Or pee my pants, or vomit, or walk…
This was the theme of my workout this morning. I had a 15 mile bike/2 mile run brick workout scheduled for the day. Due to my work schedule, lack of sunlight in the evenings and the high winds in the forecast for this afternoon I decided to go out as soon as the sun came up this morning. The sun is coming up later and later these days…
I could not get my legs moving this morning. I spent the entire 15 miles yelling at my legs to wake up, trying to get comfortable on the bike and thanking the training plan Gods (or Zeus) that I only had to bike 15 miles. Everything felt off today – My form, balance, speed, and breathing… It was just one of those rides when nothing felt right. And on top of that, I knew I had to get off the bike and run.
The bike to run transition is probably my least favorite part of the whole race. There were times during my half-Ironman training where this transition brought me to tears. With the ride I was having this morning I was not looking forward to the run at all, especially considering I chose a time to ride when no one else could join me and I would have to push myself through this run.
The first tenth of a mile or so my knee hurt… I kept running. The knee pain went away and my ankle started hurting… I kept running. I was just having an off day and didn’t want to run… I kept running. Before I knew it I was already a mile into the run. My watch battery died at 1.4 miles. I wanted to use that as my next excuse to start walking (and I was running right past my driveway at this point)… I kept running. I can’t say if I ran exactly two miles today but I can say that I ran the entire distance and I did my best to estimate what would have been two miles.
As I turned around and started to head for home I thought about the workout I just had. Physically it was frustrating. I felt like with all the training and races that I’ve done I should have been able to do a 15-mile ride and a 2-mile run without a problem. I felt frustrated with myself that I didn’t seem to be making any progress. But then I realized that I was still running and this was a step in the right direction. Yes, today’s workout didn’t feel as “easy” as I thought it should have felt, but instead of giving up when I got off the bike I changed into my running shoes; instead of crying and walking when my legs felt like Jell-O or my knee was sore, I thought about something else and kept running. Mentally, today was a win for me. I still got out of bed (as the sun was coming up), put on enough layers to stay warm and got out there and did the workout. I wasn’t happy with the what my body felt like doing, but I was really happy with the way my mind handled the situation.
As I was settling in to get some work done after my workout, I was listening to an interview Craig Alexander gave about his performance at this year’s Ironman World Championship race. (You can view the interview here) (He was last year’s winner and finished 12th this year). Right around the 1:00 mark he says he was just having one of those days and it would have been easy for him to just stop, but it was important for him to finish. Apparently everyone has days where our bodies don’t want to perform the way we think they should. I’m just glad it happened to me on a short training day.
Good days or bad days, there is something to learn from each workout!