For a long time I didn't want to look at my Garmin during a run, or swim for that matter. I recorded data, logged it, but rarely looked at HR or pace after. I didn't care and I knew that I was not fast. I didn't want my workouts to remind me of how out of shape I was or how I was not making gains. It would just make working out less fun that it seemed to be.
But I kept at it. Logged the laps. Logged the trainer minutes. Logged those short runs outside in the grueling single digit temps. Logged the treadmill miles. Diligently did my strength workouts twice a week and stretched at least four times a week with nightly foam rolling. I ate healthy, started to cut out alcohol and sweets. And then something happened. I started getting faster. Started to have fun on my workouts and look forward to them again! I started feeling good on them even when I felt a little icky going in. I even have started feeling good at the end of a long workout. Could I....maybe....perhaps...could it be that I...am. becoming...an ....endurance...ATHLETE again?!!? More on that in a minute.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG people! New Englanders have endured a winter of enormous proportion. We complained about it adn got a little crazy. But we got thru. That is what we do in NE. I was visiting family in Littleton, NH this weekend and was below freezing and snowing when I left. But I returned to 45 degree sunshine in MA! Things had melted when I was gone and we actually have a lawn again. Flowers are beginning to pop up! The sun is feeling warmer and days are getting longer.
Today I had to talk myself into going for a run. I was away all weekend and did not sleep well. But I knew that I needed to go for my run and that this maybe the best weather in the next couple of days. I got out there and had a really good 8.2 miles. Though it was not fast in my prior running standards it is the fastest 8 miler to date this season and one on a fatigued body. The point is that I am finally feeling good. I am definetly not were I was in two years ago, but think that if I continue to be smart this year I will make some solid gains.
More important than being fast is that I am having fun again. I am running with a group of folks in Harvard weekly. We mostly do 5 miles today. I have also started swimming with a Masters team at the Groton school 1-2 times per week. It is a much smaller group than Cambridge Masters or Boston City Swimmers, but is a group to swim with and be motivated by. Right now I am in my own lane, but think that soon I can jump up to the faster lane and get pushed a bit. TE group rides will start this weekend. I did my best and improved the most when I was training with others who are slightly faster than me. I also very much enjoy and thrive by the camaraderie of training and racing together. I need that crazy community of athletes.
I have signed up for the Whitemountains Triathlon at Echo Lake in Franconia, NH June 6. It is in my old stopping ground and super hilly!! I look forward to the challenge.
I have turned a few corners over the winter and seem to be making good gains right now. We shall see how that translates to outdoor riding and bricks.