Yet Still I Learn

Last night when I went to bed I knew I was not going to swim this morning. I was feeling fatigued and opted for a little extra sleep. Even after eight hours of sleep, I woke this morning wishing I could go back to bed. I do not hurt, my body temperature is normal, and I haven’t sneezed in a few days even with all of the chlorine I subject myself to. I was just tired. The feeling lingered through the day. I had a run scheduled this afternoon and I thought about texting my coach and asking her what she thought about running tonight. I didn’t after all, thinking I was just wimping out. After work I drove home instead of to the gym and thought if I took a nap I could run after on my treadmill in my basement. When I got home I had several boxes delivered so I got out of the car and picked them up. When I returned there was a text message from my running coach: “How are you feeling??” I just love her. It was as if she knew what was going on. We ran into each other at the gym Tuesday morning and I told her about how tired I was on Monday. I replied with my plan to nap then run, then asked if she thought I should rest all together and run tomorrow evening instead. Her response: “I think you should completely rest today. Your body is telling you something.”

This week I have had two interactions with both my triathlon coach and my running coach that have convinced me of the importance of having a coach. After I gave my tri coach the evil eye when he insisted I rest one day a week right now, his response was interesting. He said that most self coached athletes train too hard on easy days and not hard enough on hard days. As a result, often the athlete plateaus and does not reach full potential. Like a child going from one parent to the other to get their way, I asked my running coach what she thought. She agreed with him. Drats.  The truth of this is setting in today too. A comment from Heidi at Maternal Media to my post yesterday was ironic. She said she was amazed at how I forge on day in and day out. Well Heidi, today I didn’t forge. But I know I am doing it for my own good. My body is telling me something. And as much as I have learned to listen to my body, sometimes an interpreter is needed in the form of a coach. I am pushing harder than I have on my hard workouts but I am not fully following the lower intensity suggested for my easy workouts in swimming and cycling. As a result of my packed schedule, I am not lifting as much as my training schedule suggests. I am paying these professionals to guide me, it is time I listen.

The will is an interesting thing. “Strong willed” can describe a dedicated person who never gives up. It also can describe a stubborn person who never gives up. Sometimes I am both. What I do know is that when I reach a point of exhaustion like I have today, I am willing to surrender my will. Triathlon and running continue to teach me so much – how to take care of myself physically, how to eat and hydrate properly, and also how to take care of my mind. Sometimes they all collide. Sometimes it takes a coach – or two – to get me back on track in the process of continuing to learn.

Published by elisariva

I want to encourage everyone to follow your passions, not just what is easy. It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.

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