Sunday, June 27, 2010

I am such a mental case . . .

When I first decided to do a triathlon I just thought there would be a swim, a bike & a run. No big deal, right? Well, I've since found there is a 4th aspect to triathlon, which is nutrition. The longer distance you do, the more attention you need to pay to what you put into your body relative to your output; you will burn more than you should put back in to your body.

I really only did sprint triathlons until I jumped up to the Santa Barbara Long Course - I completely skipped an Olympic-distance event altogether (by the way, I am way off course of my thought process here, but bear with me . . . ) so my nutrition did have to change somewhat. It mostly had to change because I was essentially training for an Ironman, but I wasn't "training for an Ironman"! I was just hanging out with some of my favorite people on the planet, who happened to be actually training for an Ironman. So, if I wanted to hang with them . . . then this was what I had to do!

Thus I learned that nutrition was a major part of my triathlon life & I had to pay very close attention to it.

What I did not really have to pay close attention to was the mental aspect of all of it.

For instance, let's say Vit & G-Money had a 6 a.m. training swim of 4,500 yds. Well, I would much rather sleep in or maybe just swim 3,400 yds instead . . . after all, I was not training for anything in particular.

Don't get me wrong; I did 6-7 hour bike rides, swam & even did long runs. But there were definitely days I would take a "pass."

Well, now there are no "passes" to be had. There are no sleep-ins & no short swims. There is only hardcore, nitty gritty, teeth-gnashing pain & suffering!!!!

O.K. . . . maybe not so much all pain & suffering, but let's face facts: some days are just downright tough. Some days require all of my concentration to remind me of what my "big picture" is: What is this all for? I signed up for this & I need to be enjoying every minute of it. The good - the bad - the ugly.

Recently I read in one of my triathlete magazines that we should work on "quieting our mind" - this way our muscles can focus on working. I have been able to do this. It works pretty well. Except for the one tiny problem that I have . . . I can't seem to shut my mind up for very long!! I pretty much talk constantly to myself - both out loud & in my head. I will sing songs to myself. I will tell my legs to keep on moving to get up the hill. You name it & I tell it to myself.

When I get really ticked off, go ahead and try honking at me . . . I dare ya!

Seriously, the 5th aspect of triathlon is fo sho the mental training it takes to get to race day - let alone what it takes on race day. I have never done a full Ironman but I have done a 70.3. And there were parts of the race where I felt like I was going a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Today I trained indoors on my bike with Coach Troy. We rode in Louisville, Ky. It was a lovely day. We rode 3 hours, 26 minutes for a total of 75 miles. (Sure wish I could do that on the street!) My BFFTPFL Vit was out of town so I was on my own, which is good training since he will not be by my side during my Ironman. It started out a bit shaky, eased up, then I had to pee, got OK again, I tried to quiet my mind, that lasted a few minutes, tried different hand positions, peed again, drank, took nutrition, etc. In other words: I really had to mentally push myself to get through this one. I did it & felt really good in the end. (Well, not "the end" - if ya know what I mean . . . )

I know there are going to be a lot more days like this - especially as the training really starts to increase. I am still unable to run due to that dang ankle injury, but I am doing physical therapy & started aquajogging. Keep your fingers crossed.

I am going to be paying close attention to keeping my mind quiet & working on my mental training. I can see that it is ULTRA important, so it will be worth the investment of time - and in my case, energy - to work at SHUTTING UP!!!! and just training.

Let's get to it . . .

Much Peace & Love,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Haiku - actually a LAIKU ("like" a haiku) - to you. . .

Let's do the Mud Run
I made it just half a mile
Then I rolled my ankle.

I missed the dirt hole
only to roll into another dirt hole
where I rolled my ankle

It all happened so fast
I could not believe what just occurred
Landed hard on my knee

Got up took two steps
Realized quick it was not gonna happen
Said just go without me

Turned quick on my heels
Had to go against the other runners
To make it outta there

The tears started to roll
Been two straight years in a row
This run has injured me

I have taken an oath
To never return to this race again
Except as an enthusiastic spectator

There are things to do
Much bigger fish that I must fry
To get to Ironman Arizona!

Much Peace & Love,