Monday, 7 September 2015

On Your Marks, Get Set...NO WAIT! I'm not ready.

I have a mental battle with myself before every training session.

Every excuse I could possibly come up with will tempt me back to bed. Tempt me to stay within the warmth and safety of my duvet. Urging me to nestle back into my pillow and "do it tomorrow instead".
Sometimes my head still wins, but more often than not I've dragged my lazy ass out of bed and am out the door before my head realises what's going on. 

Except for swimming. I still hate swimming. 

The sessions where I win the battle are always the best. 
This blog was started to remind me of my entire journey though, not just the best sessions. I write this to remind me that I've survived the worst moments too.

The moments where I look like this...

Can you guess what I wanted to say to the camera man?

About a month ago I was gearing up ready to race my first duathlon. Taupo had given a me a new excitement to race and I was nervous but excited to get stuck into race season.

A little dabble around Scorching Bay with a 2k run/12k cycle/2k run/12k cycle/2k run. Seemed pretty easy, but the night before stress got the better of me. On top of the bigger stresses came the stupid excuses. Where will I park? What if I can't get my bike in the car? What if I can't find the registration tent?
It's not often my coach (Emma) will tell someone not to race, but through the waves of insanity (which turned out to be a 2 day migraine) I managed to read the text telling me to rest. To take an easy week and reset. 

Turns out this was pretty amazing advice. Emma re-wrote my programme and eased me back into training. We built back to long runs and rides, and took the pressure out of the swims. The next race was a month away so we had time. I listened to stories of other clients who kept pushing through stressful weeks and burned out resulting in sickness and missing weeks of training. 

Yup, I listened! And it paid off.
I actually didn't have a choice. On top of everything, I put my back out that week as well.

I'm now comfortably running 18kms, riding for 3-4 hours, and can happily swim 1km. I'm even starting to nail the nutrition side of things and am feeling GOOD while training. 

Halfway through 16km run
Halfway through 18km run

Nailing post 80km ride nutrition with an iced chocolate

The biggest mental battle to date - Scorching Duathlon - Upper Hutt

10km run/40km cycle/5km run. Goal - 3 hours.
Reality: 3hrs 22 mins of hell.

After hiding in a bush from the mini hail storm I started my Garmin and off I ran into the sunshine towards Rimutaka Prison. Now when I write it down, it seems obvious it was going to be hell! 1km into the course came a rather steep hill, most of which I managed to run. Until the next part of the hill, and the uneven downhill terrain, and more up hill. Oh and the stairs. 
Heart pounding, legs burning and a few swear words muttered to the photographer slowing my breathing, I still managed to keep going and catch the back of the pack on the downhill and hold on back to transition. That was ONE loop, of two. FML.

There's a dark place your mind goes to when you're coming dead last in a race. 
The frustration carried into the ride where I finally got the chance to have a drink and get some fuel on board. No amount of Replace could have prepared me for the dread I felt when I saw Wallaceville hill 3km into my ride. 

Here's what I learned during the bike phase. 

  • When you're coming last in a race you're only competing with yourself. The race becomes about finishing and doing the best you can.
  • Quitting will not make you proud.
  • Chaffing sucks. Buy some chamois cream!
  • I wasn't actually last, there were 3 people behind me
  • When you catch the person who you thought was miles in front of you, the race is back on! Screw doing your best, just stay in front of this guy!

Last was the little 5km run. Easy. 30 mins and I am done. 


A combination of dehydration, not enough food and the posture I held on the bike caused my back to seize up again and I limped/walked most of the 2.5km loop before deciding to cross the finish line early. As much as I regret not fully completing the race, I think I made the right choice in not injuring myself further.
Thanks to Simon for bringing me food, giving me hugs and being an awesome race buddy!

Next race is a half marathon this Sunday. It doesn't involve hills and I'm quite excited. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome accomplishments, including listening to your body & not pushing yourself into injury mode.