Facing Fears and Learning Lessons
After Kona I took a few weeks “off” (doing whatever I felt like in terms of training each day, but EASY). Even after two weeks my legs were still pretty tired but I tried to start keeping up with Steve Houston (fellow Wattie Ink team member) again on the bike and runs. After a few weeks I felt mostly recovered and back to normal. Coach Larry told me to go have fun and get in some long rides each week, but to enjoy training. My mind decided to construe this as “go train as many hours as you want and beat your body senseless.” After a few weeks of what I thought was great training, my body decided it was time to battle my mind. I began only sleeping a few hours each night, mostly lying in bed staring at the ceiling. My asthma started becoming worse and giving me troubles, especially while running. Of course my mind just kept saying “Oh you’re fine, you probably just drank too much coffee.” All I could think of was that other people were out there training even more than I was and I would have to compete with them this year. I feel like I need to make some serious leaps and bounds in my swim and bike fitness levels and that killing myself day in and day out was the only way to get there.
The fateful day soon came when I attempted a long run (no food or water of course…), made it two miles, and realized I could barely breathe and was nearly walking. I turned around and walked back home crying. People had been telling me I was overtraining but I couldn’t accept it until this point. I thought I was training like pro triathletes train.
I am trying to grasp this lesson in training and restraint. After a week and a half of easy training to try and recover I am finally sleeping through the night again. Taking easy days is so much more of a mental challenge for me than going out and hammering a 6 hour ride or long run drinking only water (looking back I am not sure why I thought this was a great idea, definitely not recommended). But this past week and a half has been filled with some great training sessions…even if they were really easy. It is humbling to realize how little I know about triathlons and training. However, I am so thankful to be surrounded by wonderful people who have been teaching me what being a “pro” triathlete really means!
12/18/2012 10:22:44 pm
Hi, Allison. We met at Top Dog shortly after your returned from your fantastic Ironman. I enjoyed reading your post today!! It makes me wonder what percentage of this type of event is mental vs physical. Maybe we need a pie chart! Speaking of pie, I hope you get some over the holidays. Bye, August PS Whew, I never knew about Peter's accident. Awful. So glad you were there to get him to the hospital.
12/21/2012 08:16:24 pm
1/10/2013 11:23:03 pm
Hey Allison! Great blog posts! Keep those dreams and aspirations coming! You are an inspiration! Hope to see ya soon!
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Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.