Thursday, September 20, 2012

Semi-Bricked Kind of Life

I was in a quandary the other day about how I was going to fit a running program into my other training - specifically that I have days that I spin and days that I'm on the bike and I have to fit swimming in there somewhere.

In triathlon jargon, a, "brick," is when you practice two of the three disciplines back-to-back. They usually follow the same sequence in training as they do in a race so, a swim session is quickly followed by a cycling session or a cycling session is followed by a run. The idea is to get a feel for the transition so your body doesn't rebel at the start of next discipline. It doesn't work - you will always feel miserable immediately following a transition, but it's the thought that counts.

I did a variation on that when my second scheduled run fell on the same day I teach spin. My day started with a session with my client, then I taught spin and then jumped in the car, drove down the street 4 miles to the WWI Memorial Park and did a run on the same field (Vincent R. Petti Memorial Field) that I did the last time.

My Training Ground.

Yeah, that was my brick. Not much to write about here.

One thing I'm noticing about running for time and not paying any attention to distance is how much easier it is for me to mentally, "check out," and let my mind wander. Without the fear of traffic or the worry of tracking mileage I seem to be easily distracted by.... ummm... all of the voices in my head.

Of course, these runs are nowhere near comfortable (I can't imagine what a comfortable run feels like) and so I'm always calling on those "perseverance" role models to motivate me to the next minute.

I recently read a great article at Competitor.com by Chrissie Wellington and how she managed to win the Ironman World Championships in 2011. For those who don't know, Wellington is the most dominant force in women's triathlon racing. Also known as "The Queen of Kona," her athleticism is far and above most of us mere mortals. This year, her training was brought to an abrupt halt by a severe cycling crash a couple of weeks before the championships. In the article, Chrissie shares her mind-set and how she overcame a lot of pain to achieve another title.

I was particularly moved by her comparison of her injuries to that of the late Jon Blais.  The story of Jon Blais and his determination to finish the Ironman in Hawaii in 2005 while dealing with ALS has been an inspiration to many people, myself included. So, as I'm (barely) running back and forth across the soccer/lacrosse field, I think about Chrissie and how she wouldn't give in to her pain because Jon Blais wouldn't give up and I think about Jon Blais and then I think how dumb it would be of me to give up since I just have to (barely) run on grass for only a few minutes at a time. By the time I finish thinking all of that, it's time to stop and the voices in my head, along with the discomfort, fade away and my almost-brick is done.

Then I go home and eat the kitchen.

If you would like to be inspired by the Blazeman today, watch this footage from YouTube's IronmanTriathlon video and this excerpt from their DVD of the 2005 race in Hawaii.


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