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.