lone ranger

lone ranger

Sunday, February 23, 2014

3 Lessons For February

When thinking about what to discuss for my February Blog I tried to reflect upon what I've learned in the last month or so since my last blog.  I realized I've learned several valuable lessons and they were all kind of related.

It all starts with one thought:

I hate winter.

Brrr!!! Enough of this already!

I've tried really hard this winter not to complain about the cold. It doesn't change the fact that I hate it. It's not just that I hate the cold, but winter really puts me in a funk.  It puts me in a bad mood and I feel like I stay that way for months.  A little Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) maybe?

How do I overcome the winter blues? Set some good winter goals.


Last Summer my goal for this winter was to capitalize on my fitness from the last year and really work on my running.  Plans Change.  An early December vacation combined with the holidays, getting sick early January, a mild recent injury and here it is almost March and I've not worked on that goal at all.  Coming off of a sizable Half marathon PR in December, I had big hopes of another half marathon PR on the flat Wilmington Half Marathon course in March.  I'll now be lucky if I even get to toe the line.  Everyone around me seems to be running, running well and running a lot.  I feel like they are getting fast and running a ton of miles while I'm sitting still.  So, now I'm not just frustrated with winter, but I'm also frustrated that I've wasted the last 3 months of winter not working on my running.

Lesson Learned?

There is plenty of time for running.  I've been consistent in the pool and consistent on the darn trainer.  It's February.  I repeat...IT's FEBRUARY!! September is a long way away.  And I'm far more fit than I was last February.  The great thing about Triathlon is if you can't run, you sure can spend some valuable time in the pool and on the bike and you better believe it will carryover to the run.

Learning to Love the Trainer and my new Power Meter!

Social media is contributing to my winter blues.  Social media can be a ton of fun when it comes to connecting with training partners, but it can also be your worst enemy.  It's next to impossible not compare my training to everyone else on twitter, instagram, facebook, Garmin Connect etc etc.  We are so connected virtually that it becomes extremely overwhelming to see all of the training others are doing.  In some respects it's motivating, in other respects it can cause a ton of self doubt. How can I not compare myself to others possibly training for the same big race?  I see these posts and want to doubt myself, doubt my fitness....  These moments of self doubt happen and combined with the winter blues it can be really self destructive.

Lesson Learned?

Trust in MY training.  Trust in MY coach. Trust in MY fitness, MY plan.  Ironman is a very personal journey. There are many different paths to take that will get you to the finish line. One way isn't necessarily better.  Choose a path, trust it and stick to it no matter what.  Take what you see on social media in stride.  Allow this to be MY journey.

Easier said than done, but I really try to live this.

The final learning opportunity this month came after finishing a very successful long run. The next day I began experiencing a rather prominent pain in my right foot.  I chose to ignore it.  The next day it bothered me all day at work and I continued to ignore it.  I know better.  I still chose to run with running bud Tara after work.  Why? Because it's winter, because I want to run, because I feel pressure from social media...I made a bad decision and paid the price. By the end of the run I could barely walk.

The smartest thing I did next was to tell The Pro and to actually tell him the truth about how bad it hurt. He demanded no running for 1 solid week and I then proceeded with my own rehab for it.  It's now been only 3 weeks later and I'm running cautiously and pain free.  I ran 24 miles last week, not a ton of running but certainly not bad considering how painful it was 2 weeks ago.

Lesson Learned?

Don't be stupid! There is a huge difference between normal muscle soreness and an injury. Pay attention to your body. If something hurts in everyday life...like walking...then something is wrong.  A very stubborn me would've continued to push it, trying to run far too soon.  I listened to the Pro and really only lost a week of running vs weeks or months!  Taking one week off of running now is absolutely nothing in the 9 months of training for IMCHOO.

Wait.  I'm trusting these two?

Winter plays with my emotions, but here's the good news...February is ALMOST over!! Only 12 days until daylight savings!! First day of Spring is less than a month away! I can not wait! Bring on the heat! I can promise you one thing...you will NOT hear me complain about the heat.  I love it.

Thankful for some beautiful sunshine this weekend and off the trainer!