Triathlon really is a mental game first, and a physical game second. And you only really get to play the physical game if you win the mental game.
Over time I have learned strategies and tricks to overcome the voices in my head (the ones that tell me the couch is more comfortable than the bike seat- choose it!, and the ones that tell me to take it easy, go light, slow down no one is here to notice).
I remember when I started running in 2003- I would come home from working a 12 hr shift at the hospital- exhausted, legs aching, wanting nothing more than to put my feet up and zone out. But instead I would take off my scrubs and put on my running clothes. Even as the voices said- it is too late, too dark, you are too tired, you still have 2 more shifts to go and need your rest, we can skip the run tonight- I was lacing up my shoes and heading out the door.
It never took more than 10 minutes for the voices to cease and a sense of calm, peace and joy to take over. Not only from the physical act of increasing blood flow and oxygen to my brain and other body tissues, but from the mental appreciation of having overcome the path of least resistance to make the right choice for me and stick with it.
I always, ALWAYS, felt better after the run. And I am quite sure it is a large part of what kept me sane as a nurse. It is still a large part of what keeps me sane today :-)
Yesterday was one of those days where I actually was craving a bike ride. I have been spending a lot of time at my desk working on my business and I just wanted to move! Once I got on the bike and warmed up I knew it would not be an easy ride. My legs were feeling the LT run I did on Tuesday and it took serious focus to keep the spin up without dropping the resistance. But I did it- even though I was alone and no one would have known if I'd shifted to an easy gear and coasted for 90mins.
No one but me. The only person I have to live with 24/7. The only person who knows heart and soul how dedicated I am to my goals for the season, and my overriding goal to continue to push myself to realize my true potential.
So instead I increased the resistance on the trainer, shifted to a tougher gear, and pushed through the mental and physical battles to complete what I set out to do. And I know that these workouts are building what I need to get me to my goals, period. Which makes the suffering all worthwhile :-)
TFTD Bike 90mins