Monday, March 9, 2015

Swim, bike, run, repeat

My training has mostly focused on swimming so far this winter. Because I hadn't had access to a pool for so long, getting back into it has been a bit of challenge. But once I got over the hump of remembering how to swim, things got easier. Now that I'm feeling better in the water, I have to start working on getting out of my own head.

That's what I feel like I'm up against now. It's not skill or training or time management or endurance, it's what is going on in my brain that I need to put in check.

For example, last time I was at the pool, I set a goal to swim 1200 yards. For you seasoned athletes, 1200 yards can be a warm up. For my comeback, 1200 yards is a completely obtainable goal. For whatever reason, once I hit the 1000 mark, my mind starts telling me to stop. Like seriously, what is another 200 yards? It would be a total of 4 minutes max, but I just can't get myself to shut up and just do it. This never used to be a problem.

In my head I have "other" things I have to do.
That load of wash that's been sitting in the dryer all day needs to be folded.
I need to go home and make dinner.
I need to get home.
I need to stop at the grocery store on my way home, so I better leave now.

Clearly these are little things I tell myself to talk myself out of doing what I want to do. Over the last two years I have conditioned myself to take my needs second over the needs of others, like my kids or my boyfriend. Whatever they need must come before me.

Well, that is exactly the reason why I decided to make a comeback. I was ready to start putting me in that No. 1 spot.

But it's not as easy as it seems.

I'm working on it.

In exactly 3.5 hours, I'll be headed to the gym for a 1200 yard swim, plus a 2 mile run. Tomorrow morning I'll be on my bike trainer bright and early, followed by a very short end of the day run outside if the weather cooperates.

I've come up with a plan on getting out of my head. I usually spend the time between laps thinking about the day or what I need to do. Today, I am going to try a little game with my brain. Each time I start saying to myself that something I "need" to do is more important than the thing I am currently doing, I will repeat a mantra until the the urge to stop disappears.

I also read somewhere a while ago that when you want to stop running, instead of stopping, start counting your steps until you get to 100 and by the time you get there, the urge to stop will be gone. Maybe I can try that also, I can count strokes until my brain stops.

I'll let you know what works and what doesn't the next time. In the meantime, if you have a mantra you repeat to yourself or have something you do, like count steps or strokes, to stave off the urge to stop, please share in the comments below. I can use all the help I can get.

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