Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Power of Team Training

So, I guess we are not an official team, but the blogs I read from all of you have really motivated me. Shannon's trick of stating aloud the intent of each workout rescued me from losing my focus. I would be pretty hard on myself if I didn't finish my workout to a tee. By simply saying the goal of my workout, I find I remain positive throughout and often finish strong. If I fatigue, it is not so much of a big deal -- I am not so down on myself anymore. I just accept it and move on.

Today I felt completely wiped out. I kept looking outside wondering when it was going to snow and wondering whether I should bike outside or not. I took my bike back into Gord's to get my chain thoroughly cleaned from all the sandy grit that the road barfed up on it during Tuesday's ride, and then resolved to just skip my workout. I rationalized it to myself as thus --

"I only have to ride for 50-60 minutes, and if I am tired I should just rest. After all, I'm racing on Sunday and I don't want to be tired." I resigned myself to sitting at the computer and blog-reading when something strange started to happen. Slowly my motivation came pouring back into me. I read how Jenna woke up at 5:30am with a throbbing tooth to go for her run; and how Keith got up at 4:00am to run his first 1.5 hour long run. I had just started reading about Kelly's miserable run (which in spite of everything, she forged ahead and completed)when I got off my duff and hooked my bike up to my CT.

This isn't the first time I have drawn inspiration from you guys -- Susi has been one hell of an inspiration to me too. Kelsey too. And Chuck, and Alan, hell everyone!!!!

I guess this is the power of team training. It goes beyond mere commiseration -- it revs you up, it doesn't bring you down. I felt my negative resignation fall away and be replaced by a positive energy. I forgot to say the intention of my workout until 20 minutes in, but that was OK. I had already decided to use Shannon's other little trick of breaking the workout into tiny pieces. I thought, I'll just pedal for 1 set of 175-200W and then take it easy and then stop. One set led to two sets which led to three sets, and then four. Well, before you know it, I had done my whole workout, but more importantly had turned the negative into a positive.

"Everyone!! The Pain Train has left the building! We are now boarding the Happy Bus!!" LOL!!!

I have often given lip service to the cliche that the mind is a powerful tool, but I am continuously surprised at just how powerful our minds are.

Thanks for inspiring me everyone!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)


Jenna said...

I totally agree - sometimes the blogs are the ONLY thing that tethers me - and even more so because I do so mcu training alone (like you do as well). There is no cycle group for me to visit with, I run alone most of the time, but I always know I will be telling my friends what I have done, failed at, or accomplished that day and it give me motivation to have a good blog post :) sometimes that is all I need. Also, it is nice to have people watching your back, offering some suport when you are bummed and just sharing the ups and downs as you go. I have not met any of you (ceot Susi and her braids for a few seconds in Penticton last year - we talked online a few times and then BANG there she was coming out of bucks in BC and I was like ...Susi? - such a small world!) I do not have a "team" but i certainly am part of something special here - and very glad to be part of it. So thanks!! Great post Julie!!!

Susi said...

right back at ya babe!

i'm a firm believer in the power of the mind. my mind is what was bringing me down at the beginning of the year, and it's what brought me back swinging.

i think the blog postings are amazing - especially because, for the most part, we all train alone. it's hilarious, because even though i'm out there pedaling my ass off, or whatever, i know i'm never alone. i always know you guys are out there swimming and biking and running just like me. it's a great thing!

i'm very thankful for all my 'blog buddies' and look forward to the day when i can meet those that live far away!

okay everyone. group hug. :)

ps meeting jenna that way was hilarious. i was thinking, uh, do i know this person and how do they know me?! i guess the braids are a giveaway!

Keith said...

As is the whole 5'2 of fury thing. It's odd, I'm not a team person, but even though Susi and Greg are the only people here that I've actually met (though Kelsy looks really familiar somehow) I still feel like we're part of a group. I can't wait to meet everyone. I won't be going to Penticton. Timing isn't good, and I'm just not ready for that level of workout. Maybe next year.

runningman said...

I saw the braids running around the track at Mount Royal before the half, but I didn't know for sure and was too shy to ask. :P Plus I had the calf injury thing on my mind.

Shannon Keith Wicks said...

I spoke to IG last week to catch up. I said to him that my training is much better this year b/c of the blog buddies/circle we have going.

Still being relatively new to this area, I don't have the contacts/friends that I had in Calgary to train with. My training is completely on my own.

Reading your blogs and following along with your training has help to keep me motivated. I enjoy reading the highs and lows because we all go through it. It is truly comforting that to know I am not the only one feeling certain things when it comes to training.

I've always said, most of the best people I've ever met my life are through this sport. I look forward to meeting each and every one you gals/guys.

Alan Keller said...

It's great to get different experiences as we are individuals in our own environments--which is different than being in the same city or even the same community (ie, I am tempted to try the fabled "Road to Nepal"). I find it opens my eyes a bit more.

qtlibrarian said...

I have a friend who's being trained by someone else and she's all alone. She's have a much more difficult time dealing with it then I am. It's the group that make us each stronger. I spend a lot of time on my run thinking about how to make a good post for you guys!

An african proverb I read which I think applies “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” At the end of the day it's just you out there going fast but it helps to go farther with friends

Charlie Browne said...

Hey Jules...tipping over would never have been the same if i could not have shared it with a crazy bunch who have probably done the same!

Julie said...

You guys are all so awesome -- I am feeling the luv!!!! :) :) :)

qtlibrarian said...

Ha! I love it! I was worried it was going to be something like Kelsey's Search for Mancandy Tri Blog!!

hope you had a great race!