National Beatings – Breaking Point (5/13/17)

[Still not me. But Sunday should give me an opportunity to have a similar photo.]

“Fill up your head and fill up your heart and take your shot” (Dave Matthews)

Sunday is the day – my shot to qualify for PT Nationals. And while I’m a little nervous going into it because of how quickly I need to do the run, I’m grateful to have the shot.

Last Saturday, what was supposed to be the ‘put together’ session did not go well. While I was glad that my guide was honest about it not going to work, it was a hard blow. To be honest, I came very close to just tapping out and focusing on June’s races. I wasn’t upset or frustrated with my guide, just with the situation it put me in. But Mr. Miles refused to let me dwell in the bleh of the situation.

I believe his exact words were “Meow Mrrrow Mrrrrrrrrow Meow Yowl.” Loosely translated, it means “Pull your head out of your ass and find another plan.” And so I did, and it should all work out.

One of the givens of this sport is that there’s going to be adversity. Whether it’s a double flat, unknown dehydration or something else, you have to be strong enough to fight through it. Rely on those in your inner circle when you need that extra boost. Don’t ever let it break you.

For those of you who want to come out and watch, the race starts at about 8A on Sunday in Niles (Leaning Tower YMCA) for our group. Looking forward to writing the blog on Monday sharing how I qualified!

National Beatings – Weeks 3 & 4 (3/28 – 4/9/17)

[Still not me in above photo, but pushing towards being in a similar one this summer.]

“When life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.” (Grateful Dead) Or in other words, when things look like they’re going well, you have to guard against yourself. The focus needs to stay on your training plan even when you think things are going better than expected — or worse.

For me, the last two weeks have been a struggle. I haven’t gotten in enought workouts between work and other personal things. But there’s no use in dwelling on that — the better use of time is to get back on the horse. And that’s what I’ll be doing this week.

One of the most important points of the last two weeks has been learning to listen to my body, both current and future. Last year, I would have pushed myself and kept an April triathlon on the schedule. But this year, I’m being more realistic. While I wanted 3 shots at qualifying for Nationals, I will focus on having two strong ones.

Maybe a better way to look at it is accountability. If I had been able to keep on track the last two weeks, then I would be further along. The April triathlon would have been a stretch race, but a realistic stretch. But because I missed so many workouts the last two weeks, my ‘penalty’ was scratching that race off.

National Beatings – Week 2 (3/20 – 3/27)

[Still not me in above photo, but pushing towards being in a similar one this summer.]

Week 1 of Nationals Beatings went much better than week 2 did. I think part of that was analogous to how my swim/bike/run workouts by myself usually go. Starting out too fast, burning too much from the fire and dropping back in the long run.

While week 2 was a frustration, not only will I rebound in week 3, but I was able to contain the frustration. I got in what I could, worked through trying to get normal life projects addresses and then moving forward. I’ve learned to this point that there’s no use in dwelling on the past when things fall apart. You just try to find things to work on correcting, refocus and then move forward again.

Even in the frustration, there were some really good things that came out of the week. One of these was starting to work with a new guide. I believe it’s going to be a great fit, and she’ll be guiding me for my final qualifying chance in May. The first session went well and we were able to work through several things in the pool. I am confident that we’ll be rocking it in May given all the time between now and then.

Another of these really good things will be covered in the next blog…

Back to National Beatings. It’s not going to be fun, but this is what it’ll take to get back on track. It’ll all be worth it in the end…