getting worse to get better
Baby steps in Ironman training
Where should I begin? Usually the beginning is a good place, but the beginning is long gone and I’m somewhere in the middle.
That’s where I am, so that’s where I’m going to begin.
It's a Tuesday in mid October. I woke up early drove to swim practice, jumped-in and was so slow and so tired, I couldn’t even keep up in the warm-up. In case you’re unclear on what that means, the warm-up in swim practice is where you swim slowly just to wake up a little and take the edge of the cold water before you start actually swimming and working hard. Yep, I couldn’t keep up to that. For the rest of practice, my teammates continued to do the workout and I did my best to stay out of their way as I plodded along, missing every pace time and using as much equipment (paddles, pull-buoy, fins) as I could to stay afloat.
I finally got out, and headed to work, slurring my words through meetings, trying hide an eye-twitch and a “I’m-so-tired-I-pretty-much-don’t-care” attitude.
After momentarily falling asleep with my clothes and some perspective, I realized that what I was experiencing was normal. The normalist of normal in fact. A few months ago, I signed up for ironman on a whim, have been putting in some solid fall training and doing a lot at work. Of course I’m tired! I’m kind of glad that I tired because that’s what training is – putting in the work, fatiguing your body and allowing it the time to adapt, recover and improve. I know this. Us sporty people, we all know this. And when faced with the prospects of keeping up with my fast swim friends when it felt like a miracle that I even put my goggles on this morning, I forgot. So if you too have done a few mindless things this week, slogged through a run, thought about eating chips instead of dinner or fantasized about when you can get back in bed later, you’re not alone. And to top it all, amidst your struggle, you’re probably getting better at whatever it is your doing.
Here’s to getting worse, to get better.