What happens when you look at your training schedule and the instructions of the ride are as follows: “Ride how you feel.” No specific numbers to try and target. No goals to direct your workout. Just ride how you feel. Why are those types of workouts often the most challenging for athletes?? Why do hard workouts with intense intervals that make you push and push often feel “easier” than light workouts where you are just in cruise control and have no targets other than just to “ride how you feel”?
July 30th 2017 marked two events in my life. First and most importantly, this date marked my 12th year wedding anniversary with my awesome husband. And secondly this date brought on the Boston Triathlon. This race was a big stage — where the who’s who on the local triathlon scene would be competing. This was a big race for me, where I could see how I could compete with the big guns. I love these types of races. No one would expect much from me. I could only surprise people. I was excited to see how this mother of three could compete against these big time local elites and pros.
I realized this past week that I haven’t written a blog entry since the cold, dark days of January. Yes, life has been very busy with being a mom, a teacher, a coach, and my training. But other factors have been at play as well. I feel like I’ve been cruising through life. My kids are happy (most of the time) and healthy, my jobs have kept me feeling productive and busy, and my training and racing have been quite smooth (knock on wood). In fact, I haven’t felt like I have had a “blog-worthy experience” in quite some time.
Until this weekend…. I was competing in the Mont Tremblant 70.3 triathlon. My goal for this season was to use Mont Tremblant 70.3 as my qualifier for the 70.3 World championship race in Chattanooga. I have competed in 70.3 World’s in the past, but not since 2007. I’ve qualified for it the past couple of years, but I wasn’t about to plan a family trip to Australia OR leave the family behind for a week while I took a trip to Australia to compete in a triathlon. It just didn’t seem right!! So since this race finally moved back to the USA, this was my chance to go back to this world-class affair. No ironmans for me this year. I was going to see how I could do in my age group at 70.3 Worlds. This was my target for the season.
Winter in New England… It’s cold. It’s unpredictable. It’s long. It can be a roller coaster ride full of jubilation at the first picturesque snowfall to gloominess over dismal cold days full of hibernation and darkness. Most of my workouts have shifted to being inside on stationary pieces of equipment, which seem to provide much space for rumination. Dreaming of bike rides outside and summer runs in tank tops, I find myself thinking about what lies ahead and how I can get to where I want to be. And more importantly in the meantime, how I can make the best of every day.
Enter my motivating source throughout the dismal winter months: Trainer Road. Trainer Road and I have a quintessential love / hate relationship – for those who are familiar with the program, I’m sure you can relate. You love it because it pushes you so hard and you hate it because it pushes you so hard. This is why I find it such a valuable training tool. It forces you to push beyond what you ever thought was manageable.