T-27 Motivation isn't a magic alchemy
You would think that after last week’s scare, motivation would be all around and there would be a stampede to each scheduled session. Alas, this turned out to not be reality and procrastination was a familiar companion this week. Monday was the final ever episode of Game of Thrones which was obviously an event Not To Be Missed. Even though, based on every episode this season, expectations were low, it did provide the almost perfect excuse to delay going for the planned swim until almost the last moment possible. Hint: if you want to improve your swimming speed, delay going to the pool till you will have only just enough time to get your session done and the stress of trying to get your distance done before closing time will shave seconds from your time per 100m.
During the week, I picked up my Wahoo Kickr from the team at Giant South Yarra who had changed the cassette for me and proceeded to spend Thursday night sorting my new set up and doing all the technology. Namely setting myself up on a virtual reality app called Zwift. In the haze of feverish enthusiasm to experience for myself what every cyclist on Strava seems to be doing with their winter training, I scheduled myself a non-planned session to do a FTP test - or in layman’s terms, discover how much power I generate with each push of the pedal and just how much improvement I needed to make to my cycling. This killed both me and my laptop - it turns out that we both needed more battery power. I did get a result though and with the assistance of cyclinganalytics.com, I’ve ascertained that riding the Tour de France is unlikely to be in my future. To generate the amount of power a professional cyclist does, I would need to explode my aorta and blow up my quads. With every single push of the pedal. For hours. It’d be like the nuclear test mushroom clouds: a big explosion and then shit everywhere.
Also, note to self: you pay someone to tell you what to do. That someone is a trained professional. I don’t know why you thought adding a little adventure to your training schedule would be a good idea.
Come Sunday and come time for 2 hours of Doing The Excerces, ones legs, lungs and head were struggling to feel the joy and get themselves going. The 3 hours completed on Saturday had been an absolute punish and even an 8:30pm bed time with nearly 10 hours sleep (6:55 of quality hours according to Apple) didn’t find me leaping out into the Sunday morning with Olympic levels of enthusiasm. Instead, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, awaiting the arrival of Magic Motivation Fairies. I can report that Motivation Fairies do exist but I did have to go looking for them and here’s where I found them this week:
In a GoRun Email
After approximately 10 minutes of ceiling staring, everyone’s favorite procrastination technique kicked in and I reached for my phone to check Insta and emails. On this occasion, procrastination met serendipity, and in my inbox was a new edition of the Sunday Long Run which this week had some inspiration in two forms: how the elites train (because who doesn’t pretend at some point that they’re running down the home straight of an Olympic marathon to the cheers and adulation of the whole of the world) and an update on a local runner who had just completed the Great Wall Marathon at 40 and with a new baby. If you too sometimes find yourself staring at the ceiling from under your duvet of a Sunday morning, you can sign up for The Sunday Long Run at http://www.gorun.com.au/
In someone else’s achievement
Whilst contemplating my lack of excuses for getting out and training (all that marathon training AND a new baby to deal with….two dogs don’t really require the same level of schedule management), a text came through from my best friend that she was about to set off on her very first duathlon. A short time later and there were a flurry of texts celebrating her completion euphoria, an age group win and her newly discovered addiction to wobbly post-bike running legs. The secondary glow of celebrating someone else’s achievement was just the little push I needed to remember how much I want my own radiating halo of exhausted accomplishment and a reminder that the finish feels are built on the quiet, solitary moments of everyday practice.
In an app
Getting started on a training session might sometimes be half the story: once you’re started, how do you keep going? The helping hand this week came from Zwift: it’s still shiny and new so I might as well ride this motivation wave whilst it lasts right? It’s also full of numbers (hello, geek) and other live riders going just a little, teensy (or an awful lot) bit faster than you (hello, competition). Numbers and competition are two of my biggest drivers, so hopping into a virtual Central Park and riding around trying desperately to beat the person ahead of me on the leader-board turned a potential grind of a session into a furious thigh explosion.
in this blog
And then, dear readers, I have you to thank. Following the thigh destruction maneuver, I still had an hour of running to complete. I am following a run/walk program - in part to manage an injury recovery and in part as an overall running strategy to manage endurance and recovery, so I had 11 intervals to get through. The last 3 intervals weren’t the happy prance through the estuarine paths that the first 3 were and there were a few minutes where the only reason I kept running was the mental blog I was writing and how was I going to explain not properly completing a session. I couldn’t “write” a reasonable explanation for a cessation of activity that wouldn’t endanger your eyeballs (I don’t have public liability insurance so I’m not covered for a mass outbreak of people passing out from eye-rolling) so I just had to keep going.
And so the week was completed.
TSS: Desperately trying to get something between 700 and 1000 - 589 this week so very nearly there!!
CTL: Up from 33 last week to 40 so halfway to being inside the desired 80-115 range
Crossing live to our intrepid sideline reporter, huddled in his puffer jacket, for his observations: “Turns out motivation ISN’T a motorhome”
Quote of the week
“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art