Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beast Mode, Training Thoughts, and my Nuggets of Wisdom

She's in Beast Mode!

In these final weeks of preparation before tapering for NOLA 70.3 (I'm now in taper mode!!), I've heard this phrase a time or two.  I don't say this to toot my own horn, truth is, when this is said usually I smile sheepishly, look down or away, and try to do my best to graciously thank that person for the compliment (I mean, it is a compliment, right?).

Here's the truth: I'm not feeling very Beast Mode-ish.  I mean, unless Beast Mode is describing a grizzly bear in late fall that really only has 2 things on its mind - FOOD and SLEEP - then yes, I suppose I am feeling EXACTLY Beast Mode-ish.

So as I rode the 19 miles up Mt. Hamilton a week ago, for the 4th time this training cycle, I got to thinking how I am feeling.... What does the reality of this beast mode mean to me?

My thinking place - Mt Hamilton Rd.
I've worn "real pants" (read: not yoga pants) twice in the past 3+ weeks -- this is mostly because they make me painfully aware of places that I do not yet have saddle callouses (you're welcome).  

My idea of being "up late" involves a time that starts with 10:XX and I've seen that hour only a couple times in the last few weeks.  

Taking a single shower in a day is a rare and unusual treat - and I keep my "nice" shampoo in my gym bag because I wash my hair way more at the gym than at home.  

The front desk employees at the gym know me by name and that yes, I will always need a locker key.

I recently described this stage of training as being similar to being drunk.  I know I've gone too far if I get the the wheepy-crying-at-everything stage, but if I time it just right I get to stay in the I LOVE YOU MAN stage where I am acutely and overwhelmingly aware of how awesome people in my life are that support and love me and I want to tell them often and regularly how much I love them.  A few people have been on the receiving end of this ridiculousness via text, I'm sure they find it both incredibly amusing and hopefully appreciate it all the same.

The spandex/tech/sweaty/smelly laundry.  Oh. My. Word. The laundry.

I've spent nearly as much on Picky Bars and Osmo Nutrition in the past month than I have on groceries.  And absolutely more than I've spent eating out. #teamnosociallife

How's that beast mode picture looking to you?

But the hours spent swimming, cycling, and running have not been wasted.  I feel strong, fit, confident.  The fatigue is becoming a welcomed friend at the end of the day, because it means I'm doing strong, consistent work day to day - and now as I get closer to shedding that fatigue to toe the line at NOLA 70.3 the excitement is creeping in.

Its taken me more than a week to write this... mostly because I'm never sure what to say when I sit down to write.  With a very few exceptions, this training cycle has gone remarkably well.  I've only once had a total emotion meltdown (of course in the pool), but otherwise its been all about trucking along.  Have I missed workouts? Yes.  Have a few moments that didn't feel like JOYOHMYGODILOVEALLTHINGSTRIATHLON?   ABSOLUTELY YES.  Mostly though, I've been enjoying the training, the work, the progress.  I'll offer nuggets of wisdom I've learned from this training cycle - but they aren't groundbreaking.

FIND JOY, even if it is only a small sliver of it.  There are few workouts that I walked away from feeling 100% negative about.  Even if what I loved most about the workout was that it was DONE, I still found joy in the process.

CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHO LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU, even if this means distancing yourself from people who you love but aren't standing in your corner like you'd hope.  This shit isn't easy and I'm still struggling with it, but I'm happier any day in training solitude than days spent with people who make me feel less than enough.  People who love you WILL support you, even if they think your crazy, bat-shit crazy, getting too skinny, eating too much, eating too little, not visiting enough... the list could go on and on.  And for those in my corner -- I am forever grateful.

STOP FOCUSING ON YOUR PACE, WEIGHT, SPEED, ETC... these things are not a measure of your worth, strength, or character.  And for many of them, they vary incredibly from day to day which can cause an incredible amount of frustration to even the most level headed athlete.  I mention "the process" a lot because THE PROCESS is what matters most to me.  You don't become a champion with one great run, ride, or swim... it takes practice and dedication.  Work the process, work the plan, see results. 

So here we go... 4 days to race day.  I'm excited to pack up my wetsuit, bike, and running shoes and get on a plane to the Big Easy.  Drinks in the French Quarter after anyone?

1 comment:

erin sweetsweatlife said...

You are ready! Rock it this weekend, girl!