I started blogging in 2003 as part of a running forum. It's amazing to me that over the years, I've kept in touch with some of those runners. Some of them even read my blog, now and again.
We've watched our kids grow up; we saw painful divorces together; we've lost family and friends; we've gone through treatment for horrible diseases...and won...and sometimes lost the battle. We've seen the arrival of grandkids.....or multiple grandkids.
We've seen each other go from casual runner to BQ'er to ultra-marathoner to triathlete to cyclist to yogi to cross fitter to Spartan racers to mountain climbers....and on and on.
We have celebrated so many wins together.
During that time, my blogging has changed. When I first joined the running forum, I was a casual runner. I'd done races over the years. I never trained for anything.
My blog posts were all about everything that I'd accomplished. I ran 8 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles for the FIRST TIME EVER.
I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon in 2:21 and my first marathon with those people (5:57---which is actually a lesson in how to "not" actually train for a marathon but run it anyway in a blizzard...because.....what else do you do when you turn 40)?
We've all done stupid stuff and laughed about it.
As I grew as an athlete, my training had to change to meet new goals.
What's that line in Miley Cyrus's song? Something like, "There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move".
I no longer talked about how hard a workout was. They're all hard. It's the nature of short course. We can go harder more days of the week because the workouts are shorter. I'm a triathlete so I'm speaking in terms of managing 4 sports (swim, bike, run, srength). If you are a single sport athlete, the number days of intensity depend on your distance, your age, your experience, etc. Obviously, you can't run hard 5 days in a row. In my world, I can train hard for 5 days in a row.
I kept this quiet except for a few people. I made Team USA again. When I found out, I thought back to what it has taken to get to this point.
You'd be surprised at the number of people who will put you down for your success. They pretend to be supporters, but their jealousy rings through loud and clear. They see something in YOU that they don't believe they have.
They see your success as their failure.
At first, those comments really stung. Then, I realized (many years ago) that their words and actions reflect on them and have nothing to go with me. They are toxic people. I cut them out of my life.
Through my blog, I have aired my dirty laundry.
I have put my weaknesses and strengths on display. You've seen me get frustrated beyond anything I'd had experienced before. You've seen me surprise myself.
I have given you all access to all the good and bad about what it has taken me to get to where I am.
This is starting to sound like a Dear John letter.
It's not. It's about transformation.
As I've changed, my blog has had to change as well.
You know that 2018 is the Year of Strong. It's been all mental work this year. The result is that mental gains are being followed up with physical gains.
This is important shit. It's probably the most important training I have ever done. And, I think it is really important to talk about it here, but I struggle with how to do that. Although, I'm no expert. I certainly have a lot of experience that can benefit others.
Going forward, I don't know if you'll find all this "mental training" incredibly boring. For me, it's another step. I want to continue to share what I'm going through.
Because not all wins are about a finish time.