Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring Showers

Training with a broken rib!
"Honey Chrissy" is a badass!!
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement, motivation and a few swift kicks in the but via FB, twitter and blog comments. Those missed workouts were just one of the many symptoms of my situation.

I had every excuse in the world to not make up for my missed run last night. None of those excuses were worthy though. I waited until the last possible moment and then I switched to 'braindead' mode. Mindlessly prodded myself through the motions, one at a time until I was out the door.

An LSD run to make up for Sunday's missed workout. I was dreading it all day long. That was my first mistake. When I think too far ahead I begin to dread my workout and thus conjure up excuses all day long. Part of my problem was that nagging regret I had for missing Sunday's LSD so it was hard to avoid. This made it waaay harder to get out the door.

While out on my cold, rainy, foggy run in the dark I had a loooong time to think about this rut. Why the heck am I so tired lately? How did it come to this? Sure last week I completely identified that I'm at the peak of the hardest traning set to date. I'm running dangerously close to overtrained, but only slightly, if at all. I also came up with another sound theory - energy cycle. I strongly believe that our bodies run on some kind of energy cyle. We have highs and lows which can be measured across a 6-8 week period(maybe longer). It probably looks like some kind of Sine wave from a mathematics class, and I am willing to bet that my 'cycle' is now approaching the grumpy-mood stage. I am sure I could find some allegedly scientific explanation for it, like some kind of research paper proving what I think but anyone can find a paper to back anything nowadays so I dont put much stock in them. For me, it is personal experience. I have never kept track of my cycle for a very good reason - I do not want to know. Ever. This lack of motivation, exhaustion, exceptional fatigue & sleepiness sucks and if I was able to plot it out on a timeline and see that it happens every '7 weeks' then I would dread it coming. Or subconsiously I would make it happen every 7 weeks. I don't want to have to plan for a suck-cycle, just like I dont want to stress about a race that falls at the bottom of that suck-cycle because how the dates line up. I just dont want to know.
So halfway through my run I am coming up on a beautiful country side road, hidden between valleys, draped in mature trees that make a tunnel-like effect. I am getting wet now, the foggy mist make it hard to see very far and I have made progress mentally trying to identify why I'm struggling with motivation levels.
Then the obvious hits me - my blog post clearly show I was doing just fine until the cold weather returned. As soon as the single-digit temperatures returned I took a turn for the worse with my attitude. It all makes sense now. After a taste of spring, FINALLY, I looked forward to not freezing to death on my workouts yet here I am again scraping the 'just above freezing' mark and I am dreading my workouts. I'm tired of the weather. Its killin' me. This is single-handedly the biggest reason I am struggling. 'Sucking it Up' is getting kind of old for this weather that shouldn't be this sucky.
So on this beautiful country road I determine that if it wasn't for this eerie fog, it wouldn't be as beautiful. Its spring, the birds are singing and that makes me appreciate that not too long ago in these same conditions - the birds were nowhere to be found. Just cold dead endless country road. I could also hear the frogs in the ponds and bogs as I passed by. I drew from this energy around me. I appreciate what I have here, it could be worse.

I reached a point where I could cut straight home and remove a few kilometers from my run. Afterall it was getting dangerously dark out on these sparsely travelled roads. Instead I stayed the course and did the extra loop, and of course my GPS died accordingly. Sure, just as I did the extra and am feeling good that I can brag about a 26km weeknight training run - I now have no proof! hah! Initially I was mad, but then I made the best of it and actually enjoyed running naked. No heartrate data, no pace to constantly monitor. I ran. I felt good unplugging and just listening to my heartbeat and turning my legs at whatever felt good.
This was my chance to remind myself why I am out here. I dont know about you guys but I imagined what it will feel like to run down the finisher's chute. How I would feel when I see my wife, friends and family on the sidelines of the course. How I would feel seeing buddies on the course with me among all the turn arounds, behind me of course. ;)  Most of all I thought back to all the workouts over the winter. The real cold, dark wet ones. I can't help but get emotional thinking about how hard all that winter training was, yet still doing it anyways. I did it. I am done it. I am so close to the light at the end of the tunnel. The race is almost here and now is the time to not crumble in the last 15% of the training plan. Its easy to get complacent and say "I have done enough" and relax on the training plan so soon. Afterall I think I could finish no problem today. But I know in my heart that it's not enough to just finish, I want to finish well and do my best. That means, sticking to the plan and making these workouts count until the Training Plan says otherwise. When the low point of my run arrived and legs started getting tired, joints sore, I had plenty of time to think about where I have come from, the sacrifices and hard work made by my wife and kids. That ignites the passion inside me. It's strange to say it but just thinking about all these things makes me well up and emotional, yeh I may be sniffling a little, maybe even a tear, but its that gets me through those low points. Passion.

Well, that and the face I am just a big baby. lol!

I made good time. 26km in 2:30hrs bang on, thats with some decent hills too! For a training run, a little much but it felt right. I was tired the whole time but just went through the motions and had alot of time to think and clear the mind.

The weather will suck for the entire next week. I can't believe it has continued to rain non-stop like this for so many days in a row. I could tolerate the rain if it wasn't for the cold. A warm rain is something I can wrestle with. A cold rain just makes me want to quit. We'll see how the next few days go.

I originally caught this video from "Honey Brian" over at Training Payne.


  1. I love your SIU. You are doing amazing, just keep doing what you're doing and stop analyzing it. Love ya! You totally rock.

  2. Oh course you're tired, you're training for Ironman. 2 months out last time I hated everything and everyone. And I ate freaking french fries with gravy all the time. Good times!

    And yes, I very much remember imagining that chute. Way way better in reality, if that's possible.

    The weather has been awful, that's one thing that keeps us from IMLP as so much training is in the winter and spring. Also, it's freaking hard. Weekend looks nice, our first brick of our plan, we'll be triathletes again.

  3. ah man...I was still trying to visualize you in a suit and now I have to visualize naked!?!?!

    Yep the weather sucks here too...bring on the freakin summer already!

    And by the way great run!

  4. Loving the SIU - you are doing freaking awesome. Don't over analyze it, you are rocking it.

  5. ewith CG - ur doin good keep pluggin at it NOW IS THE TIME!!! no thinking ahead
    take it as it comes
    just do it - (yes the Nike mantra can actually be helpful) haha


  6. Enough Chrissy - time to blog about Mrs.LOTC's big race!

  7. I'm waaaaaaaay behind in the blogosphere here...

    I've just gotta say hang in there for a few more weeks! This is the tough part of IM training. You're supposed to be run down and tired - just make sure you're getting extra rest and good nutrition!

    Envision the finishers' chute - YES! I agree with above comment that it MUCH better than you can imagine :) Seriously, I get choked up just thinking about running through it at Louisville!



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