Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life lessons.

As I head into "Recovery Week," I feel like I have a few lessons to report out.

1.) Accidents happen.  They will take you "out of the game" for awhile, but being patient is part of the comeback process.  Healing doesn't happen overnight, though I've heard from so many people that I am healing quickly.  "Everything happens for a reason" applies to accidents, too.  It is very possible that I could have torn a muscle, got a stress fracture, etc., but instead I just got a concussion, stitches and road rash.  These things are SO much easier to come back from; while it really did stink not being able to workout for those 5 days, things could have been so much worse.

2.) Don't have unrealistic expectations.  This is a two-parter.

a) As I recapped on Thursday, I figured my fitness was back where it was at before the accident.  I was truly at the best fitness level of my life and really thought that I would be right back there on Thursday.

Lesson learned: take ALL of your training into consideration before getting upset at how ONE silly race goes.  If I had just thought about the crazy training I had been doing before the 4mile race, I would have realized that back-to-back 20mile run and 3hour hard bike workout left me with nothing in the tank come Thursday.  My fitness is there, but I had been pushing my body ALL week that come Thursday, it did not know how to respond.

b) I had a 16mile run workout to do on Saturday.  Basically, I had the first 4 miles to warmup and then 3 sets of 4miles descending from Ironman marathon pace (just under 7min) to 10k pace (just under 6min).

Lesson learned: sometimes it's better to "call" a workout than push through it.  Ryan and I had a wedding the night before, so I decided I would do my run in the middle of the day, carry my fuel belt, and really test myself in the heat and humidity that will be present at Kona.  Well, my body isn't used to staying out until 2am and eating and drinking not-so-healthy things.  And I didn't factor that part into my attempted run.  I called the workout after 10miles, choosing to save my legs for my 80mile ride on Sunday.  Let's just say my ride was SO good that I wanted to ride another 20 to get 100 in.

 My hot date for the wedding;)

3.) Focus on the big picture.  My goal race is the Ironman World Championship race in Kona on October 12, 2013.  Will this "bad" 4mile race on July 4, 2013 or my "failed" 16miler on July 6, 2013 go to show how I will race in Kona on October 12?  Absolutely not.

As an athlete, you simply cannot let negative thoughts get the best of you.  I was completely worn down going into Saturday's run and instead of remembering all of the hard work I had done up until this point, I focused on how "slow" I was running and how I "couldn't hit my paces."  WHY?? Because I gave into those negative thoughts.

I came home from my shortened run a complete mess.  I threw open the door and just started sobbing.  Fortunately, my wonderful husband came to my rescue and reminded me that I'm ending week 3 of 3 hard weeks in a  row and just destroyed my body less than 3 weeks ago.

Sometimes, taking a step back and examining the whole situation is all that needs to be done to realize that the overreacting is just silly.  Luckily, I have a great support system that is there for me to remind me of this on days like Saturday.

Since I canned the run workout on Saturday, I was able to save myself for my bike marked my longest bike ride ever.  In my whole entire life.  80.5 glorious miles on the Ironman Wisconsin course.  BOY was it hard, but WOW did it remind me how excited I am to compete in this crazy Ironman.
 On my NEW non-accident bike, riding the 40-mile IMWI loop!
Part of Ryan's post-ride breakfast:) 
Healthy omelette...and pumpkin pancakes...just can't get enough...

The first thing that I said to Ryan (and later my coach) after completing the 80 miles was, "Can we go do a quick 20 so that I get 100 in?!"  Seriously, who says that?  Oh yeah, someone who is super pumped to compete in an Ironman.

Hope everyone had a great 4th.  As the summer continues to get hotter and more humid, just remember to always put things in perspective.  As long as you are putting in a good effort, the workout is not ruined AND you become stronger mentally.  Best slogans ever to keep in mind:

You are stronger than you think ~Powerbar
Find your strong ~Saucony

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