Things could go wrong, and they sometimes do!
Sometimes I go on training runs, rides, or swims, and everything works out perfectly. I remember to pack everything, my nutrition was perfect, I’m sufficiently hydrated, and I get done with a strong feeling of peace and accomplishment. And by sometimes, I mean once in a while….
So on Saturday, a new friend messaged me and asked me if I wanted to brick train with him at Melton Hill Dam, the site of our Atomic Man race. A brick is when do two activities back to back. In this case, it would be a bike ride and a run.
“Sure! That would be awesome,” I told him. I wanted to wait until Sunday to confirm, just to make sure no one needed me to sub on Monday. We discussed where we were both at in our training, and Sunday night I confirmed.
Monday morning I woke up and packed my bags, got my bug (daughter) ready for school, and headed out for the day.
Sign #1 that I should have turned around: two texts to sub Monday morning classes…of course after I waited
Sign #2 traffic was bad causing me to be 10 minutes late
So I’m there, talking to my new friend, getting our gear ready. We decided that the fog was still too heavy to start with a swim, that we would put it off till the end.
Sign #3,4,5,& 6 – My bike shoes were nowhere to be found. Flashing back to the night before, I realized they were probably still at the gym where I last taught a cycle class.
But in my stubborn and determined mood (ok all the time) I decided to ride anyway. So I set off to tackle crybaby hills in tennis shoes and clipless pedals. I decided one loop would be sufficient for my training, although he had to do 60 miles. I finished a painful bike ride at 36 miles. I wasn’t sure how the run was going to go, but was going to get 10 miles before jumping in the lake.
I set off on my run after charging my phone a minute. It was nearing 85 degrees, but I am good with the heat. I had my water and visor, so I knew it would be fine. Then the side stitches began at mile 3….and the foot pain from not having cycle shoes….and the leg pain from the overcompensating of my foot pain….
I kept trudging on….and saw this view on an impromptu turn off the course:
It was literally breathtaking….
After running out of water and finally making it back to camp, my friend was waiting to jump in the lake!
A short swim cooled us off and gave us some practice. I could feel my speed picking up as my kicks have made improvements!
At the first sign of trouble, I could have headed home. I could have told my friend that it just wasn’t going to work out. I could have opted out of the bike and just ran.
You can still learn and grow from workouts even when they do not go as planned.
Every training will not be what you expect or visualize. You could forget gear, have a bad nutrition day, feel weak or tired, have aches or pains…..its all par for the course. These inconsistencies help you to become a better competitor on race day. Race day gives you one shot to get it right, so if something goes wrong its best to be prepared for the unexpected. When it does go wrong, you can reflect on your training blunders and use that experience to be a stronger athlete!