Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BOOSH DAHLING BOOSH



I made it. I'm in my last big push for my 70.3 training.

In a way, I can't believe I did it. It's never been an issue of being physically able to do the workouts. It was always an issue of finding ways to keep me engaged in the process.

In previous years many many years ago, (I didn't have a coach), I would shorten my long rides or skip them altogether because they were boring. I'd do the same route every time because it was the closest to the house if something went wrong.

Long runs were a sufferfest, simply because I had NO understanding of fueling.

The swims were pretty decent, but I was doing no open water swimming. Granted, the swim isn't really a concern for me. Still, we all know how important it is to practice open water swimming pacing. OWS and pool swimming are two completely different animals.

Earlier this year, I talked to Liz about where my known weaknesses are. We set up a plan that included mixing in sprint races. She added in bike tours (to keep me engaged in the long ride process). I did open water swim races and went to different locations to practice in different conditions. My long runs were broken down into different pieces and different strategies to keep even the longest of runs interesting. Most importantly, we worked on my fueling plan, trying many different approaches until we found the one that worked for me.

I got through all the workouts. I didn't miss one. I didn't skip any because I just wasn't feeling it. I found that "I just wasn't feeling it" is all mental. The days that feel the worst are the days that I needed to push the most. I either do the workout or I don't. There isn't any "I just wasn't into it today". NOPE. Not for me. That was old Tea. New Tea runs or bikes or swims no matter how hard it is physically or mentally.

Because that's how you're supposed to feel when training for a 70.3. Carrying your body 70 miles under its own power requires being physical and mentally strong enough to do it. The only way you get that is by doing the training on the days that you feel like you can't.

Here I am. I'm in my last month, 3.5 weeks to be exact.

I had two big volume weeks of +15 hours of training back to back. At the end of those two weeks, I was mentally drained. Getting up for long rides and packing up gear and constantly washing bottles and clothes....it just becomes mentally draining for me. I knew I only had to do it for 2 weeks, so I got through it.

Then I hit recovery week (last week). It was just enough to let me recharge. I've never been one of those people who like to do insane workouts for the sake of doing insane workouts. I've always been a "less is more" athlete. Give me what I need to have my best race. I knew that I had to do those +15 hour weeks to meet my goals. That's what I did.

The number of training hours (that I can manage with the rest of my life) always changes as I adapt to new volumes. At the beginning of this year, my max was 12 hours. I knew that I could comfortably train for 12 hours a week. Then, Liz helped me get to 15 hours by creating fun workouts and giving me a lot of recovery. The fact is that I'm a 46 (almost 47) year old woman. I can hit workouts harder than many athletes who are younger than me, but I'm smart enough to know that I also need a lot of recovery from those workouts. I need a lot of sleep and a number of supplements that I was never taking before but need now that I know how my body is changing as I get older.

But maybe the biggest thing that I learned this year is that there is no such thing as being ready for a particular distance. In a way, it's like having kids. Sometimes people will say, "We're waiting until we're ready."  You're never really ready.

It's up to you to take that leap. You know. The one that separates who you are and who you want to be.




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