Tuesday, August 12, 2014

8 years in the making

*****WARNING: This post takes on a life of its own. Just keep in mind, I'm in a big training block. I'm tired and hungry more often than not.**************

I have a race this weekend.

I know. I should have warned you before I hit you with such news.

I really think I have made a lot of progress in the past few weeks. These changes are not the type you'll see in my training volumes or paces.

They are the types of changes that make me feel really good about what I'm doing. It gives me a feeling of success that I've really never had.

This week is a big one. Don't expect amazing finish times or a podium.....I'm training straight through this race.

I think because of that--because I will not be tapered or rested--I will have the opportunity to really test myself. I'm excited about it.

I really feel good about it. I'm looking forward to really being uncomfortable.

When I was running today.....Tuesdays the days that Coach says "FEELS LIKE ASS".....I was thinking about growth and change. At the time, I was thinking more of the mental/personality aspect. But then, I was thinking about the physical piece.

I came up with this pain = growth. (You can use the word discomfort. I use pain because the workouts that I have been doing are downright painful and THE hardest workouts I have ever done in my LIFE. No. I'm not exaggerating). oh. and I should say, "Yes. I know. I'm not creating any type of brand new psychological theories"

I guess the whole concept came to me when I was running on Sunday. I had brutal workouts on Sat. Turned around on Sunday and ran a 5k with a super long cooldown that put me at 9 miles for the day.

For the 2nd cooldown, which came later in the day, the first step I took.....oh crap....I can't even tell you how much my legs and butt hurt. I took it slow and by the end I had worked through the pain. It still hurt, but I no longer cared. In fact, I was a little bit, ok, REALLY happy to be running in so much pain!

I'm talking REAL pain....not the "Oh, that tickles a little bit." I'm talking about the type of pain where you just want to stop, you don't think you can handle taking another step.

I've never experienced this; not even when I previously trained for Ironman or Halfs.

Pain = growth. I could quit, but I won't grow. I won't be a stronger athlete if I quit.

I ran the 5k on sore/tired legs. I ran later in the day in even worse shape. The previous weekend I raced my best sprint ever.

Can you see it happening? Do I make any sense?

I am becoming a stronger athlete. I've put in so many years of consistent training, and I could never get to this point.

I don't know how it will translate to finish times. I don't care.

I feel like I control my races and training now.

This weekend, I have a plan in place. It's not based on paces or times. Once again, it's a strategy. It's a physical plan and a mental strategy to help me get to the next level.

For the first time ever, I don't doubt myself. I know I can do it. That's why I'm excited.