9/23/15

Staying motivated for Kona



In the last 48 hours, we have gone from feeling exhausted, tired and slow to feeling fresh, strong and excited. 

We had a lot to recover from on Monday and Tuesday this week as we could mentally and physically feel the effects of our last big block of Kona training that happened last week. 

Yesterday, I checked the Ironman World Championship event page and saw that bib numbers were released:

Karel: 1739 (35-39 AG)
Marni: 2129 (30-34 AG)

Talk about the perfect timing for a little dose of motivation before a key workout on Wednesday (today) morning. 

We were both looking forward to a little higher intensity workout on the bike this morning (6 x 4 min strong efforts w/ 5 min EZ in between) but because we don't have many options for a "flat" segment of road to put our head down and push, Karel set up our trainers in the garage (aka Karel's fit studio) and we sweated for 90 minutes while watching the 1995 Ironman World Championship for a little motivation (we love watching the older footage of Kona).

After the ride, we each went for a form focused 3-mile run to shake out the legs.

It was a lot of fun for us to suffer together - there was little talking going on between Karel and I for 90 minutes but internally, I think we were both cheering each other on to "make it" just for one last interval. 

You'd think that just because you are training for an important race, that motivation would always stay high in the final prep. And although we aren't experiencing any chance of burnout, we are normal human beings and our bodies are tired.
And when you are tired, it's hard to get the body going. Motivation or not, the body just doesn't feel as fresh as it did many, many months ago.

But - it's all part of the process and we accept the process. There's a time to feel fresh and a time to give our best effort.
And that's in 17 days, on October 10th, 2015.

As athletes, we are constantly pushing our bodies and talking our way through low moments, fatigue and the thought of quitting when the going gets tough. Sure, we have our great moments when a workout feels effortless but the only way to discover personal growth and improvement is to not give up when the going gets tough.

I remember once Gloria telling me "Marni, be excited by low moments - it means a high is coming." She also once told me that breakthroughs often come after really bad workouts.
It's like climbing a mountain that never seems to end and then seeing the view from the top and saying "it was all worth it!"

It's funny how motivation comes and goes. One day motivation is high and then the next, it's a struggle to get started. Some mornings, you wake up excited to train and then 3 minutes later, it's a struggle to get yourself out the door.

As athletes, it's hard to "find" motivation. You can't order it from the internet or borrow it from a training partner.
Motivation is deep inside all of us but sometimes it is hard to find.
 There has to be something deep inside you that says "I want to do this!" and no one can say that for you.

If you struggle with motivation in the final weeks before a key race, continue to embrace your journey. Hopefully the low moments don't happen as much as the high moments but above all, keep yourself focused and excited as YOUR day to perform is coming soon. 

And when all else fails, remind yourself how lucky you are that your body is letting you do what you have been doing for the past x-months or years.