably not really but it feels like it most of the time.)  Some of the issue was just the desire to be faster by now than I am. I had a picture taken of me on Monday and even though I'm significantly healthier then I was in 2010, all I see when I look at the picture is the overweight girl.  Ugh.   A lot of it was just being overtired.
Dwayne & Faylene got everyone who has ever run CLR for our team this awesome shirt.  We got ours first!!  
As much as I don't like how I look, this picture made me smile.  
I really had to talk myself into even getting out the door for the bike ride and then the swim.

The half of me that was proud of myself knew that I was being silly.

The half of me that was frustrated didn't want to listen.

But one of the things I have learned the last few years is to honor my process while not allowing myself to wallow in the negativity.

I let myself have a couple of days to just be discouraged and work through all that in my own head.

Then it was time to suck it up and get over it.
I'm getting better at that part.  ;-)

By the time Wednesday rolled around the proud part of me was squashing down the negative side and I started getting excited about my triathlon.

Found this meme the other day and it made me laugh.  So me at times.
Pretty much!
We had another track interval workout at the high school.  Jon's family came along.  His son, who is nine, is doing the Try a Tri this weekend (super short version of a triathlon to see how it feels).  I started doing my workout and I hear someone just behind me.  After a lap I looked to see who it was and it was Jon's son.  So fun!  He stayed with me for my entire workout.  I was supposed to do three 400's at a 10 min/mile pace and then do a slower run for three minutes in between.  My new running buddy kept pace with me the whole time.  I loved it.  He's going to do great on Sunday.  I'm just bummed that his event will be going on at the same time I'm doing mine so I won't be able to watch him.

I have learned A LOT since January and come a long way in a lot of areas.

While it is never fun to get frustrated and discouraged, I know that I'm stronger mentally than I used to be as well as physically.  Getting frustrated and discouraged would have been a place I camped out in for a few weeks in the past.  Being able to work through it in a few days is progress.

There are ups and downs in any journey.  My journey to becoming a healthier me is no exception.

I share both the ups and downs because I hope that people reading this can relate.  Maybe you are experiencing a down time and are ready to give up.  I hope that reading my blog shows that it pays off to keep moving forward.  I have said often that my weight has not come off and my pace has not sped up like I wanted or expected.  Hard to keep focused on the good sometimes.  But looking back I know that I have come a long way on this journey.

I tell my students all the time that history is important.  It's all about the story.  I also tell them that they need to be proud of their own history, their own story.  It's what makes them who they are.

I have been learning to be a lot more proud of my own story.  It may not be the story I planned on or the one I expected the first time I tried to run a lap on the track.  But all of the races, all the adventures, all of the amazing people I have gotten to meet along the way have made my story exceptional.

I wouldn't change a thing.

It has been worth every step.

It has been worth every spin of the pedals.

It has been worth every lap in the pool.

It has been worth every friend I have gained (and even a few that I have lost).

My next race is tomorrow.  I am really excited for it.  I have no idea how I will do.  The course has lots of hills.  I will just do my best and have a great time along the way.   However I do it will be another addition to my story.

One last pre-race shirt photo for the year.  

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