Friday, January 25, 2013

Triathlon Training Update

“The only person you have to try to be better than, is the person that you were yesterday”

I took this picture the day of my bike test. I was wondering how I was going to find my motivation and drive to really do an all out bike ride. It was early and cold and I wasn't really feeling like doing anything to be honest. I lined up on the start line to set up my Garmin and make any last adjustments. Then I turned and saw my bike shadow over the start sign. I took a deep breath in and suddenly found that I felt overwhelmingly thankful. Thankful to be healthy enough to ride my bike, to afford a bike, to wake up pain free in a house that was warm with a roof over my head. In fact, I felt thankful to be able to breathe at all.

I looked back at the start sign again and thought that’s it! Just start. Where ever you are! Whatever your goal! So what if you can’t do a push up or hold a plank or walk miles…start where you are. Move! Go!

What has been interesting about all of this training is pushing myself further and further each week. Now that I have my Garmin and can track each workout, I find it exciting when I see little improvements here and there. On a physical level it is very satisfying.

On a mental level it is almost indescribable. I find that the harder I push my body the calmer my mind gets. I feel like I reach a state of nirvana. It’s at that point in the run, bike or swim that my body surrenders because my mind frees itself and it creates this overwhelming sense of freedom, joy, love. It is also at that point that I feel like I can continue doing what I am doing for hours on end.  Is this the rumored “runners high” I have heard so much about? I don’t know but I am addicted.

I never would have imagined that changing my training would have had such a profound impact on my life. However, I have started to notice very subtle changes all the way down to my thought processing. Such as: the other day it was 39 degrees when I went out on my bike and my first thought was not that it was so cold but that at least there was no wind; or when I had an hour in between clients the other day I thought I could probably bust out a quick run; and yesterday rain and all I thought shrug better get my swim in.

I had hoped that when I signed up for the triathlon it would be a good motivator but the truth is the motivation comes from with in. I thought I would be worried about the race and it would push me but really when it’s cold, dark and wet outside I can pretty much find a thousand reasons to not be worried and skip a session.

I finally understand what Adam meant when he said the race is just the victory lap. It is all the countless hours of physical, emotional and mental growth that are the true test. Can I push past who I was yesterday to be a better me today? Can I challenge myself a little bit more? A little faster? A little further?

Yes I can.


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