Monday, July 14, 2014

The devil I know...

Over the past few weeks, I've had little time (or energy) to blog.  Despite long hours of "me time" and flowery blog posts that draft themselves in my head on epic training days, actually getting the words down between eating / sleeping / cramming workouts has simply escaped me.

The truth is...I'm tired.  

In little over a week, we will be boarding a plane to Norway for the adventure that Norseman promises to be.  The last few weeks have thrown a little bit of everything at me to prepare me for the challenge ahead - hypothermic mountain runs, sketchy TT bike descents in the pouring rain, and, yesterday, a scorching hot tempo workout.  Quite frankly, I am ready to tip the balance back to being more "normal" 7 hour rides in the schedule, time to spend with friends and family enjoying the summer, a glass of wine or three.    

None of this is new.  The lead-up to an A race is the devil I know - it messes with my head as much as it does with my body.  And as much as I know full well that I have put the effort in, the self-doubt creeps in from time-to-time.  The panic to cram workouts in.  Being frustrated when my tired legs do not fire on all cylinders.  The feeling of not having done enough. At times, I have to make a concerted effort to step out of my head and force some perspective.   

And in that perspective, what I am most appreciative of right now is tolerance.

...tolerance from the friends who have agreed to participate and endure some of the recent escapades I have put them up to, and at times, even raised the bar on crazy.  I am grateful for the inspirational and uber-talented athletes I am lucky to have as friends, who are willing to run up Mountain Highway in a downpour, sit on a road bike for 5+ hours to keep me company, and swim in (slimy) Kits beach water at the crack of dawn.  I am thankful that you help me define that "normal" means being adventurous and willing to push limits, even if at times it is just my limit that gets reached.      

...tolerance from my boyfriend, who is still willing to climb a mountain in Norway on his vacation, (using HIS air miles no less).  He has graciously supported me week in and week out, accepted that some workouts simply need to end in tears (or shivering in the tub), and understands that the grumpiness is usually cured with food.

...tolerance from my coach, who is a voice of reason and sanity, who has a reasonable explanation for every quirky trick my body plays on me.  For patiently explaining why things are the way they are, even though I probably already know that but just need to be told for the fourth time.  

...tolerance from my body.  It has accepted more ounces of sodium, sports drink, nutritional bars and strawberry popsicles than one should reasonably subject themselves to, and despite the occasional RMT fix-up, has so far managed (miraculously) to stand up to the constant load / recovery cycle. 
So why am I writing this?  Because everything that I feel is real, it is not sugar-coated, and because I see it in the eyes of the people around me who are training for their upcoming A races.

There is no logic in what you feel, you cannot cram anything more in, and the only thing you can do now is to remain positive and let your body complete its final adaptation for race day...the adaptation that occurs when you let it recover.  No one said it would be easy...but I promise it will be worth it :) 

Whatever adventure awaits, with whatever result it yields, is perfect.