Thursday, August 13, 2009

111 Laps...

Nope it wasn't in a pool

Not in a lake either...

No..not the local outdoor track

Nice try but the Daytona 500 is..well..not 111 laps

Last week I had some trouble with motivation and the desire to sleep. Sunday morning included the destruction of one alarm clock and the rearrangement of my workout. (See the previous post) "Ill do it Monday morning" I told myself Well...even the best plans of Ironman Triathletes can get the monkey wrench treatment even on the best day.

Monday morning came and it required me to get some boot camp work done (don't you hate how making a living gets in the way of training). Between delivering equipment to a location, doing a fitness assessment and getting the new computer and accountant up to speed in our office, my business took up all of Monday morning and some of Monday afternoon. By 3pm, I finally had the opportunity to do my long run.

One problem: the heat index outside was right at 100 degrees. Hmmm...considering the workouts I had coming this week, running for 13 miles in that kind of heat MAY not be the best choice.

The first option to come to mind was the treadmill...or as I like to refer to them as DREADMILLS. I have one at home and access to several at various YMCA's around Orlando. I hate them. I despise them. I only use them when no other option is available. As I felt the broiler like conditions outside, I thought..."well...this might be the only option."

But then I remembered...

The Crosby YMCA near the Winter Park Hospital has an indoor track. Air Conditioning and a padded surface. This would be fine and much better than the treadmill. Or was it??

I got to this YMCA that I haven't gone to in almost a year and checked in at the front desk. I remembered that they loan out hand "clickers" for those using the track so you could keep track of your laps. As I made my way up the stairs to the track, I was proud of myself for another set of problem solving until I saw the sign:

11 laps = 1 mile

Yikes!! Are you kidding me?? Suddenly the treadmill looked pretty good. I looked around and I basically had the place to myself so.... I stopped whining, put my headphones on and hit the track with clicker in hand. Starting out with a jog, I varied my run workout with a little speedwork and some general pacing.

At one point, I simply STOPPED looking at the counter. It depressed me. I felt ok but the thought of multiple laps got me down. I just listened to my music and tried not to think about the number of laps left.

And then it hit me....this really is some pretty good Ironman training. You can't look at the 111 laps (I did the last 3 miles on a treadmill) as a whole. You have to take it apart and set smaller goals...smaller milestones...and celebrate those. For me , it was a sip of gatorade, or a switch to my favorite song on the Ipod. Milestone after milestone, I made it through 10 miles on this tiny little track.

And as I look back at my journey to this experience known as Ironman, I tried very hard not to look at the fact that I had over 250lbs to lose (and Im still in the process of making it to that goal), but I looked at every 5lb loss or every 10 lb milestone. I didn't run a marathon to start. I started with a 1 mile walk, then a 5k, then a 10 k, then a half marathon and so on.

The mental game of Ironman is to break it apart. Make it into manageable pieces and milestones. Not only are my workouts to train the body to endure but to teach the mind how to conquer the distance.

Pardon the pun...but I think I lapped this workout up!! :)

As always, I will continue to keep you posted (and hopefully find some better jokes!! )


The Running Girl said...

That's true dedication. I saw that you did this on your post on BT and was amazed. Come race day, just break the race down into parts and I have no doubt you'll do just fine.

Mike Auld said...

Like the Amwaynians say - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. One more water stop, one more turn, one more spectator, one more step - oops is that the finish line?!?!?!?!?