I'm not afraid to admit it. I don't feel incredibly fast like I can whip out a sub 20 min. 5K or 40 min. 10K but I feel strong. I think we (as triathletes, newbies included) don't really understand or appreciate how strong we are until we are recovered from an injury. When you are injured or take a break from serious training (off-season) you feel unfit, not fast and weak. Then when you get back to training, you all of a sudden think of where you want to be. Fast, strong, lean and powerful. I guess sometimes we miss the steps to get where we want to be and don't really recognize how amazingly strong we are inside. Our muscles are contracting and we don't even realize how fast we are moving. We just think about where we were (pre injury for example) or where we want to be (A-race, months down the road). Even if you haven't been injured, perhaps you stepped up the distance and started training long. Maybe you are focusing on speed right now and cutting back on distance. Or maybe you are doing your first triathlon or road race and you are running your first mile or 2 miles without stopping. All these great things should be appreciated. Your body responds to stress and overtime it will get stronger. My post-kona injury (yes, I talk about it a lot) took forever long to heal. I don't even know what happened to me but it took almost 4 months for me to be able to actually run. And even that, i was running at 6.4-6.8 miles per hour. But I didn't give up and I tried to stay motivated and positive. Same with newbies, you must realize that running continuously for 3 miles or running after you swam and biked is a big deal. It means your body is strong..each muscle fiber is working hard and your heart is pumping blood all over the body and your respiratory system is being challenged. Take a moment and recognize how strong you are..right now. Then think of your last hard workout and if you ever thought (prior to that workout) that you would be able to complete something like that. Maybe you think speed, distance or time but regardless you are strong! Now use that excitement and bring it to every upcoming workout so you CAN get to where you want to be.
*This morning I did 62 miles on the bike and felt awesome. I road from clearwater to st.pete beach by the water and I had the wind to my side and face for almost 20 miles. I did a massive distance set since my muscle fibers from Iron Girl weren't ready to go all-out fast for a short period of time. Set was 5 miles (not minutes!) hard, 1 mile recovery, 4 miles hard, 1 mile easy, etc. 15 miles hard and I was amazed on how I felt. I could feel my quads contracting even as I coasted. I challenged myself on every "climb" in florida (bridges) and didn't loose focus. No run afterwards since I put in my hard miles yesterday. After I got my award, my mom drove home and I ran home after the race. I wanted to just think about things and my legs weren't ready to just sit. Another 3.2 miles after the 10K...I guess I wasn't ready to get rid of the endorphins..But yes, I did run all-out during the race. I had my post-race death look, red face and shaky legs. My run home was more like a 9 min jog and I used those 30 minutes (just me and the running trail) to reflect on how much I appreciate my strong body.