There are athletes who have epiphanies every time they train. I wish I had that level of introspection.
I guess I have to take my moments of clarity as I get them.
Here's my epiphany for the year:
THIS IS REALLY HARD. THIS. WHAT I'M DOING. IT'S REALLY HARD.
OBVIOUSLY, I must be a direct descendant of Einstein.
For the past....3 weeks or so, I've had a really hard time with the workouts. Not all the workouts....but the big important workouts of the week have pushed me past whatever pain tolerance I had.
What I'm trying to say is that "I've failed workouts."
I took it personally. I was really upset with myself.
Over the weekend, I couldn't do it. The workout was (without going into all the details) holding 90% FTP for almost an hour. I kept giving myself outs. I'd go as long as I could, and I'd take a minute breather. That wasn't how the workout was supposed to be.
I should say this: I nailed the run off the bike. That made me feel better.
I told Liz. She wanted to know if my legs gave out or if my lungs gave out.
I said, "My mind gave out."
That's the truth. I'm just not mentally strong enough to power through these workouts. I want to be, but I'm not there yet.
Today, I was on my way to masters. STILL thinking about the ONE bike workout this weekend.
This is all new for me, right? I came to Liz as some soft little fuzzy ball.
A very determined soft little fuzzy ball but still. I had the mental toughness of a guy with man-flu. (Man flu. It's a thing).
I've had to learn how to get tougher. My moment of clarity came when Liz said, "I'd rather you try and fail. This distance is very difficult."
Sometimes I put ridiculous standards on myself, forgetting that I don't have to be perfect in my workouts. I should work on being just a little bit stronger than I was last week. I read blogs. I track people at races, and I think, "How do they do that? How did they get so tough?"
I know the answer. It took time. They worked on it.
I'm 47 years old. I'm not a top age grouper. I wasn't even on the All American list last year. Each year, my goal is to move up in the rankings, and I've done that.
Any pressure, any rushing to accomplish things is on me, and I've got time.
You know what? After the light bulb came on, I felt so much better about the past few weeks and about where I'm going and what I want to do this Fall and next year.
I don't have to work on being perfect. I will work on being a little better this week than I was last week.