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theunexpectedtriathlete

I never saw that coming!

Month

July 2017

THUD!!

You know what that sound is? It’s me hitting the wall. And not the cool “Game of Thrones” wall where the Watch is on duty and I might get to chase after Jon Snow, but the one that hurts a lot more: the training wall.

THUD.

Theeeeere it is. The moment where any sort of productive training stops, everything feels like death and you are definitely regressing not PROgressing.

THUD.

I hit it face first this time. I actually didn’t see it coming which makes it all the more frustrating. But there it is…

THUD.

The lack of progress, the backwards slide, the wrenching frustration that comes with just  not being able to feel GOOD about any of the training sessions.

Mine hit right after the half marathon a month ago. That race was fan-fricken-tastic. I mean, yeah, the IT band hurt and, yeah, I hobbled through the last two kilometers while seriously considering just sitting down and asking someone to drag me, but I finished in my goal time so that makes it fan-fricken-tastic. And then it all fell apart.

I have fallen spectacularly from grace. THUD!! From 13.1 in under 2 hours to not being able to get through 5k without stopping repeatedly to die a little.  Now, I am accustomed to the first few runs after I move to the lake sucking. I am a prairie girl who runs on the flat flat flat and then I end up in the Canadian Shield trying to make my body heave itself up steep hills, or the long, drawn-out hill that I affectionately call “the hill from hell” because, while it doesn’t seem so steep, it just keeps going forever…and ever…and ever…

This year, however, my body seems to be refusing to adjust. Even when I went to my other family cottage in Riding Mountain National Park, which has less challenging hills, my body just says “nope!” Most years, after a week or so of hauling my sorry ass up the hills (and believe me, half way up those hills,  it is VERY sorry),  I can get the groove going. This year however, the theme of each run is “THUD…ugh….wall”. Today, I decided to mix it up with some sprints, so with 30 second sprints at 1 min/km faster(minimum) than I usually run, hitting the wall made a little more sense– I mean, sprinting uphill is two horrible things combined– but it wasn’t during the sprints where I started to fall apart, it was the cool down. Go figure.

How much is mental? How much is physical? Is one better than the other? I mean, I’m kind of pulling for the mental because then it’s all in my head, not that I am entirely sure how to fix it. And, if it’s physical, how on earth did I crash and burn so quickly??

Either way… I need a solution and quickly because that “THUD” is really starting to hurt!  Plus, I have two Sprints coming up a week apart and if I don’t get my butt in gear (hahaha) they are  not going to go well!

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It’s not about ego. Or is it? 

The Gazelle is training hard and progressing beautifully. Every session is a magical moment of improvement. I’m proud of her. She had a rough season last year and she is the queen of the comeback. 

There’s just one problem…

I suck. 

Now, I don’t mean that literally. I’ve got some solid races under my belt and I’m certainly more than reasonable in my times but I’m just not seeing the improvement that The Gazelle is.  In fact, lately, it seems as though things are moving backwards!! 

Let’s face it: right now, I suck! 

I had an amazing half marathon and finally broke my 2 hour barrier (1:59 still counts as under 2) and riding the high of that kickass race, I dove head first in to triathlon mode. Swim, bike, run, weights, repeat!! I’m a teacher- I have all the time in the world to train and get butt kicking ready so the Gazelle can’t catch me.

I had big plans for runs and biking at the lake– I will use those hills to build my power (those hills are a challenge for this prairie girl at the start of lake season). I will run and bike like I’ve never ran and cycled before!!! I will….stop half way up the hill and die. 

And there is the theme for all of my runs since the half marathon. Run a few minutes and then stop…run…stop…run…whimper…stop. 

There has not been a good run since the half marathon! How is this possible?? I can run a half marathon in under 2 hours but now I can’t get through 5km?!  

The Gazelle is striding her way in to graceful success and this Bulldog seems to be grunting and snorting and dragging stubby legs.

I will happily accept any sort of suggestions as to how to get past this hump because I would much prefer to improve rather than move backwards- which is how every run feels lately: I may actually be travelling backwards instead of forwards. I am in a constant state of running “blech”.

The Gazelle asked me if it would really be so bad if I didn’t have to wait for her at the finish line. I said “yes.” 

It might be a little about ego. 

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