Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Training anxiety and wanting to do it all

I mentioned a little bit a couple posts ago that I had some anxiety thinking about the training cycle and the runs I have to come in the next few months.  My schedule is beginning to get very busy and I am doing my darndest to fit every opportunity I have into my life.  That means being there for my friends, working hard at my job and taking opportunities that come up, having a social life, time to get "life things" done and ALSO getting in my training runs plus weigh training and cross training.

When I look at the weekends I have in the future and start to schedule them out and think of everything I have going on I start to get major anxiety.  How am I going to do it all?  Will I ever sleep?  Will I get hurt?  Will I run myself down?  Am I prepared?  Do I have everything I need? I don't want to get injured! I don't want to get sick!  I don't want to get blood clots and die!  Yes, these are the thoughts and anxiety that runs through my head as I think about the future.

Last week I was getting so stressed thinking about it all and I forced myself to take deep breaths and focus on the now.  Focus on the day and the workout on hand and in front of me in the moment. And then trust in the process of my mental and physical training being able to get myself to wear I want to be on race day.

In addition to getting ahead of myself worrying about FUTURE training runs, I am also getting ahead of myself thinking about future races!  I know that I need to focus on just one thing at a time but I keep getting inspired and excited about everything and everyone around me!  Since I did the Olympic Triathlon last weekend I have been researching more races and wanting to do more triathlons.

I'm getting excited for next year and starting to look at Half Ironman 70.3 races I want to do and researching training plans, groups to join, and figuring out what major events I have on weekends that could interfere with training for a 70.3 and picking a race.  Mind you, I haven't even gotten through all the crazy weekends I have for THIS year. And then on top of all that I am stressing wondering how I am going to maintain all the cross training, improve upon my swimming and my biking, stay motivated through the winter, and get better at everything. Do I need to join a group? Which one best fits my needs?  What if I pay all this membership and then I cannot commit to being around for the training?  If I pay for a team will I stop doing the swim classes I like at my gym? Would the cost of my membership at my gym be worth it then? But I like my gym!  I don't want to quit my gym, I just started making friends there! Do I need a coach?  Would a triathlon specific coach be better than the coaching I am getting now?  How will I do open water swims?  If I do a spring 70.3 IM will I be able to train enough outside?  Will I have to swim with a wet suit?  Where do I get a wet suit?  If I do a fall 70.3 what if I love it and want to do another one this season?  If I do a spring race, than what will I do about Boston Marathon?  I had been thinking of doing that this spring?  Could I train for both?  Do I want to train for both?  I want to get faster at swimming!  And stronger!  I want to do more weight training!  And yoga! And finally burn off this belly fat!

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, my mind is an exhausting place.  I need to calm down.  I need to focus.  I need to work on one goal and one day at a time to get there.  There is no use stressing about training for races in the spring or even an 18 mile run I have in 3 weeks when I still have to do a 16 mile run this weekend.  And I also need to remind myself that maybe I can't do everything.  I mean.  It's not a maybe.  It's true.  I need to make decisions and I need to set priorities and I need to accept that I can't do it all, but I can do a heck of a lot.  And then focus.  Focus on today to start though.

I told myself that over and over last week as I worried about my 15 mile training run on Saturday.  The first run that was beyond the 13.1 mark that to me, indicates training is getting real! I had an easy Friday night to get to bed early, woke up, had breakfast, drank some water, made Gatorade and prepared my mid-run nutrition, went out to meet friends and then ended up totally rocking my 15 mile run with a pace I was super proud of.

I didn't try to run fast or push my pace beyond what was comfortable.  I just found something I could maintain and tried to hold it throughout the whole run.  The course had some hills at the beginning then flattened out and then had a downhill back (I did an out and back route.)

I felt really strong the whole way through, trying out some new additions to my pre-race fueling using salt tabs.  The premise behind them is that they are little sodium pills that help you to retain water.  As you sweat you lose salt.  So by replenishing your sodium, it helps more water absorb and stay IN your body so that you don't dehydrate and get cramps.  I believe this is how it works.

Anyways, I tried these while running in addition to water (more than I took on my 13.1 run), Gatorade Endurance, and Gu Chomps.  It's a lot more than I have done in the past but it seems to be working!  I ran the 15 miles at an average of a 9:22 pace which blows my mind.  My half marathon split was 2:03:38 which is even faster than the Providence Rock N Roll half marathon I ran in 2013 that was my PR before this past March.  And when I ran that time in 2013, I was DEAD.  Totally dead.  I ran a faster pace on Saturday without really putting in the an exerted effort to run fast.  It was just comfortable for the run.

I'm so proud of that run on Saturday, I feel like the training cycle could end here haha!  But alas, it is not over and I still have more to do.  I am amazed at how my body has been adapting and adjusting and what used to be extremely challenging times to run now feels comfortable and things that I never thought possible I am doing.  My time for the entire 15 miles was about the time I did when I ran my first half marathon!  Craziness.

Anyways, time to focus on what is next and for me that is 8 miles tomorrow morning, so I am going to get to bed.  Doing my best to stay focused people!

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