...you think a double brick (2o mile bike ride followed by a 3 mile run x 2) seems relaxing. WTF!
Let me give you a little background first. A couple of weeks ago, MTLP * and I joined this really cool running group called Team Sakina. If you get a chance, check out their website. They are a womens only group who runs and through fund raising financially supports a place in Tanzania called Sakina. By doing what we're doing, we are going to get to send several kids to school as well as help support the health needs of the families and communities there. It's wicked cool and it's totally awesome to be part of something bigger than just me.
What is not so cool is how much of a challenge being on a team has been for me. The first 'practice' was hill work and completely kicked my a**. Then, during the Saturday run, I got cramps. Later that day, during my swim, I got cramps again. S-U-C-K-S! Then, during the Thursday run this past week, we did interval training and I ran my intervals (800s) something ridiculous like an 8 or 8.5 minute pace! I thought I was going to die!!!!!!!! I don't run fast. I run slow - so that pace killed me. I almost started crying. I wanted to quit running and quit the team. I had all of these 'I suck' messages going through my head and I just felt huge and slow and mostly just too f*cking slow to have a right to run with these women (one of which, I learned earlier in the evening, runs 72 miles a week - yes, 72 miles in a week). But, I toughed it out that night, went home tried to ride on the trainer (I was supposed to have a 20 mile bike) but I could only tough it out for 30 minutes (which felt like an eternity). I was miserable. I finally got to eat something and then went to bed. This terrible-no good-very bad-training day was finally over!
What is cool though is that the coaches actually give a sh*t about my cramps. One of the coaches wrote me a big long email after having discussed my cramps with another of the coaches and the other coach loaned me her endurance running nutrition book.
The more I read and learn about myself, the more I think I have not been eating enough or taking in enough electrolytes. All part of training, right? Better to learn it now than at the race.
I fretted about the run today with the team. In fact, I was trying to find any excuse not to run with the team today but in the end I did. And, I'm glad I did. I didn't have cramps! Yay! And, I worked through some of my anxiety about being the slowest one in the group and my feelings about not being good enough to be a part of the team.
Then, we had a swim. It was 2400 yards - which I realize for some of you isn't very long - but it still is for me. And, I was particularly nervous about the potential for cramps. Again, I adjusted my fuel intake but I was still dragging my feet about going to the pool. When we got there, I sat in the car with MTLP and worked through some other stuff about training. Then, finally, when I couldn't come up with anything else to slow me down, we went in to swim. Guess what? No cramps. And, I felt better today than I have in a long time in the pool. Yay! I wasn't particularly fast but that's okay.
Anyway, all of the mental and physical struggles of the past couple of weeks impacted me to the point that this evening when I was thinking about our double brick tomorrow (biking without rain or dropping temperatures or wind and running with only MTLP**), I was relieved.
That's messed up.
*MTLP is My (fabulous) Training/Life Partner
**Last Sunday, we had a triple brick. So, we loaded up to get down to our starting/transition point. It was raining - had been most of the morning. We decided to get out there anyway because we do need to get some experience riding in the rain.*** So, we rode and it rained and the wind started up and then the temperature started dropping. Okay, so not only am I wet - soaked actually - but I'm also wind-blown which makes me cold even in warm rain but then the temperature started dropping - not just 1 or 2 degrees but like 10 degrees - down into the 50's or something. Again, I know for some of you this is ideal - not so for me. But, we were going to get at least one brick in - even if we couldn't get around to doing all 3 for the day. Then, I got a flat. I should have changed it and then went on. But, neither one of us really wanted to continue - we were freezing, wet, wind-blown and with a flat tire AND we were supposed to repeat this TWICE. Oh hell no. We quit. FAIL on the completion. FAIL on the toughening up. FAIL on repairing the flat.
***I realize that for some of you out there rain doesn't hold you back. I'm still in my 'toughen up' stage. Grr.