I feel the need . . . the need for speed. (Oh yeah, and knowledge too.)

Being able to work out is something I feel thankful for every day.  Being able to understand it, and feel myself getting fitter, is right up there with it. 

It’s taken me quite a while to understand the physiology and psychology behind training.   I used to get up, look at my planned time, and do my workout – not much more.  50 minutes of running was just 50 minutes of running.  If I felt bad, I skipped the workout. I really thought that's all there was to it.

Unsurprisingly, during my weekly workouts, I used to feel defeated because I was slow, or because I was afraid people would say I wasn’t a “real” triathlete if I didn’t finish x race in minutes.  Now I usually don’t gauge my success by how fast I am; instead, I go by how I feel.  And now, when I feel bad, I’ve ditched the all-or-nothing attitude and I resolve to do as much of a workout as I can.  This took me the past 5 years to learn.  But, in all areas of my life, I’m making a sincere effort to be process-oriented rather than outcome-oriented, and that’s bled over into my training. 

Heart rate is such a great way to measure progress; it helps me focus on the process of maintaining a low HR during the workout instead of obsessing about the outcome (pace).  Today’s run was a great example:  I did my speed run for the week, and although I’ve been faster, I noticed that it was extremely easy to keep my heart rate in my target zone, and that it returned to that zone quickly after each set of strides.  That’s something that has also taken me several years to master.

It was an awesome run.

The coaches agreed with me that doing some “barometer” races on the way to Augusta is a good idea.  I even have 3 or 4 in mind, and there are factors to consider for all of them, but I’m really just enjoying my training so much that I don’t feel pressured to race. 

Going back to being a “real” triathlete . . . I guess I don’t really consider myself a triathlete . . . just a person who does triathlons.

Funny how much easier it is to enjoy the process when you’re not so worried about the outcome.

2 tidbits of wizdom:

Karen said...

I didn't realize you were doing Augusta this year! I just signed up last week. it will be my first half. Kind of nervous, kind of excited!

Alili said...

Ah yes, process as the reward...I'm working on learning that lesson. :)