The extreme cold – and snow – continues to linger but it has not stopped me. Quite the contrary, I have been so busy this week I missed writing twice. I am happy to report I have been busy with the good stuff – training and enjoying a little leisure time. (I had almost forgotten what that was…) Yesterday morning I ran at the gym and did a tempo run. Like last Friday, I was scheduled to do two repeats of 10 minutes at my half marathon goal pace. I was able to keep a 9:50 to 9:40 minute mile pace. My heart rate stayed in my upper zone three without going anaerobic. If I am able to keep this pace in Washington DC in March I will be thrilled. As I have admitted, it is my mind that will be the biggest hill to climb, so to speak. I saw the elevation profile today for the race and there is about a 220 foot gain over five miles between miles 2.75 and 7.75. It doesn’t sound too bad, but enough to give me the jitters. Once the weather breaks I will get outside and run the hills for strength and preparation.
This morning I made it to spin class and then swam after. I noticed I am regaining some strength on the bike – it was a challenging class and I was able to push it over 220 on the power watts measure and over 21 miles per hour when we had 60 to 90 second long hard intervals. How accurate the computer on the bike is remains in question, but it is the best gauge I have to go off of right now. What I can tell is I am getting stronger. In the pool we had five swimmers. After a warm up we did 8 x 200 meter repeats on 4:30. I swam the odd sets and pulled the evens. When I swam I stayed around 3:52 to 3:54 for the 200 meters. Pulling I was at 3:46 – my next goal to accomplish is swimming without the pull buoy. I have been working on limiting pulling and today helped. Soon I won’t need it at all, but I may need my inhaler close by…
Faster running, cycling, and swimming. I am getting stronger. Yes, I am getting stronger physically. But I am also believing I am able to improve beyond where I am now as I have learned from where I used to be. As my friend questioned me, it is possible I have had the ability longer than I have realized, I just had to believe in myself. I am my worst critic. A song I have been listening to while working out lately is Unbreakable by Fireflight. The opening verse is:
Where are the people that accused me?
The ones who beat me down and bruised me
They hide just out of sight
Can’t face me in the light
They’ll return but I’ll be stronger
In this case it is me. The voice, or voices (committee?), that doubt my ability. And while I believe today that I am stronger, that I can and will achieve new goals, those voices will return. But that is where faith comes into play. Where I have to believe. Believe in the unseen. The second verse goes on:
Sometimes it’s hard to just keep going
But faith is moving without knowing
Can I trust what I can’t see?
To reach my destiny
I want to take control but I know better
Ha – I want to take control – sound familiar? Faith is moving without knowing. Yes, I have to trust what I can’t see. The last part of the song she sings “forget the fear, it’s just a crutch”. Yep, it sure is. But with faith, believing in the skills I have been blessed with, I am unbreakable. All I need to do is just trust.