Retraining the brain

Since getting into triathlon, I’ve been an all or nothing person.  I either do a workout ferociously and fully or I don’t do it at all.  That works out when you have time to devote to it.  It’s not so good when you’re so tired your bones hurt and you have three little ones constantly needing something.  Prior to kids I fell on the “all” swing of the pendulum.  Post twins, I find myself hitting the “none” more often than not.  If I didn’t have time for my entire scheduled 90 minute ride, I’d opt for moping at home, lamenting how I couldn’t get my shit together enough to get in a workout.

Each freshly missed workout was a new stick to beat myself with.

After a mediocre race in May, I decided to take a different tactic.

For June I made a few changes.

I created monthly goals instead of getting wrapped around the day to day.

50 miles Running and 100 miles riding.  That was my goal.  However it got done was fine by me.  With a day to day training plan, each new day dawns as it’s own triumph or victory.  If I hit a workout, I’d feel great.  If I bailed because I was too tired or just too pressed for time, I’d mentally whip myself.  Instead of building me up, I found I was using it as a tool to tear myself down.  With a monthly goal I was able to give myself the grace to have a bad day without feeling like I was failing.    If I was feeling good, I’d run a bit longer.  If I had been up 8 times through the night with the babies, I’d skip the day and not feel bad about it.  There was no failure.

I scaled back my effort

Instead of chasing goal paces that were probably ahead of my current level of fitness, I forgot about pace and just ran for the love of it. I ran slow.  I stopped to check out an interesting flower I’d never seen before.  I ran through the woods and enjoyed the sound of my footfall on the loose gravel (is there a better sound?).  I forgot my Garmin at home.  I got back to why I started running in the first place.  I renewed my love with the zen physicality of being active.

I embraced how fitness now fits into my crazy, never stopping, baby-filled life

Gone, or, at least, more rare, are the days where I have time to head out for a designated workout.  Instead, my month’s workouts include a tempo ride on my mountain bike while pulling Koa in the trailer, a sprint with the babies in the double jogger to get them to school in time for breakfast, a ride to the car shop to pick up the Jeep, a ride to and from the pool to meet Ryan and the kiddos, a 20 minute run because it’s just all I had time for before dinner.  It’s amazing the miles you can rack up just living your life.

129 biking miles and 58 running miles later, June is over.  I’m happy to have reached the June goal.  I feel better than I’ve felt in a while.  I’m learning that thing I’ve had to train the most, is my mind.

Coming up next:

  • August 16th: IronGirl Columbia sprint triathlon.
  • …and hopefully a full nights sleep (unlikely)

bike mileage run mileageIMG_20150610_184635


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