Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes It's Been A While

I know I haven't posted anything in quite some time but it's been incredibly busy at work and I'm having a hard time juggling training/work/ and life in general. I've had a lot of time on the road lately and I'm leaving again for the week, it's been tough leaving Amber and Harely alone I really miss them. I have been able to get in some good swims and runs but the biking as been spotty and I'm going to take my bike with me for this trip.

This weekend Amber and I headed north to Grimshaw for the Unchanga Run in Peace, a 20km run that has a nasty uphill after 5kms and doesn't end until 9kms. I needed to do the run-walk-run up the hill for quite a while but I finished the first half in 41.44, the next section coming down was a lot easier but my legs were trashed for the final 5kms. I finished the second half in 36.28 and the entire race in 1:18.13, not my best time but very good for that course. This race really got me excited to get out there and compete again and now I'm looking forward to doing some May running races and all the tri's I have planned for June-July-August.

I circled back with Harley after I finished and met up with Amber so we could run her in for her final Km.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Learning Patience

I think a lot of us can become inpatient when there is something you look forward to that just doesn't seem to come, for me it's my summer fitness. I bust my a*s all winter trying to maintain my fitness in the hope that I'll come out in spring and be stronger than last year. However, I've had such incredible results over the last couple years that now the gains seem to be getting smaller and smaller. I'm still happy to be doing what I love, I was like a kid at Christmas time during the first outdoor ride of the season but to know that you are not as fast as you were only a few short months ago is a tough pill to swallow.

I just finished reading Johan Brunnel's book, "We Might as Well Win" and he talks a lot about how so much of his job was teaching the riders to be patient. Cyclists (and triathletes) tend to be very results oriented, they will do whatever it takes to be the best and push their bodies to the point of absolute exhaustion or breakdown. What he mainly did with his athletes was to make sure that if they were focusing on a race in May, like the Giro, he made sure that they were in great shape in March and April. However if other riders on the team were focusing for the Tour de France in July, he made sure that they understood that they were going to be in terrible shape in March and April and that was okay, concentrate on improving in May and June. I think Lance was a master at being patient both when he was racing; he never attacked until it was absolutely necessary and during the off season; he understood that it's okay to be out of shape in the winter. He was a champion for 7 years (an absolutely incredible time for pro cyclists) because he knew that he had to trust his coach's advice and he had the talent to back up all the work he put in on the road.

I'm going to take some advice from Johan too and tell myself that it's okay to be out of shape in April, my racing is not until June-July-August. It's a long time to hold peak fitness but just like last year I will improve as the summer moves along. I've had some really good results in the pool just over the last month and I'm actually excited to be swimming again. It no longer feels like I'm preparing to go to the dentist where I have to gear myself up to get there. I'm consistently getting in the water 3-4 times a week and I am starting to feel the endurance slowly come back, now I just need to work on improving my speed.
I've also tried to learn from the people I train with too, Robert and Dennis are going into their 10th Ironman this year and I'm absolutely amazed by that. I know how much one season of racing takes out of my body and if I'm training for an Ironman, it's twice as hard. I can't imagine doing it 10 years in a row! They have really mastered the art of being lazy at the right times and working very hard at the right times and they have both shown incredible results because of that. I know I'm not at the level I'd like to be at this time of year but that's okay, I have to trust that everything I'm doing is working and that the fitness will come, just be patient.