Seriously, what?? Another week has flown by already? That’s a good thing because that tells me I’m still loving my training. I think one reason each week seems to fly by is because this time I’m taking things day by day. I never look to far out this time around, focus on being present and keep showing up day by day. Showing up consistently makes showing up the next day that much easier. What difference does it make on a Monday to think about what training will be like on Friday though? Sometimes I wonder if triathletes psych themselves up more than they need to getting too excited or anxious too far ahead. This applies to race day too. It’s normal and healthy to be excited, don’t get me wrong. I tend to be a person who gets excited easily by things I enjoy. I am just saying that breaking things down and not getting too far ahead of ourselves can pay off in the long run. I strongly believe in the power of visualization and do visualize parts of the race while training, although for the most part I don’t sit here thinking about Kona when I’m not training. I’m having a hard time even imagining stepping foot on that airplane in nine days…I even had to google that just now. Nine days, whoa. One day at a time.
Last week was a peak training week and my training plan arrived with a short note from the boss (as always) which included “The idea of the run on Sunday is to push you beyond comfort. It is to get you comfortable with the uncomfortable, a mantra that you may want to remember on your journey in Kona!” Well said, boss. I like the way you speak my language and it happens to be one of my favorite mantras I shared last year in the second to last bit of this article. Volume and hours trained last week were high, most days were intense, but believe it or not it didn’t seem all the hard or “uncomfortable” and I’m pretty sure I know why. It challenged me, yes…but it wasn’t all that hard. Since I knew this was my final big week of training I told myself at the beginning of the week that it can’t possibly be so uncomfortable. Discomfort usually begins in our mind and sometimes we make things hard before we even begin. How can it be that hard when I knew that this was my last week of pushing my limits? Just knowing that we’d be dialing things back a bit soon leading into taper was enough to make my mind realize how much I have completed in this short timeframe and how I am almost there. Keeping things in perspective and choosing to focus on one day at a time was enough to make that final peak week completely do-able and it went so fast!
Monday’s ride was super fun and so inspiring to finally ride with Derek aka Recycled Man. Derek and I had agreed to ride together at least once before Kona. He reached out Monday just before lunchtime and less than an hour later we headed out for a 2.75 hour ride. Wednesday’s swim rocked and focused on practicing sighting. Although most of my days last week were a blast Thursday’s long run challenged my mind. It takes a lot to upset me and let’s just say I went out for my run feeling angry and frustrated. My chest felt like it might explode, my breathing wasn’t as steady, and my mindset did not feel as strong. At mile three I text a friend and by mile five the reply and support received turned me around and made me smile. If you happen to be reading this… thank you… you made my entire day more than you know and pushed me through something that mattered a lot to me. There are lessons in the challenging days and I always ask myself what I can gain from these days. This run wasn’t my fastest but reminded me that what we focus our attention on is a choice. I can choose to focus on what upset me or choose to move forward and focus on things that make me happy. I am not telling you it’s always easy but it is a choice. There was no way I was going to allow something outside my control to affect completing this run. It was too important to me. I must focus on one thing while I am training…which is my training. Friday’s long (holy moly long) swim felt awesome and I’ve been loving the water and way I feel getting out of the pool. Saturday’s century ride was of course a long day. The second half went faster than the first half which doesn’t surprise me. Once I hit mile 25 I realized I had already completed 1/4 of the ride and that’s when I felt I really settled in. I tend to break down long rides and make them a numbers game. I do it in most races too. Once I hit mile 50 I can choose to tell myself I still have 50% left to go or that I’ve already completed 50% of the task. I focused on the second thought. I’m not going to lie though…it occurred to me at one point around mile 75 that I wasn’t sure I’d be getting this century ride in if it weren’t for my coach. I mean… I felt more than capable physically but I wondered if I would really be doing this ride if it weren’t for the plan. I will ALWAYS complete every task he asks me to so long as my body is capable (week 5/ day 6…my only workout I have missed by choice so far) so I had to complete those 100 miles. There’s no way I’m coming in early from training to report “Boss, I called it quits early today.” Nope. Never. And boy did I feel awesome once I finished the 100 miles. So how about Sunday’s run? “The idea of the run on Sunday is to push you beyond comfort. It is to get you comfortable with the uncomfortable, a mantra that you may want to remember on your journey in Kona!” It wasn’t so uncomfortable after all! My body was totally up it. This was the final workout of the week so I decided it’s impossible for it to be uncomfortable because it was the last bit before completing my final peak week. And that’s exciting! Somehow I even managed to make it to yoga four days last week too. All-in-all last week rocked.
Sunday night I woke up every few hours finding myself in yoga poses again, quads completely on fire. Since I couldn’t sleep I made myself go to sunrise yoga on Monday and it feel so gooooooooood. The rest of this week my body feels amazing head to toe. Ironman training tears me apart sometimes, physically and mentally, and it also put me back together. I feel like I’ve grown just a little over these past seven weeks and that excites me. The more you show up, the more you believe in yourself. I keep showing up for myself these past weeks and last week I pushed myself to my limit. There is something about Ironman that does my mind and body right. Having this chance to train and race is rewarding. You show up on a rainy morning, a hot afternoon, or whatever conditions you are given and stay committed no matter what. You push yourself to the limits to see how far you can go and what you are truly capable of. I have been striving to train like I have never before, focusing on a plan day by day, pushing my body to the limits in pursuit of this incredible experience I hope to have racing Kona in just a few weeks. I can honestly say that I am pretty sure I feel better training now than I ever have before. The workouts have been intense, effective, teaching me a lot, and so much fun. Sunday I dropped my bike off to ship it to Kona and things are starting to ease back this week. I am close to taper time.
The athletes I will race with in Kona are amazing inspirations. They inspire me for many reasons, but it all stems from them showing up and believing in themselves. One day at a time. I need stay to remain focused. I need to continue showing up and I need to believe. Whatever it is you are doing, keep showing up and continue to believe in yourself.