Today was an easier day with a simple ride and continuous swim. I almost got into trouble on the ride with nutrition. I was in a really good head space, totally in the moment, riding well. There was no chatter in the brain, just pure, simple, relaxed focus. It's a state of mind that I find tough to reach outside of swimming. I did a loop that I did a few weeks ago with the group and finally managed the whole thing without any wrong turns. I still had my directions on a piece of tape on my handlebars but as it turned out, I rarely needed them. I just rode and it was just right.
|The aero bottle bracket serves all kinds of purposes.|
On the way back into town, I passed another cyclist on a TT bike and it broke my focus a little. It was probably a good thing since a few minutes later, I BONKED. I was going 25 and then I was going 7... mph. I realized that I was well into a long workout and a little late for a second gel and should have been halfway through my second bottle of water. I hadn't touched either. That is a big no-no for me... really for anyone in Texas on a mid-nineties day at noon. I actually pulled over, ate a gel, and drank a half a bottle of water. I was worried that my stomach would revolt, but it handled it fine. I started back and a few minutes later, I was back in action. I finished the ride feeling really strong.
I have been riding really well lately. Even my pool work has been strong in spite of struggling a bit with some slipping form. I can really tell I am getting stronger. SO... that run can come together anytime. ANYTIME. please?
It is extremely frustrating how slow I am running. I have lost a great deal of weight (still have plenty left but if you go by :02/mile per lb then I can attribute about 140% of my current pace improvements to weight loss... haven't even seen the full :02/lb yet), I have been training diligently, I feel like I have earned this. I expect that the overall trend in my running is better. I have more days than not where the pace is approaching reasonable (not fast, but not humiliating) and fewer days where the workout reports make me want to cry. I guess I just didn't expect it to be this stubborn. To be this HARD to improve my running. I look around and I see people who I know have less overall fitness than I do, often rank beginners and people with a lot of weight to lose, and they can run two, three, even four minutes faster per mile than I can. I can't honestly figure out what I am doing wrong. Or is it just this tough?
|I feel like this waaaay too much!|
I can accept it if it is just hard. I worry that I am innately flawed and inadequate to the task. Perhaps running is just not in the cards for me. Perhaps. I am not willing to give up until I have exhausted all the possibilities. One person suggested that I put the bike in the garage and hang up the goggles... and just run for a year or two. And he was the owner of a local bike shop! I think I would stick a fork in my eye if I had to do that, but I have actually been considering it. Maybe I would find peace with the process. I LOVE to ride and really enjoy swimming as well. I could easily be a pure cyclist and have been a pure swimmer in the past both as a kid and in a master's program. But could the Duck JUST run? I don't honestly know. I might break. I might break physically. I might break mentally. Testing those waters seems extremely dicey to me.
|I think that I get outside my comfort zone but maybe I am really just comfortable with a certain level of suffering.|
For now, the jury is out... and probably hung. I don't have an answer or any wisdom to quote but I know that something is out of balance with my run and I don't know what is going to correct it. Maybe it's just going to be a slow process. Maybe I need to find a running group. Maybe I need to consider doing my speed work at a track. Maybe I need to strap rockets to my shoes!!
I have a scheduled call with DW tomorrow. I have spent so much time whining about my run that doubt I will even bring it up... for now. In the meantime, I will continue to put one proverbial foot in front of the other.
|I hope so.|