Wednesday, January 27, 2010

...Death Before DNF...

I've been thinking a lot about my motivations lately. And I've been thinking about what it takes to spend so many hours every week not jsut training, but really focusing on an end goal. Sometimes I end up chanting "it's worth it, it's worth it" over and over on a hard swim or run. Mostly, I don't have to remind myself of that, though.

When we were on our bike ride, I had a conversation with Charlie, where I said something about how even when I wanted stop and take a break or something, I was obviously not going to just quit, because everyone knows my "death before DNF" philosophy. And he said that until Rhode Island and NBX cyclocross, he didn't really get what I meant by it. But when I stuck it out through the crappy freezing race, and then sat in the van sobbing for a good twenty minutes while I got feeling back in my toes, he understood what I meant, and even though he totally didn't know how to handle a crying female in the team van, he said that was when he realized how much respect he had for me, that I toughed it out under those circumstances.

And he's right, I was pretty proud of me too. Cyclocross in general really tested me because every weekend I was pushing to get better at something that I really didn't start out doing well in. Short course triathlons, while they're always a challenge, have been things I felt totally competent doing. I knew I could finish the swim, the bike, the run, and probably manage to not get hurt. But then with things like the half Ironman, or cyclocross, all bets were off. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do either. And yeah, I won my first half Ironman, and that was amazing. And I did well as far as collegiate women in CX, even though I got my ass kicked at most races. But I had fun doing both things. Even by mile 13 of the run during the 70.3, I never questioned why I was doing it, or what my motivation was, or thought about quitting. Same goes for during any of my bike races, no matter how poorly I was doing. It's that motivation that I'm trying to channel as Ironman training gets longer, while my diet gets more elaborate, while I'm working 13 straight hours after a 4 hours training session.

Basically, I've given a lot of thought to what Charlie said, even though it wasn't a particularly philosophical conversation or anything, and it really meant a lot to me. It's pretty awesome when you know that people you're close with have a high level of respect for you and your abilities.

That being said, I've also realized how awesome it is to be on the cycling team with a ton of amazing athletes. As I've mentioned, Matt has taken on the role of being my training partner in the gym and on rides and the occasional run and swim, and I have to say, it's done so much to boost my morale! It's a lot easier to push on a weight set when you're with someone, as opposed to when no one is counting how many reps you do. And yeah, I do enjoy being able to lift more or as much as a guy... He's also been great for fixing the 4 bikes that reside in my teensy apartment, helping switch pedals and whatnot. I love that if I have a mechanical issue, I can call him or Charlie and odds are good that someone will manage to fix my bikes for me. And the skill sets that these guys have amaze me! When I needed to learn cyclocross, I got so much great advice and training from everyone, especially Mark. And now that I want to get better at mountain biking, all it takes is a message to Cristian saying "make me a mt biker" and we've made plans for him to ride with me and help me this weekend. I love having such an awesome network of amazingly talented people to go to for any kind of advice or help I could possibly need!

Anyway, in less optimistic and perky news, Coach and I looked at my weight and whatnot the other day in order to come up with a good diet plan for me. I'd love to drop a couple pounds but more to the point, I'd rather naturally hit a good, lean race weight in the near future. This means 2 days of 2000 cal, 1 day of 2400 cal, repeat. And bleck, a lot of it needs to be taken in while working out, my least favorite time to eat! I prefer eating after workouts and really enjoying food, not slamming down energy drinks while on the bike. Still, I know how important it is, and I'm trying! It also involves having lots of small 300-350 cal meals throughout the day. I know it'll work and eventually make me feel constantly full and energetic, but these first days are just tough! I'm a big meal kind of person, and I sincerely enjoy eating 3-4 pieces of pizza at a time. So this whole thing is very hard to get used to. I'm sure I will, but no fun!! (And I do still intend on having a larger meal after a team century. There will be no convincing me otherwise.)

Other than that, the week is going well, training is all on target, et cetera. Now if I could just get rid of this damn cold that I have- I hate being congested!!!

1 comment:

Jon Gilchrist said...

that sort of mental fortitude is so incredibly beneficial during those long training sessions AND life.

Get better soon!