The sprint race was fun. I didn’t need to win it. I needed to enjoy the journey again. Then the Tuesday night after, I went out to the track for a quality run workout. Unsure of what I could handle just two days post-race, I was mentally flexible with what my workout would be and planned to adapt based on how I was feeling (instead of getting frustrated for not meeting set goals or expectations). At the very least, I’d do a fartlek run based on effort, not pace. I decided to go for the threshold and repeat workout since I was at a track. My goal was to run 3-4 miles at 7:10/mile pace and run 4x200m repeats after. I ran 4 miles at 6:59 pace and felt surprisingly GOOD like I could have kept going if time allowed. I ran my first 200 and it felt almost too easy, so I held my pace longer and ran a 300m, and then I did a 400, all faster than pace and I still felt great. Killed it. Then with my most recent hard brick session, I ran 3 miles way faster than I did at the Chisago Lakes sprint. The focus on the run is finally paying off.
I have struggled through so many training sessions lately, or been frustrated when things haven’t gone as planned and I miss a workout, or have to compromise what I planned to do. Then I have workouts like those, and I have to remind myself to let the frustrations slip away and to focus on what I know I am capable of, what I have accomplished, and to trust my training. As much as I don’t feel ready for Nationals, I also know that I AM ready.
In mid-July, I was tempted to walk away from triathlon completely. I was burned out. I have been tired to the point where I have felt physically ill. Then I have a run night like Tuesday night and I am reminded that this is why I still tri – to discover that I’m capable of far more than I give myself credit for. In a valley? Keep pushing and you’ll eventually find your breakthrough. Ready or not, I’ll lay it all out on the line and give it my all at Nationals. When I get to that run, I can be confident that my legs are capable, and let my heart carry me to the finish (and maybe have the theme song from Rocky playing in my head).