While the physical distance from the head to the heart is about 18 inches, it is also considered the longest distance to conquer. Head knowledge is knowing something, heart knowledge is believing something. Joining the two has been called commitment, faith, or true fulfillment. I can easily give text book answers to many questions – what is the best way to train, how should I react to a situation, where do I want a situation to go/end up. Believing the answer is the hardest journey to take. The irony is in my regression to doubt, even when I have proven the knowledge to be true. I was unsure of my ability to master swimming into a flip turn. I knew I was physically capable and now I finally believe I can do it, because I overcame the fear and now it is easy for me. Apply that to my running and I revert to head knowledge but doubt the belief, the heart knowledge I am capable.
This morning I did my last weight workout for the next few weeks. The half marathon is two weeks from this Sunday and I am entering a mini-taper. This evening I did a tempo workout on the treadmill. Just 30 minutes, but I set my tempo pace for what I need it to be in order to reach my race pace goal for the 10 mile race in the middle of June. After a warm up I set the treadmill at 9:35 pace. For me this is fast to sustain for a long period. I held it well but I definitely felt the stress on my lungs. My legs felt good and my ankle was fine in the brace. I kept an eye on my heart rate monitor and I was staying below by anaerobic threshold. By 8 beats per minute for most of the run. Even at that point, I had doubts I could sustain the pace. The statistics, or head knowledge, all indicated I was doing it and keeping it up. My belief, or heart knowledge, was that I was going to have to slow the pace soon. My mantra “Believe” turned into “don’t give up, don’t wimp out”. I wanted to say “you can do this” but I honestly didn’t believe it at the moment. I have been told there is no reason why I can’t get my pace up to 8:30 per mile. I want it. I want to believe it. That will take time.
So I am training for a long distance, longer than 26.2 miles running, longer than 70.3 miles covered in a half ironman. It is 18 inches. Believing I can (will) achieve these goals. The path will not be straight and may even switch back in the wrong direction. One of the things I enjoy so much about training for triathlon is how it mirrors life. The challenges I face in the pool and on the roads can easily be analogous to the challenges I face in life. Mountains are mountains and have to either be climbed or I am stuck. Making knowledge belief is not easy, but easy is not the best way to learn. I am not giving up, I will not wimp out, and I will do this.