I’ve learned a lot about myself already during my training, but this week was particularly eye-opening. I’m in my 7th week of training…not quite halfway yet. Runs, rides and swims are getting progressively longer and training is starting to become “inconvenient”. My friend asked me if I was sick of training. I don’t think I’m “sick of training”, I just think it’s starting to get overwhelming. This weekend was the first time I’ve shed tears during training. I was supposed to run 10 miles on Saturday. I’ve run 10 miles several times in my life while training for other runs. The weather outside was gorgeous, I had just had an awesome SWAT class (it’s a bootcamp class I teach) and I was ready to go. This run was going to be a solo run, as my normal running buddies were unable to join me. No worries, I thought to myself, as I tied my shoes and got my playlist ready. I’m going to have to do it myself on race day, so might as well get used to it. The first 4 miles went pretty well. There was a lot of hustle and bustle in Lancaster during CityWide Garage Sales and lots to look at. I got to my house right around mile 5. I was tired, warm, and I just felt like I had nothing in me. Weak. I never got to 10 that day. In fact, I stopped at 7.8 miles. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’ve been beating myself up about that all weekend. How am I supposed to finish a 70.3 when I can’t even finish a 10 miler on fresh legs?? How did you let yourself quit? Why couldn’t you just “b.strong”. That was what kept going around and around in my head. I cried. I vented. I had some friends who said, “That’s ok. 7.8 is great!” We all need those friends. But I wasn’t satisfied. There had to be something with my diet that was missing to not have that energy. Something has to change.
Nutrition and food is something I’m always battling. I can do awesome and make great healthy choices all week, and all it takes is one bad choice and I’m back to where I started. Remember that post a few weeks back about food as fuel? Well, I seemed to have forgotten all that and resorted to eating junk. It’s starting to affect my workouts in negative ways. So this week, along with trying to find a wetsuit for breaststrokers is on my list of things to do!
The good news, is that every day is a new one. An opportunity to do better. On Sunday, the day after that horrible run, I brought my swim gear with me to my son’s soccer game in Platteville. He played at 11:45 and again at 2:15. So right after his first game, as the rest of my family headed for lunch, I was dropped off to swim my long swim for the week 1500yards. Not only did I swim that, and felt great, I opted to swim another 300 yards to make up for the run the day before. I swam 1800 yards in well under an hour, so I felt much better.
Things I’ve learned this week:
1. Nutrition Matters! It’s not about eating to lose weight. It’s about eating to stay fueled. My good friend gave me some advice on what to eat before I do my longer workouts and I’ll be looking more into sports nutrition this week using some sites my friend Kelly sent my way.
2. Don’t skip a workout! I slept in Wednesday morning instead of getting up to go to the gym and had to make up those miles the next morning, which didn’t give me as much recovery time for the next day’s run. And I had a really rough day-probably because my morning was so out of my routine.
3. You are going to have bad training days. What’s most important is that you don’t give up. You get up, dust yourself out and attack each new workout with the best intensity you can. Know that some days will be harder than others.
4. This is a mental game. Yeah, you have to do the training to be able to finish, so it’s not all mental, but a big part of it is. I joined a triathlon women’s group on social media and it has been SO helpful. So many women, sharing stories, frustrations, triumphs. I read people’s stories and it reminds me that everyone has as story. It’s up to them (and me) to finish it.
5. Sleep is imperative. I’m learning that the hard way too. All of my workouts are in the morning and there have been nights I’ve only gotten 5 hours of sleep. It may not hit me during the next morning’s workout, but it’ll catch up to me.
6. Ask questions! I talked to the lifeguard at UW-Platteville about my wetsuit dilemma. She had lots of great advice!!
7. Just keep believing in yourself. Self-doubt started creeping in again this week. People ask me about how long this is going to take and I start to think about it and get freaked out. But all it takes is a good workout, a great conversation with a friend, or a minute to reflect on the reason behind this journey and I’m right back at it.