Trust The Process

I know I’m not the only one who’s currently suffering from a case of the “February Training Blahs.” This cold, snow, slush, and windchill is never-ending and although the Around the Bay 30K is only 32 days away (eek!), it feels like we’ve been training for this race forever! I don’t know what I’d do without my Tribe Fitness crew who have been helping me keep pace on weekend long runs.

Dealing with my ongoing groin/adductor injury has also put a damper on my training this winter, with a particularly tough recovery after my 26K run two weeks ago. I was sore with every movement for 3 days after and to be honest, I was at my wit’s end and quite ready to give up. If I’m going to keep it real, I have been ready to give up a few times this winter, wondering why the hell I am doing this and what’s the point? After many chats with my Coach, I was left with two choices: continue with traditional training or switch things up and take a chance on a minimalist  training program. I went with option #2.

I don’t know if it’s because my mindset has changed or because I am actually dealing with less pain, but this week I have had two big breakthroughs in my training and I couldn’t be more pleased. I did my fastest interval on the bike (2 minutes at 40km/h) and my fastest interval on the run (30 seconds at 3:55/km)…ever. I don’t usually post my pace times on my blog or social media, because I think it can lead to unnecessary comparing and competition. The only person you should be competing against is yourself.  It took me a long time to realize this, but I am so much more at peace with myself now that I accept this. In 2015, I want to beat my times from 2014, not anyone else’s. But I’m posting these times because I want to remember them and remember this breakthrough as a result of all the sweat I have shed this winter.

I have been recording my training in the “Believe” training journal for the past 3 months and the quote that appears at the top of this week’s training log is this: “It’s amazing how the same pace in practice can feel so much harder than on race day. Stay confident. Trust the process.” It’s by pro runner Sara Hall and it couldn’t ring more true. For the past year, I have put the work of developing a training plan in the hands of my Coach and thus far he has helped me achieve a PB in every distance I’ve raced. While it may be a bit scary to be going in a different direction with my training, Coach says if I believe in the training and put in the work, the results will come. This week I have experienced two big breakthroughs and I don’t think that’s any coincidence. Once I made the decision to believe and “trust the process”, my body followed my mind and everything clicked.

As I was doing my interval run today, I felt a sense of calm and a renewed sense of purpose come over me. For a long time I’ve been anxious about my progress, wondering if I was making gains or just going through the motions. But now I know.  I know that 2015 is going to be a breakthrough year and I trust that my Coach will get me to the start line healthy, happy and ready to race. I know that every early morning swim, bike ride, and run is going to pay off on race day. I know that my body and mind are getting stronger and that my fastest times are still to come. And most importantly, I know that I am going to enjoy this ride, I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to kick some serious ass!

(Photo Credit: Tribe Fitness.)

5 Goals For 2015

After a catch-up session with my Coach last weekend, I wanted to put down in writing 5 goals for this year. I’ve been having a bit of trouble finding motivation to train lately and struggling to find my “why.” Why am I doing this? Seeing these goals in writing and sharing them with my Coach has helped me to bring some purpose and direction to my training, and I know that I’ll be able to look back on these throughout the year whenever I need a little push. Here they are:

1) Stop thinking that I need to lose weight. I don’t need to lose weight. My goal for 2015 is to become stronger, and as I start to build more muscle, I’ll start to see a stronger, fitter, tighter body. And although I may not see lower numbers on the scale, I know that a fit body looks different and performs better.

2) Get faster in the run. I especially want to see my 10K (52) and half-marathon (1:58) times go down this year. My A-goal in the half is would be 1:50, with 1:55 as my B-goal. My A-goal in the 10K would be a sub-50 minute, with 50 minutes as my B-goal. This is going to require a return to the track and/or the treadmill at my local Goodlife Fitness while the weather outside is less than optimal!

3) Have a healthier relationship with food. I will continue to eat a whole-foods diet with minimal processed sugar and refined carbohydrates. When I first went gluten-free, I ate a lot of processed gluten free foods. Today, I skip the gluten-free bread in favour of sweet potatoes and rarely eat gluten-free “treats” unless it’s a special occasion. When the occasion does call for a treat, I am going to savour and enjoy it and not feel bad about myself for indulging.

4) Get mentally stronger. If there’s one thing I learned last year, it’s that pain is a part of performance and if you want to achieve great things, you better be prepared to suffer. Many times my anxiety has prevented me from being comfortable with pain, but this year I am going to learn to embrace it and feel confident recognizing when a pain is normal and when pain is a warning to stop.

5) Stop comparing myself to other people. I know that everyone struggles with this, especially in the age of social media where everyone is posting their achievements and PBs! But this year I want to focus on achieving my OWN goals and work towards beating those, and not someone else’s PB. No one’s journey has been the same as mine and unless you’re a world record holder, there is always going to be someone faster than you.

What goals have you set for yourself this year?