Halfway through an ohmygod-I-can’t-breathe-and-my-arms-may-fall-off interval swim last Thursday morning, Nick said to me from the lane over: If you aren’t pushing it, you won’t get better.
I had been complaining that 200s sucked, cursing coach for scheduling 10 of them on a wicked fast (for me) pace. I nailed the first three, but that little seed of self-doubt started creeping in around the 100 mark of number four. I can’t hold this pace for six more of these. That’s so fast. I’m not that fast! My lungs may explode! Remember the last time you did this workout?! It was awful, and you resorted to the pull buoy! And, then, coach’s workout comments in TrainingPeaks – HIT THESE (yes, in all caps) – on running commentary, in sync with my stroke.
During the subsequent intervals – which I hit, by the way – both Nick’s and coach’s comments swirled in my head. Sure, they were partial motivation to
suffer swim 1:29 per 100 pace, but they apply even broader.
With anything – swimming, ironman training, life – getting outside your comfort zone is where growth happens. It’s where you learn about yourself, what your limits are, where the magic happens.
This early build for Ironman Wisconsin has been mostly outside my comfort zone. There’s been more cozy-ing up to the uncomfortable (i.e. pool panic, quads complaining) and some balloon-like legs I wish would pop (does this happen to anyone else?! OMG… compression). There have been hours in the saddle, staring at my watts, and my new perfume smells faintly of chlorine. And, my hair… it took me a few weeks to be ok with air-dried.
And, in the middle of all the intervals – and the occasional complaining – I’ve learned that there’s almost always one more breath left in my lungs, one more revolution left in my legs… and, a smile on my face.
It all goes back to my 2014 intentions:
Keep going + do the work.
Also good reminders this week when, in the midst of four inches of fresh snow, I was smacked with a late winter cold… just when I thought I’d escaped one this year.
Here’s to pushing it a little bit farther… to getting better!