As paradoxical as it seems, recovery can sometimes be just as hard as training.
I’m slogging my way through the middle of a recovery week, forcing my heart rate into unfamiliar zones, embracing my pull buoy, and spinning out my miles. It’s the most boring thing ever. What keeps me coming back to training is the challenge of a new day––what can I do now that I couldn’t before? What can I do again even better than last time? I can be an intense person, so the adrenaline filled, fast twitch, heart-racing action is what keeps me entertained.
But training can’t always be about going fast and I’m realizing how important it is to learn how to go slow.
Somewhere along Mile 11, an excited stranger jogged up alongside me, announcing that this was the farthest he had ever run in his life and that we were almost finished. He asked if it was also my first half marathon. I awkwardly negotiated my response.
“Yes,” I replied. “But…I also did LA Marathon…”
“What??” he called back, a judging sting of disbelief in voice. “This should be easy for you!”
“Yeah,” I said. “It should be. But it’s really not…”
When I was little and wanted to quit something, my mother would say, “There will be things you won’t want to do at West Point, but you’ll still have to do them.”
Even though I ultimately chose not to follow in my father’s footsteps and attend the US Military Academy at West Point, the lesson was still learned—that life would present obstacles that, while unappealing, I would have to find ways to persevere through.
Today was the day. After the training and dreaming and waiting it finally happened — I raced my first triathlon!
This weekend I had the joy of participating in the 9th Annual Redondo Beach Triathlon. The race features a competitive Sprint division for both newbies and established athletes, along with a non-competitive Mini Sprint for friends and families. I heard about the race about three weeks ago, and signed up for the Mini, wanting to focus solely on getting down the basics of racing before worrying about competition. But with a just over one week left before race day, I decided to go all out and upgrade to the full on Sprint — a half-mile swim, 6 mile bike ride, 2 mile run.
While certainly the easiest and most natural of activities, I would say that running is likely one of my weaker sports.