Monday, December 7, 2015

Don't be afraid of your power

I started blogging in 2002. I have always written (ad nauseum) about my current training plan or coach.

I write about my coach because a coach is the single most important person in my tri life. It's the person with whom I share everything. I'm not afraid of being vulnerable. I'm not afraid of telling her my greatest fears and biggest goals.

On the flip side, I give everything I can to my coach and the workouts. I am completely engaged in the process. I ask questions. (I've even questioned the process).

As I was recovering between intervals yesterday, I had several thoughts running through my head.

"Don't be afraid of your power, Tea."

"Eat pain and go back for more."

"You'll be at the threshold of hell. Hold on and go harder."

Triathletes are surrounded by data. We use heart rate info, pace, power metrics, effort. You name it. We measure it.

I appreciate the data, but the one thing that is missing is "how is that supposed to feel?"

I'm one of those triathletes who need to know HOW a training session is supposed to the bare bones....ugly level.

I need to know. I need to know what level of pain I need to embrace. I don't do well with ignoring pain. I need to look forward to it, embrace it, own it.

When I started with Liz, some of you might remember this, I blew up at her one day in frustration.

"I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how I'm supposed to FEEL out there. I feel like everyone has a secret that I don't know!"

Sure. I knew that I was supposed to race at threshold, but what does that actually feel like?

That's when the BEST of the BEST Liz quotes were born.

Since then, she is constantly telling me how I'm supposed to feel in addition to pace/power info.

6 x 1 mile intervals.....after running 5 miles?  Your legs will burn! You'll want to stop. Your quads will be screaming at you like they do in a 5k. No. it's not easy. YOU CAN. Tea. YOU CAN DO THIS.

When I got home from those intervals, she and I talked.....well, we emailed (hey, I'm an introvert. She's an introvert......we communicate better by email when I've had time to process things).

I realized in our conversation that there's a level of pain that I never experienced until yesterday......and I can go beyond even that level.

I'm ready.

I'm going to take my running to the threshold of hell. Hold on and go harder.