Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Being My Best

Even though I am an Ironman, there are times when I doubt myself.

 This photo isn't related to this post, but today is the 2 year anniversary of this moment

I have these high expectations and when little things "get in the way" of those, it starts to tear me down.

This past weekend, after a few weeks off from the trails, Mike and I ventured out to Mendon Ponds for some trail running. I had done my two other runs during the week on the indoor track, so I knew that it was going to be tough regardless of anything else. I was excited about the change in scenery and the "warm" weather (since when is 10 degrees warm?)

We met up with some other runners, friends and new friends, and hit the trails. The next 2.5 hours of training were some of the hardest that I have done so far. The snow was really deep in spots and the uneven terrain made footing almost impossible. I got behind the rest of the group because I had 16 miles planned and needed to go slower, luckily, Mike stayed with me.

I was disappointed in myself for only getting 10 miles in when I was supposed to do 16 miles. My pace was above 14 minutes per mile, and even though I know it was because of the snow, I felt like a failure. I said to Mike that I just want to make him proud, and even though he told me that I always make him proud regardless of the outcome, I was still extremely frustrated with how that run went.

I wanted redemption, so the next day we went back to Mendon Ponds for more trail miles. Since I didn't do as many miles as I wanted on Saturday, I went out there with the idea that I would aim for 10 miles (but I would be happy with anything between 7-13 miles).

The snow was better in some spots, but waist deep in others. We had to hike in lots of spots because the snow was so deep that even if I tried to run I would take two steps and fall through the snow immediately.

I mentally gave up.

I have this idea of what I am capable of and even in the most ridiculous conditions, I can't cut myself some slack. Most other people would laugh it off and just get in what they could (which in the end is what I did, at least I got in 7.5 more miles in tough conditions).

 Obviously not from this past weekend, but the same place and another time my mental toughness was tested

Both days I kept saying that I am not going to be able to finish a 50K, and Mike kept telling me that other people finish that distance after training a lot less than I will. Being self-coached, I don't give myself the "easy" way out. I don't do the least amount of distance, the easiest brick sets or give myself many opportunities to cut out workouts. I push myself - hard and to the limits.

I have to remind myself that I have only been doing this since April 2011, we are only coming up on our four year running anniversary. We started this journey with the Couch-to-5K and we have done so much in such a short amount of time.

 This seems so long ago, maybe because it was

I need to let go of "letting people down". I do this for me - to test my limits, set goals and achieve them. I know I am capable of so much more than a 50K, and potentially even more than an Ironman. As long as I am being my best in the moment, regardless of the outcome, that's all that matters.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Surviving Winter

I guess you could say that I'm still hanging in there. I am not one to wish my life away, but I am counting down the days until winter is over.

 -6 degrees this morning, yuck. That's why the four of us are planning a warm getaway next winter!

We haven't seen the ground since December or the beginning of January. It's been so long that I can't even remember. I feel like I am constantly living in a black and white film, since Rochester is typically pretty grey most of the time anyway. We've probably only had two or three days that have been above freezing, and with the windchill I bet it has only been one day.

 The Bern checking out all of the snow

The piles of snow at the end of our driveway are getting to be so high that I can't even see when I am backing out, I just hope that no one is coming when I pull into the road!

However, I am still getting in the majority of my training runs. I did "skip" my first run of this 50K training plan yesterday. It was close to -30 degrees with the windchill and Mike and I don't have appropriate gear for running in those conditions. The roads were iffy, so we decided against driving to our gym (which I think was a good decision, based on my drive into work this morning).

 30 mile ride and some strength

I ended up riding 30 miles on the trainer. Cycling and running aren't the same thing, they use muscles in different ways, but my legs still got in a good workout. I had about 82 miles between swimming, cycling and running last week - so in the end it was still a great week.

 We've been getting in a lot of snuggles on the couch

This is the last week of "just" 50K training. Starting next week, Mike and I will start training for our two 70.3 triathlons that we have in June and July. While it will be a bit more daunting for me, I'm ready to get in some more consistent swimming and cycling!

Thankfully, looking ahead to this weekend the temperatures are looking a bit better. We are going to get some more snow, which doesn't surprise me at this point, but I'm looking forward to getting in some good trail miles!

I know that training in and persevering through these conditions will benefit me when I toe the line at my 50K in May. I am working on my mental toughness this winter, that's for sure!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Evolution of this Blog

I was curious what I was up to around this time last year, and that's when I realized it was right around the time when I was coming off of my injury. I DNS'd Cast a Shadow and had started to build my mileage up, slowly, so that I could run the Half at the Hamptons.

I then took a peek at 2013 and what I was doing. I noticed that this blog has changed a lot. I had some product reviews (I don't do those anymore) and random posts just to fill up my little space on the internet.

Where else would you find something like this but my blog?

All of that is fine, but that isn't how I handle my blog anymore. 

My blog has always been for me. There were times when I was a part of Ambassador programs and I did some posts through those avenues (technically, I am still a part of these groups but I do not do anything through them anymore). Companies have stopped contacting me for product reviews, for the most part, and that's fine with me. Unless you are offering me a product that I actually use - I'm not going to review it.

 When you have nothing to say, sometimes this is all you can do

I also realized that sometimes, I just don't have anything to say. Last year with Ironman training, this blog basically became my training log. I did have a few random posts sprinkled throughout here and there, but the majority of posts were Ironman training recaps and race recaps.

This also means that I have lost some readers. That's alright too. As I said, this blog has always been for me. I still like my little space on the internet, and I hope that some of you still do too!

Evolution, or change, isn't always a bad thing. And it is a natural part of life. I'm sure glad that I am not the same person that I was 5 or 10 years ago - and I can say the same thing about this blog.