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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Slippery Slopes

In the physical sense of the term, everything about today’s workout was slippery. It snowed overnight and the loop around Prospect Park was covered in several inches of snow. By the time I arrived in the park, the snow was already crunched down and very slippery. I didn’t think much of it at first, but the slipperiness of the snow made the run a bit more difficult than normal, especially when climbing up the hill.

In the esoteric sense, the slipperiness of today’s run got me thinking about the tenuousness at which anyone who pursues fitness and athleticism can find themselves easily start slipping back down the road to fitness. I have been battling this slippery slope a great deal as of late. I suspect that the hardest part of my training for the 2006 IMLP is going to be to staying focused. But this seems to make a lot of sense.

Often times it appears that the hardest part of reaching a goal is that short distance just before it. Maybe that is why so many people fall short of reaching their goals. As you get closer to it, the cumulative gains you see may be smaller and smaller. It is not like when you first start out and see great leaps of progress. Just think of Roger Bannister’s attempt at breaking the 4 minute mile. He kept creeping closer and closer to it, before he actually did it; and he was just going after seconds of improvement.

Maybe the discouragement in long term goals are those inevitable moments when you need to take a step back in your fitness levels in order to adequately prepare again for the next level. I have to admit that my current fitness level compared to the way I was several months ago sort of fills me with depression. Just yesterday, I was looking for excused not to finish a 50 mile ride, whereas back in the spring, 50 miles was barely a warm-up. I couldn’t imagine riding 100 miles right now and the knowledge that I have to first build up to that distance again at time seems daunting.

In any event, I am using my observations about how I am feeling to approach my coming training rationally. I absolutely know that if I stay the course and achieve the goal I set out for myself, I will relish it forever until the day I die. If I let my negative thoughts conquer me, I am sure I will regret it until the day I die. What I am going through now is just like a long training ride. Inevitably the negative thoughts will arrive and you need to tactically work through them in order to finish the ride. I am going through the same thing now only it involves a much longer ride; one of years rather than hours. I’ve worked through the negative thoughts for those all day rides. Now I just have to work through the negative thoughts on my multi-year journey towards Kona. It is new territory for me. My advantage is that I now know what happens when you don’t keep chugging towards your goal. It’s called “Regret”.

Today’s Run Stats:
10.5 miles
139/151 HR

Weekly Stats:
Run: 27.3
Cycle: 59.5
Swim: 2000 yards

IMLP 2006 Totals:
Run: 53.3
Bike: 140.3
Swim: 4000 Yards

p.s. I understand my friend Todd went to the city yesterday with his wife and that is why he couldn't ride with me. I am sure it was more like his wife taking him to see Santa Claus so he can ask Santa for a magic elixir that will allow him to beat me at IMLP 2006.


Blogger Brooklyn said...

Well, you inspired me to get out the door again today.

4:28 PM  

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