Monday, July 18, 2011


This week I had another lesson in mental toughness.

Friday had a 3 hour ride on the books.  With work and non-tri life responsibilities,  this was going to have to be on the trainer.  And truthfully, I usually find it easier to hit certain intervals/watts on the trainer anyway.  But 3 hours is a long time to pedal to nowhere.  Even with a veritable smorgasbord of TV shows at my fingertips.  I will admit that I was not mentally prepared for this ride.  It had been a long week and I was just having trouble with my focus.  The TV was not keeping me distracted.  I kept fidgeting in the saddle, rearranging my butt.  It was a real battle to keep pedaling, and eventually, for the cool down I just turned off the TV, let my head hang and got it done.  Oof.  Oh, and now go run for a bit.  Double oof.  My legs were aching to be sure.

Saturday was a blur of eat, errands, sleep, eat, sleep.

Sunday we were up bright and early to head to a local little 5k.  When I guaranteed my hubby that it was flat, not "flat" like the last 5k I got him to sign up for, he had signed up too.  We arrived to overcast skies, cool temps, flat course.  Perfect running conditions.  The only drawback was the lack of a true start line, or any kind of instruction on lining up according to pace.  So the start was a bit of bob/weave.  And it never feels good to have the woman pushing the stroller blow by, never to be seen again.  I had the thought, "Yeah, that's just what it would be like if Coach was pushing Max."

The first oh, mile to mile and half, went by pretty quickly.  Just got my legs up to speed and tried to keep them steady.  Just after I hit the mile 2 marker, it seemed like I was getting winded.  My legs felt okay, but my head was telling me otherwise.  Amazingly, just before the 3 mile marker, I had thoughts of slowing up.  What?!?!  The end is *right there*.  I was on pace to hit my goal, and yet my head was trying to talk me out of it.  Keep moving feet.  Just keep moving.  A little faster.  The faster you run, the sooner you'll be finished.  I made the final turn, with just .1 of a mile left, and.......ran up the hill to the finish.  I made my time goal, going sub 8 min/miles for the first time in a run race.  And that was after a 10 hour workout week.  And the tough trainer ride just two days prior.  All which make me wonder how much my legs are being limited by my head when I run.  I have a suspicion that the legs have more in them than I think.  And that is what's holding them back.  It's a mental game.  But I'm getting a little bit better at the game all the time.

After I finished, I jogged back to find out where hubby was on the course.  He was just a few tenths from the finish and I ran along with him, encouraging him to push to the finish.  And on virtually no training at all, he made it easily under 30:00.  Woot!  Now, let's go find some breakfast!

To top it off....when they posted results today, I got 3rd in my age group.  My first running "award".
3/33  in my AG (missed 2nd by 6 measly seconds!)
12/116 women over all

Gotta love small races!

We now return to our regularly scheduled half IM training.  Biggest training week yet.  Giddy up!


Molly said...

Woohoo, big PR!!!!

The mental stuff is SO tough. Some days I know it's my head, not my legs, and yet I can't get out of it. You're doing great!!!

Jo Lynn said...

You're so mysterious - what was your finish time in the 5k? Congratulations on the AG place. That's awesome!
I'm glad I have a trainer for the winter when I don't want to ride in the rain but I certainly don't think I could sit on the darn thing for 3 hours. Blech!