Friday, June 25, 2010

the wheels in my head

So I’ve decided to put the “fun” back in racing and training. For the last few months, my life has been consumed by pressure, by failure, by self-defeat and negative self-talk. But you know what? I’m done with all that. I race not because I think I have a snowball’s chance in hell of placing… I race because I love the sport(s)… I race because I love the sense of accomplishment and pride that I get when my feet hit the finishing mat… I love the feeling of the cold finisher’s medal against my sweaty, hot skin as I proceed down the finish chute to find my friends and family. I love the look of amazement on my children’s faces when I tell them how long the race was… “Wow, mommy, that is FAR” (which I get from every distance from 5k to 26.2 LOL) but I also love how my involvement in triathlon makes my kids want to participate too.

And with that – I am going back to basics. I am going to enjoy my training. I am going to push myself to my limits on race day and see how far these legs and arms can take me. But I am not going to hate myself if I fail to set a specific time goal. When I originally set out to do this half ironman, I said “I just want to finish.” That turned into “I want to finish sub 7 hours…” which turned into other goals that I think are nearly impossible. I simply just can’t go THAT fast. Sure, I’m an athlete. But to what degree? My brain is far less of an athlete than my lungs, arms, and legs…and on the bike, even my legs can’t keep up with what my heart and lungs could accomplish.

I am going to strive to be better…faster…stronger…. But I am going to enjoy it too. I am going to stop riding loops around fiesta to get “more mileage” for my time… and I am going to head up Soledad…Cabrillo…the Coast… up to UCSD and around La Jolla/Del Mar… I am going to see as much of San Diego as I can on my two wheels, two feet, or swim wherever my arms can carry me. I am going to leave the pool as often as possible in favor of the Cove, the Shores, or even De Nasty. I am going to run in new places whenever possible… and I am going to have fun with my training partners.

I have to do this for ME again. I have to remember WHY I do this.

I finished my bike ride yesterday in tears. And for those of you who know me, know how much I love riding over all else. Yesterday, I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to run… or swim… or bike for that matter. But I did… begrudgingly. In the water, I was frustrated with my wetsuit because it takes on so much water and I felt like the floating Michelin Tire Woman… I was loping along until I heard Jax’s voice next to me “Let do this!!” And we were off. Now, even without her wetsuit it was a struggle to stay at her side… but just that short burst of united energy was enough to motivate me to pick up the pace. If only my own voices in my head could be so motivating.

I really need to learn to get outside my head when I’m training. To disconnect mind and body and just perform, much like a machine. Sure, I’ve made great improvement in my mental toughness… but I’ve got a long ways to go when it comes to overcoming the mental walls. The other day I told Jax… “I think my motivation bonked…and that my whole body is flat… not my tires…my whole body. I’m done!” And it was.

I’m racing this weekend… sort of. Well, rather, Jax, Bobbie and I are doing SDIT as a relay. We did it last year and came in 3rd. We are hoping to do better this year. But I’m scared. Scared that with how I’ve been feeling, I won’t be able to perform as well as I want to… but you know what – we do relays because they are fun, because we can do well with combining our strengths… and I need to remember that… remember it, enjoy it, and make my legs scream in pain as I push up Cabrillo.

And after all, as one of my friends told me yesterday “Tomorrow is a new run day.” And it is…. And a new swim and bike day as well.

See you all at the Cove tonight 

1 comment:

  1. Great post!!!! Ride all over, enjoy where your bike can take you. This sport is all about fun- make it fun and embrace what it brings.

    Unless your paycheck comes from this sport- don't take it so seriously.