10 weeks to go until my first half-iron triathlon.  Yikes!  What drives me to train 9 times a week, saying no to social activities and foods I would otherwise happily engage in?  Well…

The Addiction

I admit it, I’m addicted to training.  It took me quite a while to get to this point.  When I started running again two years ago, I had to force myself out the door each time.  As I improved, though, and I was able to sustain a faster pace over longer sessions, I started to finally feel the “runner’s high” I’d heard of.  Knowing that feeling is waiting for me out there definitely helps, and it’s sort of like practicing being happy, which I find carries over into my non-training life (that is, I’m usually in a good mood).

The Clarity

Swimming is still very technical for me, so I’m usually paying too much attention to what I’m doing to think about much else.  Cycling is a little easier, but I’m going fast enough that if my mind wanders too much I’ll crash or get run over.  When I run, though, I find I can lock in to a certain pace and then let my brain go off on its own, sorting out issues from the day, planning for the future, etc.  I figure a lot of stuff out when I run, and I always feel mentally stronger when I’m finished.

The Scheduling

I can’t really justify this one.  I enjoy figuring out how to fit all the training (and cooking) in around the rest of work and life, and I admit that’s pretty weird.

The Vanity

Two years ago I was 260 pounds and felt like a big lump of gross.  To date I’ve lost 48 pounds, and I’m still going.  I now love buying pants because it usually means my ‘old’ pants are too big for me, yet again.  Here’s a collage I made, which I keep on my wall, the “after” being post-completion of my first triathlon.  I can’t wait to add a third pic when I finish the half-iron in May:

the captions read “May 2009: 250 lbs and drunk in a hot tub” and “July 2010: 220 lbs and awesome”.  I still get drunk in a hot tub on occasion, I just look better doing it.

The Finish

Almost every time I train I think about what I’m training for.  I visualize putting everything I have into that next event, pushing myself through the swim, struggling up and down a mountain on the bike, and running on rubbery, exhausted legs for the finish line.  I imagine smiling and waving as I pass any friends or family that made the trek to cheer me on.  I see myself crossing the finish line, victorious, having conquered that voice in my head that said it couldn’t be done.

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2 Responses to Motivation

  1. Nothing like having to pour yourself into spandex and neoprene to inspire working out 🙂