Sunday, June 7, 2015

What do you want most?

My training volume is going up. and up. and up.

There are so many times that I want to write, but when I have the time to write, I'm too tired to do it.

On Saturday, I had a long run. It was hot, humid and the sun was beating down on me. My legs were hurting. Then, out of nowhere....which is normal for CO....a complete downpour. In less than a minute, my running shoes were filled with water.

The only thought that popped into my head was, "I love this stuff."

I loved the feeling of doing a long run, building intensity throughout on a hilly course. I loved being hot....then soaking wet. I loved the feeling of being able to run even though my legs were really uncomfortable.

When you get to that point, training is easy. Not all days are easy to get going. I know. I have those days too. But MOST of the time, I don't have to convince myself to train. No matter how I feel, I look forward to whatever Coach throws at me.

I've been thinking a lot about the evolution of my goals lately. I think it has a lot to do with this.

Even when you have goals, it's hard to have discipline if they aren't your goals. I was recently talking to a woman who is training for IM Boulder. Yet, she doesn't want to do the race. She isn't experiencing the normal fatigue from training. She doesn't want to do the race. 

I asked her why she signed up to begin with, and she said, "Well, my friends were doing it....."

As an outsider looking in, it's very easy to tell when people are 100% committed to their goals, whether it is doing their first race, doing a new distance or working for some type of qualification. How do you know? The people who are 100% committed do not quit. They do not miss workouts. They have a discipline that overrides short term wants for long term matter WHAT life throws at them, they get it done at all costs.

Everyone else....they skip workouts.....they cut workouts short.....regardless of their situations. They blame work, kids, illness, etc. 

I think, and of course, I could be wrong, I think this issue comes from a lack of direction and not because these athletes are weak.

It's damn hard to be committed to something if your heart isn't in the goal to begin with.

If you set goals to gain respect from others or to feel like you belong to a certain group, you won't be successful in reaching your goals, not to the best of your ability anyway. "completion goals" are obviously easier to accomplish than say wanting to qualify for something. Does that make sense? If you want to complete an Ironman as long as you put in the training barring some issue, you'll finish.  Qualifying for something is very different.

If you are chasing the dreams of others, you'll never fully be committed to those goals. When you're not committed, it's easy to skip or cut workouts short. There are unlimited excuses out there, and excuses are easy to justify to yourself if you don't embrace and OWN the goal.

I was recently talking to one of my favorite athletes and one that I respect as much as I respect Coach Liz. Amanda is the 70.3 World Champion 2014 and the OA Amateur winner at IMAZ 2014. (She's also one of Liz's athletes).

The reason I respect her so much is because she is a regular person. She didn't start triathlon as a champion. She started as a regular ole triathlete who had goals and was completely committed to them.

I feel very fortunate that my Coach recently became the North American Champion at IMTX. I'm fortunate that I have access to the 70.3 World Champion-Amanda.

I wanted to know what she went through to prepare last year for Kona & IMAZ. What is required to be a TOP Age Grouper? What is required to be the BEST?

In listening to her, I realized that at this point in my life, I don't have the drive to do what is required to be a top age grouper at the IM distance. 

It was a great conversation for me because I tend to go all in on goals. I realized that if I decide to do an Ironman, I will be doing it for completion only. I just don't have the desire to do the required training to be OUTSTANDING.

For this year, I have the National Championship in August. I don't have anything planned after August because my goals are in flux after that. I have several big goals in mind. Equally important goals.

I decided to wait to see how I feel after the Championship. I plan to take a few weeks off from training and assess my goals to figure out which one I want to work on first.

I guess I've reached the point I wanted to make. Some times our goals change. It doesn't mean we're weak. It simply means we've changed our minds. As long as we change our goals based on things that are truly important to us and not what our friends are doing or what the coolest new trend's ok that we change our goals or go in a different direction.

You just have to figure out what you want most.