Sunday, May 18, 2014

Post-race motivation (And mantras)

Uff!  I thought that I would be super excited to jump back into training in May after Wildflower, but getting back into a focused groove post-race has challenged me more than expected.   Some of the issues right now are connected to work.  I thought that the end of the year would dovetail nicely with bigger training weeks, and, while things do ease up in May in some ways, as we look to the end of the year, there are also more random commitments that eat into my time.  Or, I maybe just did a better job of saying "No" in April, and recently there have been certain obligations, both work and personal, that have pulled me away from a super focused training regime.

The other issue is that this is all new territory for me.  For my previous 70.3 distance races, they were my 'A' races for the year, so afterwards, I did some serious kick-back-and-relaxing.  I had a few days off after Wildflower, which I probably enjoyed more than I should (no, I did not yearn to be training as I drank margaritas on several occasions last week!  Yes, true confessions - I drink!  Bad triathlete!).  It's even been difficult this week, and to say that I've felt reluctant about more than one workout would be an understatement.  Some of this may be fear manifesting itself in another way - because I am starting to tackle workouts that seem impossible to me when I see them written in my schedule, yet if I can't manage these workouts, how will I deal with a full Ironman in just over 4 weeks time (yikes!)?

Fortunately, that same fear has also served as a motivating factor, and I've discovered 2 new mantras that seem to push me along, even when I don't want to head out the door for a long run or ride.

One is MTFU or "Man the Fuck Up".  Sorry to be sexist here, but that little phrase seriously helped me out last weekend and again yesterday and today.  Last weekend, the end of my "recovery week" had on tap: a long run + a long ride.  Okay, the usual stuff.  But I was expecting the long run to be a recovery long run, which was not the case.  Ditto for the ride, in all respects.  While I ended up cutting the run short by about 5 minutes, I was determined to get in the full 5 hours on the bike last Sunday.  During that ride, I coined yet another mantra for myself: Embrace the suck.

Not that the entire ride sucked, because it did not, but it was a windy day and at one point, I headed east and dealt with a nasty head wind and then when I flipped it and headed west, there was still a headwind.  How is that possible!!  Also, I was at mile 76.9 of my 80 mile ride and I got a flat tire - the back tire, of course.  So, while I had been repeating "embrace the suck" during most of the ride, at that moment, I switched back to the MTFU motto to change my tire.  Well, I briefly contemplated the "Walk of shame" but decided that was NOT a viable option.  The flat repair was not a pretty experience - somehow my right leg ended up being covered in grease and I even cut myself on my bike - but I managed to change the tire all by myself like a big girl (although I secretly hoped that someone would come along and offer to help me with it).  The other MTFU experience came after the ride - I had the worst saddle sores that I've had to date.  I do know the culprit, this pair of Pearl Izumi shorts that I used to like - and maybe I still do for rides between 20-30 miles, but I'm also thinking about burning them.

As for this weekend, I would like to say that I was excited to get out and run in 90 degree heat yesterday, but that would not be the case.  I did, however, feel 'accomplished' when I hit 16.4 miles in 2:35 - especially because I was low on fuel and really worried about bonking!  I'm not confident about running 9.8 MORE miles (on top of a swim and ride) at this point, but it is nice to see that I am hitting those longer workouts, even though I'm doing it through gritted teeth half the time, cursing at myself and interchanging these two less-than-feel-good mantras.  But, hey, whatever works - I've learned that inspirational stuff doesn't work well for me, but drill sergeant tactics work every time!

Next weekend has even more fun on tap, and I'll try to post some photos too!


mindful mule said...

Glad to see the big miles piling up!

Warm baths and daily chamois cream...

Kristina said...

Rob - I keep thinking that I should be doing more, that I should have done more by this point, but I definitely feel that I'm building a foundation.
And thanks for the tip about the baths - I definitely have chamois cream!