A while ago, my friend Adrienne gave me some advice for completing my first Ironman,

“Have a mantra, have a vision, have some $h!tty training days to balance out the good ones….those ones that you don’t want to do, you don’t want to finish, that you aren’t hitting your times/goals, but you complete the workout anyway. That is what will make a great race.”

Today was one of those training days.

My workout today was 60 minutes on the bike followed by a 30 minute run… 3 times… getting faster each time.

I started out feeling great. I felt powerful on the bike, and the run was almost effortless. But that quickly changed. About halfway through, my legs decided not to play anymore. Every step got harder, and slower. The hills that I sailed over earlier now seemed to be never ending.

The devil on my shoulder said it wouldn’t matter if I just skipped the third run segment…
“It’s just 30 minutes”
“Is that really going to make a difference in the end?”
“Just think how nice it will feel to stop now.”
“You can’t hold a fast enough pace anyway”

I argued with myself for the entire hour of that last bike segment. (The fact that the wind had turned into a gusting headwind also wasn’t helping my motivation.)

When I got back to my house, I was exhausted. I dismounted my bike and argued with myself some more. I put on my running shoes, and walked around for a bit. I felt like crap, so I started to take off my shoes since I was going to skip that last run.

But then I remembered Adrienne’s quote. So I headed back out the door and ran 30 minutes. It was painful, and it wasn’t fast. But I finished the workout.

“… you complete the workout anyway. That is what will make a great race.”

Thanks Adrienne!

Getting a hug from Adrienne at the Oceanside awards ceremony (2012).