I think I've had a breakthrough this week. I realized that it doesn't matter how many "good" excuses I have, they are still excuses. There will always be something that hurts, there will always be a day I am sad, there will always be a schedule that is hectic. Those things are pretty much guaranteed. What is not guaranteed is how I will respond to those things. It's so easy to justify missing a workout. I know that there will be times that I will make a conscious choice to miss training. I am a strong believer in mental health days, in preventing further injury, and in making choices that help to "keep the balance". I am, however, going to think long and hard about those choices and whether they are truly valid or just convenient.
My changes may be small, but to me they are measurable. I am starting to not fear the unknown as much. Little things, like running without my inhaler, are not as terrifying as they once were. I'm learning to embrace my heavy frothy-mouthed panting as I run, and know that it is not a death rattle about to consume my last breath. I am beginning to experience the joy of pushing the threshold with some of my workouts. It's scary, but each time I push a little harder and don't die, it reinforces that there is more in me... untapped abilities yet to be discovered. Those workouts hurt, but feel good at the same time. Each time I complete one, the fear of what lies behind those perceived boundaries diminishes, and my confidence increases. I am not afraid anymore of my heart exploding or my lungs deflating like an overstretched balloon. If I die during a speed workout, it will more than likely be due to my tripping over myself trying to get up a hill, or my poor night vision sending me into the lake.
I haven't completely given up my title as team "puker", but it is getting better. I lost my cookies during burpee intervals in one of the Unleash Your Inner Athlete classes last week, but I have yet to toss them on a run. I think my body is adjusting to the level of activity required, but I know it is better now that my confidence is improving in my ability to handle what Coach throws at me.
I'm working hard on the mental aspect of training. I recognize it is early in the process, and the real tough workouts are still far in the future, but these little gains will build upon each other and get me there. The negative self-talk has been identified and I am working hard to quench the voices in my head that do nothing but bring me down. With each workout I am trying to not focus on the numbers, but focus on my effort and the feel of what I am doing. With each workout I am asking myself if it was my best effort or could I have done more. I base my satisfaction on the outcome on my answer to that question.