Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Ups and Downs

The last couple weeks have taken a bit of a toll. I initially chalked it up to the hecticness of the holidays, the stress of house-hunting, the increase of work at my jobs.

I regards to my workouts - I have been hitting them all, but have noticed a lessening of motivation with each session. Run 13.5 miles? Ugh. Swim? No thanks. But I get out there and do them, if for nothing else than avoiding that dang Wall of Shame (why on Earth did I have to do that to myself?!?!)

But here's the thing - I have been really reluctant to complain about it, of even really talk about this. Yeah, I came off an 8-month layoff and jumped right back into IM training. I have been doing 2-a-days for the last three months, and my mileage/time on most things is just about where I was at when I got injured last time. So I guess it makes sense to feel burned out.

But I chose this. And it's not like I didn't know what I was getting into. Hell, I had an entire training season last year up to the four weeks before IM AZ 07. It's not like someone took a gun, put it to my head, demanded I put down the Twizzlers and popcorn, threw my ass on a bike and screamed "Ride Bitch Ride!"

No, no. I did this to myself.

So to complain felt stupid, selfish, whiney - spoiled. But then I read this post by Curly Su, who recently began her own IM training. She stated:

"IM training can totally defeat you, or else it can make you feel more confident than ever before. I've already traveled between those two extremes countless times in the last few days. Looking ahead, it's hard to understand how I'll manage to get through almost 6 months of this intensity (and more, of course), but I suppose that's why coaches only put up two weeks of the training plan at once; you're not supposed to look that far ahead. You just keep doing your daily workouts, and before you know it you'll be biking 112 miles and then running a marathon... with a smile on your face."

When I read this, I felt like, "Phew." So I am not alone in this. So even though I LOVE training most of the time, I may not LOVE it all of the time, and that's okay. So I might not feel like there is an end in sight yet, but I will soon, and the little daily victories are enough for me right now. So it may be okay to just suck it down, plow through a workout just to get through it, and consider it a deposit in the IM bank (thanks Go Mom Go!), and not beat myself up when it isn't the best workout ever.

To finalize this point, I should mention that today I did my 13.5 mile run. I did the first 4.5 with Cheese, who was completing his own record distance (9! Yay!!! Two more weeks 'til the 1/2 marathon!), and then he turned around, and I put in 4 more before my own turn around. And it rained. The WHOLE TIME. It sprinkled in the beginning, but downpoured from 6 miles on.

And if I didn't go into this run with all the enthusiasm of a soon-to-be-Ironman, I sure felt it by the end. There is nothing that feels tougher than running at an almost-sprint speed, with rain pelting your face, the 35-degree temps making your cheeks pink and vaporizing each breath, socks squishing, and the dark of night surrounding you on a path that few other runners dared challenge on such a crappy day.

But I did. My ass was out there.

So tomorrow, when I don't want to drag my lazy bones to the pool, I need to pull up the sensory experience of tonight - and remind myself that getting in that pool will take me one step closer to that finish line. And then keep doing that.


The Big Cheese said...

Keep making me proud, baby. And inspiring me along the way!

Nolan's Mommy said...

I have nothing to compare your struggles to except mothering a sick baby. When Im up for a whole night craddling a screaming child, I'll try to channel your energy and drive. You've got to take one day at a time and celebrate each success. Keep your head up kid.

Curly Su said...

yeah, great attitude. congrats on the run. 13.5m on a weekday?!? that's really hard core. and thanks for the quote! :)

Erin said...

You're definitely not alone. I felt exactly the same way on and off for much of my IM training last year, especially in the last two months or so before the race. Keeping up that kind of intensity is damn hard day in and day out for an entire year. And I had the same fears -- i.e., was my lack of intensity going to mean a substandard, or even worse, a meltdown, on race day? What I found was that it doesn't...and just getting that time in counts for much more than you think. So keep up the good work, even though it might not feel like it at the time. Can't wait to cheer you on from Wisconsin on April 13th. You will do this!

The Clyde said...

I've already crossed that IMWI finish line a thousand times in my head.

It still amazes that two short blocks can get me through all the "this sucks" thoughts that come and go. (ESPECIALLY on the bike trainer, I can not wait until the weather is nicer for good).

Go Mom Go said...

You know even if people tell you they don't - EVERYONE - goes through this. It is so hard to train in this way day in and day out. Just take care of today...seriously. Tomorrow is going to be there and you can plan before you go to bed for the next day. If you need to organize a weekend for the long ride/run then do that but do not think about "the next X months".
One day at a time...that is all any of us can ask for.

You are doing great. Don't be so hard on yourself. Running 13.5 in the rain, count that as building mental strength too!

sorry to preach...

KrissyGo! said...

It is so funny how our minds construct the difference between ourselves and others...but you are doin' it girl! That is a big deal and I'm glad to hear you giving yourself credit.

Oh yeah, I'm back from MIA-land, by the way.

Rock on!

lassenlaw said...

I was just sitting here vacillating on whether or not to blow off my workout tonight when I read your post. Needless to say, it motivated me to get my ass out of this chair and get going. Thanks.

Prin said...

Omg, you're my hero. Seriously. I don't know how you do it. You're incredible. (hugs)