Monday, January 16, 2012

"It's Not Always Easy"

"It's not always easy." This is something my daughter Payton has become used to saying after she tells me the 3 things I want her to remember every night when I tuck her in. Those three things are "Dream Big", "Be a hard worker", and "Be nice to everybody". After she tells me those she says, "It's not always easy"...something I used to say to her when explaining that working hard and being nice to people isn't always easy. I was reminded of that this tough it is to stay committed to my goals. Most weeks when I get on here and post my weekly update on training everything went as expected...I get used to feeling like I'm invincible in training. Week 3 was a big challenge for me. Tuesday I got called at school to pick up Owen from daycare as he was "projectile vomiting"...quoting the words of our daycare provider. Wednesday Jen's dad stayed at our house to watch him but I didn't feel like I would win any father of the year awards leaving him here while I went and worked out after school so I just came home. I was coming off a bike interval workout Tuesday night when my power numbers were really low and I was just feeling very tired. Thursday I drove Jen to Cedar Rapids so she could have lasic eye surgery and when we got back there was a pretty big snowfall so I spent my time shoveling instead of driving through the terrible road conditions to get to the pool. My lack of motivation had left me with only 1,600 swim yards for the week going into Friday. I was able to pick it up and hit my swim goal of 15,000 yards for the week and I got my long run in Sunday morning to get to my 40 mile run goal. All I needed was 45 minutes of riding on Sunday night to get my bike goal but I could think of nothing more that I wanted to do than lay my head on my pillow and go to bed. I did just that, opting to skip my last bike ride of the week for a 9:00 bed time. I slept for 10 hours and still woke up tired on Monday. I don't know if I've got my own sickness or if I'm just tired but for some reason I'm finding motivation much more difficult than normal. Throughout the past 3 years I've had some days when I was unmotivated. Mostly it is a sign that I'm getting run down and I need to get more sleep. How well I am rested seems to be my number one factor for motivation. When I'm well rested I feel like training 4-5 hours in a day. When I'm tired it is difficult to do even the shortest of workouts. I don't build rest days into my training program. I build easy days in but for the most part I train every day until I feel like my body is telling me I need a day off. Today was a short day of training with only 1 hr. 30 minutes of workout time. My hope is that I will wake up tomorrow more rested and the motivation will be back. I knew I needed to post this to let anyone who follows this journey know that it's not always easy. There are times when I would rather go to bed than work out. My struggle this year seems to be a little bit greater because I started the training year late due to racing late into the season. I'm nowhere near the shape I was in last year mid-January. When I compare myself to where I was in week 3 last year however I'm way ahead of the game. I keep reminding myself that I don't have any races I care about until June and I don't have a pro race until July and that keeps me from panicking. For the week my total training time was 18 hours. I ran 40 miles, swam 15,000 yards, and biked 105 miles. I also lifted weights 3 times and did all the usual strides, jump rope, lunges, and core work that I normally do in a week. I keep staring at my pro license renewal form which sits on the counter and wondering if this motivation will return. I'm sure it will but I need to find it before I send that back in. I have one more week of conservative base building before I will start planning some really big weeks of training. I'd like to be in really good shape by March but still feel a ways away. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!


Joshua said...

thanks for that post Jeff. i certainly know first hand it's not always easy but it's nice to know sometimes that even guys like you get that same feeling of not wanting to do ANYTHING! here's to breaking through that funk and getting in some great miles. and by the way, your weekly training report is something i look forward to each and every week of your training, keep up the awesome work man

Journey to 2012 Leadville - Byrne said...

You are a great example of a person who sets lofty physical goals and works to achieve them. Most people wouldn't dare attempt what you have attempted and even fewer would succeed at what you have succeeded in. Great work!
John Byrne

Anonymous said...

The past few weeks I've had more motivation than normal I've been feeling great through workouts feeling like I'm really making gains and getting somewhere. Sore, but loving it. Before this, I had a few weeks like your's. In my opinion we NEED weeks like this to remind us how great it feels to be motivated and determined.

Like you said "it's not always easy", and like everyone else always says "if it were easy, everyone would do it." The fact that it's not always easy is rewarding in a sense, because even on that mentally difficult week you willed yourself through 18 hours of work and made it. I know that's no where near your biggest week, but as long as you're moving forward you're getting somewhere new.

Good Luck,


Jeff Paul said...

Thanks for all the nice comments! Keep up the good work on the training. This week has gone much better and your kind words certainly helped me keep my spirit up after a tough week.

Thomas Gerlach Professional Triathlete said...

Goal planning is important but don't let it keep you from seeing the forest thru the trees. Not every workout has to be a record setter, not every week has to be banner week. Focus on consistency and listen to your body. Everyone has off days and workouts - you are not alone.

Thomas Gerlach
Professional Triathlete

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