The weeks following 70.3 Texas were a rollercoaster. And not in a good way.
I was really let down from what I thought was a bad run that didn’t reflect what I was capable of. I was tired from not having any rest before or really after, and my dissatisfaction with my coach came to the forefront. Not to mention the emotional sadness and exhaustion that came from the Boston bombing and the explosion in West, Texas. I was in a really bad place.
In those weeks, I’ve done a lot of questioning. Of myself and of my training. Is this because I am tired? Am I working hard enough? Am I acting like an unreasonable bitch? Should I just calm down?
One of the hardest things I’ve gone through is realizing that my coach isn’t right. While I started writing an entire blog post on why we don’t get along, I don’t think that’s fair to him or to me. But I think it is important to share that I firmly believe your coach should be helping you off of the cliff and be a great listener to what you need, not the one pushing you over and forcing you into the box they think you belong in. I believe that you should be part of the conversation and not being talk at like a 5 year old. All of that being said I did learn a lot and my endurance has improved, just not the right fit for me.
This has really caused me to look inwards for reassurance and found more questions than answers. Not to mention some awesome pep talks with TPG and other friends who have raced and IM or are racing IM Texas with me. One of the turning points was a conversation with a fellow IMTXer at the pool the other morning (she’s also a USAT certified coach being coached by the same guy as me). She said that whatever I do in the next few weeks really isn’t as important as getting to a happy place in my head and to get my coach out of my head. If I want to follow the workouts provided that’s fine, but if I needed to modify them based on how I feel or if a 4 hour run would be a better mental gain than a 3 hour one, to do what I needed to do. It was like a breath of fresh air to have someone tell me that it’s okay to figure out what is going to work for me.
Since that conversation I’ve had little glimpses of the Heidi that I’ve missed. Although I haven’t really missed workouts I’ve felt better rested (on the same amount of sleep) and my mental quickness is coming back. I’ve been snarky lately y’all! I have comebacks quickly and moments of pure joy laughing with others. There has been a level of stress lifted.
The pool has also felt better. I moved down a lane so I don’t feel like I have to die keeping up with the fast guys. I’ve been to swim practice twice in that lane this week and I’ve gotten out of the pool smiling. My endurance is there and I can do the work, I just need to maintain my level and not die trying to keep up. I’m still working hard and usually leading the lane, but I don’t have the extra layer of speed stress.
My run is feeling stronger. I had a morning this week where I ran before work rather than after because of potential rain. It was fantastic! I couldn’t help but smile and for the entire 6 miles. My mile times dropped by mile the whole way and I kept the correct heart rate and just smiled. I couldn’t help but thinking “running is the greatest! I love running!” the entire time I was out there. I ran for 3 hours last night and although I was tired at the end, I knew if I had to I could have kept going to finish a marathon distance. This is the first time I’ve believed I could finish the marathon in this IM training cycle.
Mind my is taking shape to the place I want it to be. I’m finding joy again rather than nothing but stress and anger at the process. I get these lovely little glimpses that are showing me I am strong enough and I can overcome bumps in the road to push through and cross that finish line.