Sunday, May 23, 2010

Positive Reinforcement

SWIMMING 3:20 (3 days)
BIKING 7:25 (2 days)
RUNNING 3:55 (2 days)
WEIGHTS :45 (1 day)

There really is something to be said about positive reinforcement. We've had some encounter of it since childhood and it really does work. Whether it's telling a child good job for something new they've done, or getting a job well done email from a boss, or a you're doing great out there during an athletic endeavor, it helps. I had 2 experiences this week that really made me feel good and helped out so much with my confidence. Funny enough they were both on the bike, something I've struggled with until recently. I had to do 6 hill repeats @ Kennesaw mountain. I knew I could do it, but it would just be on the slower side. There were a couple of people I saw multiple times on my way up and down the mountain. One asked if it was my 2nd time up. Actually, it was my 4th and I had 2 more times to go. She gave me a big "Awesome!" and made a positive comment the other few times she saw me after that. Another woman was pushing her child up the hill in a stroller. To me, that's more impressive then what I did. She asked if I wanted to pull her up the hill and then told me what I'm doing is harder because I can't stop. When I came down the mountain she screamed "You go girl!" It's funny because I went a lot slower then I did last time, which is ok, but it made those slow hill repeats so much better when I heard these women encouraging me. It was such a fantastic feeling. Then yesterday I rode with a couple of people I know and one of the women told me I was really strong after going up a hill. Now I don't particularly think this is the case. In fact I just feel like a slow, fat ass, but hearing that actually made me think, "Hey, just maybe I am strong." This is why it's so important to have people cheering for you at a race. Especially when it's coming down to the end and you feel like shit. Hearing someone shout for you or say something positive really does something for the psyche.

I had a 4000 yard swim on Wednesday that really kicked my ass. I didn't have sprints to do like I normally have in my workouts. I just never felt like I got into a great rhythm and my arms were killing. I think part of it was from my hill repeats the day before. I tend to brake a lot with a death grip on them, so it works my triceps a lot. Even though I didn't feel great, I got the workout in without stopping. I've been trying to incorporate a flip turn into my workouts recently to alleviate any assistance from the wall and taking extra breaths. I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but I'm trying. I want a better feel for what race day will be like. I'm hoping I can get in an 1:20 open water swim soon. The problem is I would want a kayak there for safety. I'll have to look into this.

My bikes this week were really good. The hill repeats at Kennesaw were difficult, but I didn't feel like I was going to die. I remember my 1st time up there and I couldn't even complete 4 of them. I actually turned around 1/2 way up there because I didn't think I had the physical strength, which was actually a mental thing because I definitely did. I'm sure saying that I was ok with the 6 means 8 or 10 is in my near future. Then yesterday's ride ended up being an almost 88 mile ride. My schedule was between 5-6 hours. I wanted to do 6, but by the time I was done with 5.5 hours it was already 3:00 and I was spent. I felt great with the exception of miles 70-80. My legs started getting tired and I was getting hot spots in my toes. I just felt kind of shitty. Luckily I snapped out of it and was able to finish the ride with no problem. I had great company for the 1st 55 miles or so and then did the last bit on my own. I wonder if I had others around me if I would've hit the funk @ 70. Either way I felt great afterwards and gave myself a big pat on the back.

My interval run on Wednesday was fine. Nothing too eventful. I ran with a jogging stroller so it was harder then if it was just me. This really made me think that there's no way I can get heavier then I am because the thought of lugging around extra weight during runs was so unappealing. It was my birthday weekend so I kind of went a little nutso on the food, but after today, I need to get back on track. I should carry around a picture of me dragging ass with a kid in a stroller. The best part of my run today is that it was over. Wow was it brutal. I felt great for the 1st :50 and then it went downhill from there. I was scheduled to do a 2:30 run, but ended up only doing 2:15 (I was in a time crunch to get to a wedding). I stopped and walked so many times. I seriously felt like my feet weren't even moving and if you touched me lightly I would fall over. It was unbelievably hot and humid out and I must've drank at least 3 bottles of water on this run, but never felt fully hydrated. It also probably didn't help that I woke up still in a food coma from last night's dinner. My belly definitely hurt, but I forced myself to get down 1/2 of a cliff bar. My only thought today was please let it rain in Placid if it gets this hot. I tried going anywhere that there was shade, but it only helped so much. Hopefully my next long run is a little better then today's.

Thankfully I have a recovery week starting tomorrow and after that the craziness begins. June 5th I'm doing another 1/2 Ironman and then on the 6th I have a 112 mile bike ride. Then the following week I have a 4000 yard swim on Friday, 112 mile ride on Saturday and a 2.5 hour run on Sunday. Yeah that's basically an Ironman (minus 13 miles or so on the run) in 3 days.

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