Yesterday was one of the hardest training days of my life. In all the years I've played organized sports, nothing has ever compared to the pain of yesterday. I would even go as far as to say that if you took all of the accumulated conditioning sessions done in those years, they would not come close to what I did yesterday.
I met up with my training partner Stefan yesterday to do a layered brick workout. For those of you not familiar with the triathlon world, a brick session includes doing back to back workouts, usually in a bike-run format (i.e. a Forty mile bike ride followed by a four mile run). In this case, Stefan and I were to ride 25 hilly miles, followed by a 5 mile hilly run....three times back to back. At the end we would total 75 miles on the bike, and 15 miles on the run. Definately not a workout for the faint of heart.
The day started quite easy, with the first 25-5 combo coming to a close with my legs still feeling quite fresh. The second bike session was more of the same, but I do have to say I was starting to feel my legs quite a bit on the second run leg. The third bike leg began well, but the last ten miles were excruciating! I just kept trying to move the pedals and turn the cranks. Thank God I took that damned computor off my bike before we started, otherwise I think I would have been severely depressed by all the single digit speeds it would have been giving me going up the hills.
The third run leg gets its own paragraph. Now, there are certain times in your life when you feel like you've come to an ultimate point-a defining moment so to speak. This can be anything from your first kiss, to your first child being born, your first job, or a number of things. This defining moment of my life was sponsered by my machine of a training partner, Stefan. Let me tell you, there's nothing like getting your ass kicked by someone who you can smile and joke with the whole time!
I have never known what it means to have such a disconnect between my brain and body. When it comes to sports, I've always been a very competitive person (especially when it's a one on one battle like a running race or a sparring session/fight). I've always been able to will myself to move as fast as I could, or fiight as hard as I could. I may not always have won, but I knew that my body was moving as fast or as hard as it could to get me where I wanted to be.
Yesterday, all bets were off. No matter how fast I wanted them to go, my legs stuck in one speed...SLOW! They kept moving, but it was at a pace similar to refridgerated maple syrup. (If you don't know what that looks like, try it sometime and get back to me....it's freakin' deadly slow!) So I finished that last run session, albeit a bit behind Stefan. I'm proud of myself for not folding during the whole training session. For finishing it and getting the miles done. Very easily, I could have made the excuse that I had been training hard all week and I was done. In the end though, would I realy have been happy? Yesterday was a gut check. I realized that many things are possible if you just stick with them. Even when times are tough, and you're one step away from quitting, don't give in. The prize at the end is worth the suffering to get there.
As Martin Dugard always ends his blog:
Keep pushing, always.