Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week Seven: Highs and Lows

Week Seven had me experiencing demoralizing swims and invigorating runs. It was an oxymoron training week. I completely bottomed out and melted down with a simple swim in a beautiful outdoor heated pool on a crisp sunny day. Suddenly I was unable to swim more than two laps without...I don't even know how to explain it... losing it. It was embarrassing, ridiculous, illogical, and oh so real. Triggered by a change in setting, temperature, comfort zone (?) - I suddenly couldn't swim. It was so frustrating to be in a situation where I was paralyzed by the fear of something I couldn't even put a finger on. And so demoralizing to be this far into training where I am supposed to be getting stronger, faster, better every week. And then I can't even cross the length of the pool without panic overtaking me.

But now I have a plan to beat this demon. The power of positive suggestion and the zen of mind manipulation. I will beat the panic to death with my new found "mantras". I will destroy it like the cockroach that it is. I will not let it infest my brain with negative, doubt-invoking, swim killing poison! I will run a tape player of positivity in my thoughts until I defeat every last negative panic filled atom in my being!  I REFUSE to let this beat me! I REFUSE to be a slave to this mind game. Wetsuit is on order - bring on the $%&# open water!!

Now for the invigorating: I ran like I have never run before this week. I new PB for distance. I made 9.25 miles in 1:45. That was after a 45 minute swim... and without relying on my inhaler for lung support. So I am feeling very confident that I will make the half marathon distance next month without stopping but to chug a cup of water every so often. It was an incredible endorphin rush that I terribly needed after that tough swim earlier in the week. I couldn't help but reflect back on how horrible I was when I started eight months ago - sucking wind after a few 90 second intervals of walk/jog. It was liberating and I can honestly say I will claim a love of running if I can capture that feeling every time. What a rush! Oh, how I needed that!

The week came to an end with the disappointment of a rained-out charity bike ride in the hills of St. Francisville that I had been looking forward to, but was pacified by a good ride with a great coach along River Road. Thanks coach for helping me through this tough mental week ~

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