Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do it right or don't do it at all

As many of you know, there comes a point in training where the miles get long. You have a lot of time to be alone with your thoughts.

This can be both good and bad. Recently, I've been on both sides of this. There have been days, I've just wanted to quit. So.badly. 

On a particularly bad day last week, I was surrounded by thoughts of: "I can't do this. Who am I fooling? Running around acting like a triathlete? What's the point? Just go home and tell Mr. Tea that you're not going to do the race. It's ok. This running. This heat. The hills. Everyone quits. Just stop."

And that's what I did. I stopped running.

"It's just too hard"  I told myself.

"You're missing too many workouts. You're going too slowly."

"Do you KNOW how fast those women will be at Ironman? Do you KNOW? You're not in their league, no matter how much you train."

I cut the run short. 

This attitude, evidently, came through while I was updating my training log. This set off an immediate email conversation between me 'n coach.

What I realized is that it's always easier to blame everything "else" in your life. But nothing will change until you take ownership of your actions.  

Sometimes, when knee deep in WHATEVER it is, we all miss the forest for the trees.  

So, when coach started going off about this and that. I thought "Of course, all of that is true. But, it certainly doesn't pertain to me. I know all that. I wouldn't make that mistake."

Then, he said something that struck me. It went something like this: Get up earlier. Quit your complaining. It's not supposed to be easy.  Don't give a half-assed effort. Get out there and make the workouts count. Get your head right.

ME? Give a half assed effort? Who does he think he's talking to? I'm not some newbie doing a 70.3 for the first time! Doesn't he know it's hot? Doesn't he know how hard the hills are?

That night I stewed on this a bit. 

The next morning, I realized that he was right. Am I slacking? Absolutely not. Was I cheating myself from hitting my goals?


Then, I came across this quote:

"If you are always allowed to stop training when you feel discomfort, you will find it too easy to give yourself permission to quit." --Jet Li

Coach was right. Jet Li was right.

I was wrong.

I realized that I'd become too hung up on my goal. I lost the joy of just training. 

The thing, THE thing that I loved more than anything. TRAINING for the sheer fun of challenging myself to be better than I was the week before.

Training doesn't have to be perfect. I just have to do it right, give everything I have for that day, that moment when I am doing that THING. If I can't do that, I shouldn't be doing it at all.

I don't know what will happen at Boulder. I DO know that I'd rather miss my goal time and enjoy the path that I took to get there.....than PR and need time off to recover mentally and physically. 


Julie said...

Woot Woot!!! Thanks for the pep talk! :) I just decided this week too that it's time to buckle down and hit my training hard! Boulder will be here before we know it and damit while my goals aren't as concrete as yours, for my first 70.3 I want to finish, and I would love to not feel like death when do it!

Wes said...

Great post, Tea. You're old hat at this now. If you're not doing this for you, who are you doing it for? At the end of the day, its your risk. Your reward.

and I prefer:

1. Do it right.
2. Just do it.
3. Don't do it at all.

and as long as I'm not copping out, #2 is OK with me :-)

Carolina John said...

Holla! This is beautiful. Well put. I'm fighting the same thing right now. Kids are out of school and want to do stuff. It's 95 degrees with 90% humidity outside most of the day. All of the stationary bikes at the gym are broken right now (separate rant there). My ass hurts. and 140.6 miles seems incredibly intimidating right now. And I'm 18 weeks into my 8 month training plan.

I need your attitude.

Stef said...

Great reminder to all of us!

It sucks to get called out but sometimes it's oh so very necessary (speaking from personal experience here).

It's inspiring to read how much you love training -- and how you got yourself back to that touchstone. Very powerful and very real cause it's not always easy and it's not always fun.

Bill said...

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Anonymous said...

I have shirt for days (weeks) like that.

The quote on the front says (in a simple true-type font) "Shut the F*&^ up and TRAIN".

I wear it inside out. Because, obviously. Sometimes, we all need an outer coach to yell at us when the inner coach has been given one too many shots of Slackassery.