11 April 2008

Knowing When to Get Off or When to Stay On...

This morning was my dreaded 2 hour trainer ride. All week long, I've been dreading this, mostly because I've been having saddle issues and sitting on the bike has definitely not improved them. The good news is that I have a new saddle on its way and I get 2 weeks to try it out to make sure that it works. I've also learned the value of some good Chamois Butt'r as well. I decided to do a Spinerval workout today, thinking that might help keep me motivated to stay on the trainer for the entire two hours and while I did get the workout done, by the end of the dvd, I just wanted off. In fact, I think I wanted off at around 90 minutes. However, I knew that I needed to get this ride in and done for a variety of reasons.

So, while I was struggling to stay focused and get this ride done, I reminded myself of a few things. I have a 1/2 IM coming up in August that will require me to ride for 56 miles. In my more ambitious mindsets, I'm hoping to carry 18mph during the race, which means I'll be sitting on my bike for 3 hours. Today, I only had to ride for 2 hours, so this was just a warm up and/or time to build up those necessary callouses. I reminded myself that I'm going to tri-camp next weekend ( and that we will be riding for 3 hours, so I really needed to get at least one longer type ride in so that I will be able to complete the long ride with the other campers. I reminded myself that completing endurance events usually means dealing with and working through pain, so perhaps today was a good mental/physical training day teaching my body that it's tough and completely able to handle long rides that are pretty uncomfortable. I reminded myself that I'm not a quitter. One of my goals is to train well for this 1/2 IM, so I'm working hard to get my workouts in and to do them well. While I was thinking of all of the reasons for staying on the bike, I was reminded that stubbornness is probably a good thing to have when training for endurance type events.

Because I've found that training and racing usually mirror life, I was also thinking about how sometimes we have to decide when to stick with something and when to walk away from it. I'm certainly not at all good at walking away from something, mostly due to my stubbornness, but I think that there are probably points and times in life when it becomes necessary to give up some things, in order to enjoy or achieve other, maybe bigger things.

Today, I consciously chose to tough out a workout that wasn't going well for me. I finished the workout for a variety of reasons. I decided that today was a day that I needed to stay on the bike and get the workout done. I'm sure there will be days when I decide to get off and be done, and perhaps, I need to learn to do a better job at that. However, I'm hoping that pushing myself through these hard workouts will help me be more mentally prepared for not only race day, but for life. It's always a good feeling to know that you've stuck with something, especially when the going gets super hard.

Now, if I can just make it through my 10 mile run in the the snow and rain and wind...with my heavy legs.