People often talk about the journey that it takes in order to train for an complete and Ironman. It’s all of the hours spent training in whatever conditions nature gives you. All of the miles covered. All of the bumps and bruises incured, etc. Oftentimes, we over look the mental journey and mental strength that it takes to get there. This past weekend was absolute proof of that.
I don’t have a sad face from this weekend, so here’s a sad face from another day!
Saturday was a planned swim in Lake George, then a ride of the Big George Half Ironman bike course (56 miles), followed by the Lake George Olympic bike course (24.8 miles). The swim got started late, my goggles were leaking like a b$&@! and so I only ended up swimming for maybe 15-20 minutes. Fail 1 on the day. The rest of the training crew arrived, there were nine of us in total, and we headed out for what should have been a relatively easy ride of 56 miles up around Brandt Lake and back down to Lake George. I realized quickly that the ride wasn’t going to go as planned, well, at least not for me any way. When we were at 12 miles and I was already having major saddle issues, I remembered exactly why I had wanted to put on bike shorts before riding. I thought for a moment about turning around, but I really thought that it wouldn’t be that bad and I could tough it out for 56 miles. Yes, boy am I smart. By the time we were up and heading around the back side of Brandt Lake I was in some serious pain. The last 16 or so miles were an absolute night mare for me. The tri shorts that I had chosen for the day were chafing some of my lady parts and they rubbed every. single. peddle stroke. This really makes one not want to peddle by the way.
There was pain, then of course the tears followed. I went into my entire sob fest of how I suck at training, I cannot do anything right and how I’m just not meant to do anything. Nothing. I’m a loser. And that’s that. Why I wasn’t run off the road by my best supporter is entirely beyond me. I heard a lot of
“you can do this.”
“it’s just your shorts.”
“this doesn’t say anything about your overall training, you are in physical pain.”
“what is wrong with you. get yourself together.”
And it went on. Just imagine if it had been someone else, they probably would have launched directly into the shut the heck up line. And then to add insult to injury, I was being such an ass and not paying attention that I drove my bike off the shoulder of the road into a sand pit and experienced a slow motion tip over while clipped into my bike. I let out a good scream, a neighbor came out to ask if I needed help and a car stopped. Whoa. We walked for about five minutes. And then I realized that I was spending so much time beating myself up that I was zapping any energy that I had left for the ride.
So, then I had to retreat into my own head a little bit.
And I started the internal positive self-talk. It went something like this…
“you can do this.”
“you’ve done this before.”
“when you make it back, you never have to wear these shorts again.”
“you are stronger than you think.”
Some how I managed to pull myself together … mostly. And we rode the rest of the way back, all be it slower than it should have been.
I finished off this painful ride by cancelling the ride of the second bike course. Instead I went out and ran a solid five miles making up for the crap that I laid down on the bike course.
Again, I say whoa. Saturday’s training did not go according to plan at all. However, I had the option several times both on the bike and before starting the run to quit. No matter how much negative self talk I did, I was able to remind myself that I am not a quitter. I’m not ok with quitting. If I were, this would all probably be said and done by now. And I ended the day feeling like one step at a time and this can be done.
The journey. Good to bad and then back again.
Fortunately for me, Sunday’s training went much better. I managed to run 13.5 miles in the blazing heat and humidity that we’re having. We did loops around a local park to stay near water, bathrooms and the like. At one point a women who was resting on a bench asked us why in the world we were running. I probably should have asked myself that! Yikes it was hot, but we ran, then set up a run/walk interval and all in all finished strong. I can safely say that it would NOT have happened with out training partners though.
So now I ask…. For one, how was your weekend training?
And for two, people, please tell me about what shorts you LOVE on the bike. I’m clearly in the market for something new. Something a little more long ride, saddle and lady parts friendly.