Friday, November 29, 2013

Get your head right

I get confused. Most times, I can't remember if I've said things here, on my blog, or if I've said them as notes to my coach in my training plan. (Trust me....those could be blog entries in and of themselves.)

Because of that, I can be repetitive. I figure that if you don't want to read it, you don't have to. If it keeps my head straight (stop laughing) then it's worth it for me to be repetitive.

I mention this because I think I've figured out what I need to work on next year.

As I HAVE said before, sometimes training or racing issues can be hidden within other issues. It takes awhile to figure them all out.

This year, I've really been paying attention to what I do well and what I don't do well....or things that I need to address.

I've come up with 2 big issues.

Honestly, I have more than 2 issues. BUT, these are the two that I (personally) feel are the ones that are holding me back the most.

Keep in mind, I haven't talked about this with Coach Mike.

Speaking of which, Hi Mike. 

He probably sees a whole NUTHER set of things that I don't see.

which is fine. We'll deal with those too. I'm sure.

Here are my "areas for improvement":

1.) Nutrition
2.) Run

Let's break it down:

Worth repeating, the Oly distance kicked my ass this year. It did. There was one thing that was consistent throughout every single Oly distance race.

That one single thing was how I felt--physically at the same point in every race. That point was when I was starting my run.

It's the same way that I feel during the last 5k of a half marathon.

Obviously, I've made some big changes in my daily nutrition. Of course, triathlon season is over for the year, here in the States. I haven't really had the opportunity to see how these changes will affect me in a race.

I know this is mostly a nutrition issue because of my recent half, in which I felt better than I'd had at any previous race of over 2 hours.

The good news is that I now know the difference between how crashing (due to not enough calories) feels versus the discomfort involved at the end of a half marathon.

They are very different.

I affectionately refer to being depleted as "total body breakdown" (TBB). If it's happened to you, you know what I mean. Everything literally gives out.

Being uncomfortable because you're going hard....well, that's actually kind of a cool feeling. Yeah, it hurts, but it's not even in the same realm as total body breakdown.

That's HUGE progress for me, learning to identify the differences. I know what I'm up against when things start hurting.

At the same time, I've got to get my shit together in regards to nutrition. It's one thing to have TBB with a 10k left. It's totally different if it happens, and I've got 4 more hours of racing to go.

Not that I have PLANS to do anything longer. AmIright?

Hi Coach Mike.

Seriously, it's something I need to work on next year. I can't hit any of my Oly goals without it. Well, I can but really painfully. That's no fun.

I've said over and over....I'm beyond "toughing it out".

My training is great. Now, I have to get my nutrition in place.

This may or may not surprise you, but the run isn't about getting faster. I mean, really, show me ONE person that doesn't want to get faster.


My issue is how I approach the run.
Right now, my running-head is where my swimming-head was 2 years ago.

What do I mean?

It's a "goingthroughthemotionspleaseletsomethingsticksoIcanatleastgetalittlefasterorgolongerorjustanythingjustmakemyrunningbetter."

It's about being able to push through that barrier, being willing to really go hard. It took me awhile with swimming. It's so easy, so comfortable to go right up to the level of GREATNESS and stop before getting there and say, "Oh, this is good enough. I can be quite happy and comfortable here. After all, it's better than I used to be. Would you like some tea?"

And....everything becomes a habit.

Not pushing the limits swimming WAS a habit.

Now, pushing the limits swimming is my habit.

That's the mental jump that I have to make with running.

But it IS a little more complicated.....

Do you see the double whammy?

The RUN. My 3rd best event.....just so happens to come when I was going through TBB. We're taking an event that isn't very easy for me and turning it into a MONSTER.

when it doesn't have to be.

It's been a circular battle. Nutrition isn't right, so running sucks, which makes me like running less and less, which gave me a really bad attitude about the whole running thing and thinking I can't do anything and everyone is so much better stronger faster and I just suck at running.

Do you hear that?

That smacking noise?

My friends this is where the shit hits the fan. 

Where does this leave me?

With GOALS people! Goals for myself that GO BEYOND FINISH times

ipso facto....ultimately affect finish times.

I keep working on my nutrition. As that begins to fall into place, my attitude toward running will change.

But, I also need to work on it. I can't look at running as a grueling exercise. I don't look at swimming or biking that way. When I swim or bike, I see it as a challenge that I can rise to.  When I run, I feel like I'm getting a beat down. THAT needs to change.

In other words, "Get your head right, Tea."

Honestly, I don't exactly know what I have to do. It took time with swimming. I think I have to work with small accomplishments. It's like the first time I swam a 1:50, 100m. I did it ONCE. That meant I could do it again. I only did it once that day. But then it happened again and again.

Some people work really well with big lofty goals. That's never really worked for me. I have to find the small goals that I can hit (not easily mind you) but that require work. I get too intimidated by big goals.

I mean, how can I work for THAT if I can't even do THIS?

I don't know how the story is going to play out, but I know that I'm going to change my view of running.

Running is the newest challenge. The bright shiny NEW challenge.

When things start to click, I'll have the total package. That's when I'll be ready to graduate to the next distance.