The second time I do the same thing
The third time I do something
Back in May or June, Liz and I were talking about run cadence. To put this in perspective, I was a plodder. My cadence would average about 160. The goal cadence is 180.
I knew how important it was. I was frustrated beyond belief. I didn't want to talk about it anymore. There were NO drills that could help me.
One day, Liz asked me exactly what the issue was.
I told her, "I'm unable to do it. I don't mean I have a mental block. I mean, I am physically unable to hold a fast cadence for more than a few seconds."
I thought she was going to tell me that I just wasn't working hard enough.
Instead, she said to me, "I think you have weakened muscles. That's why you can't do it. You've done nothing wrong. It's the result of having babies. Once those muscles are stretched out, they don't go back on their own. Other muscles become overactive to make up for the loss. We have to work on those muscles to get them to engage again. Most women don't".
She gave my a list of exercises to do 3-4 times a week.
I knew she was on to something when I couldn't even do several of the exercises.
During this same time, I had been working with my massage therapist. He had been working with me on running posture & working out some ridiculously tight areas. He gave me a list of stretches to do...with instructions to do them every day....just do what you can for 15 minutes a day.
For months, I've done the work.
I went back to my massage therapist. "We're making progress. That's good. Don't get frustrated. This can take a long time to fix".
I religiously did my Liz exercises. I continued stretching.
Then, one day when I was running, I noticed that I no longer had soreness in my butt when I ran.
It seemed like it just happened out of nowhere.
We continued with cadence drills. Nothing was changing.
BUT, exercises that I couldn't do at the start, I was now able to do.
Exercises that I was doing before with a band, I was now doing with a stronger band.
My cadence wasn't changing but I noticed significantly less fatigue when I ran.
Then, this week happened.
Out of nowhere, I ran and held 180+ cadence, without fatigue, without even thinking about it. The previous week, I was at 160-165.
Ok. I don't know where that came from.
It happened a second time.
Then, a third time.
The true test was today. My legs are crazy sore (very fatigued). I didn't set any expectations. I didn't label myself as good or bad. I went out there and ran.
Sore and tired, and I ran with a cadence of 180+.
SIX MONTHS after first starting to really address the issue. SIX MONTHS without seeing a direct change.
Throughout the whole process, I stayed focused. There were times when I thought I'd never make any progress.
Getting good at one sport takes a really long time. It can take years to become a top 10 age group swimmer. It can take years to go from a 1.86 w/kg on the bike to 3.4%.
When you're putting 3 sports together PLUS transitions PLUS nutrition? Well, getting good at triathlon take a really long time, a really long time.
Good things come to those who work for it.
One day, you'll wake up, and you won't even recognize yourself anymore.