It began around 3 p.m.: "Man...it's going to suck to do this track workout alone." I pondered which track to use - the JC is closer, but the high school track is much better, especially since the two inside lanes are open for use.
There's an all-comers track meet tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have plans tomorrow evening so I can't do the meet. BECAUSE of the meet, track practice tonight for the group is canceled.
That leaves me with resuming my usual Tuesday Track workout - but alone.
Oh sure, I'm willing to bet a couple people from the usual group showed up today at 5:30 p.m. to run the track since they aren't planning to go to the track meet tomorrow. But it's now 5:45 p.m. - a result of this struggle I've been fighting all afternoon - and I'm left to my own motivation to get me to the track.
See, I didn't manage to get yoga in last week because of oversleeping; oversleeping caused a 'more important' bike workout to bump yoga off the schedule for Wed evening. Saturday yoga got bumped for the Lake Berryessa swim.
My body is craving yoga like a kid craves the ice cream truck in the heat of summer. Just need it...so...bad.
My mind wandered...maybe I could do yoga tonight instead? I looked at my schedule for the week. Every morning and evening are booked solid - mostly workouts, but a couple of fun things in there (Giants game on Friday!!). The bargaining had begun: I briefly attempted to strategize a way to make this work.
"Well...if I moved this workout to there...then did that bike here...no, no NO." End bargaining.
It just wouldn't work. I MUST do this track workout tonight. No exceptions.
Then I walked out to my car. Holy CANNOLI it's hot and windy out here! Oh, how am I going to run in this?
Then the doubt set in. No, I couldn't run in this weather. Too hot. So windy!
As I drove home, doubt turned into denial. I thought if I hurried I could still make 5:30 p.m. yoga. It would be great! "What's a track workout, anyway," I thought. "I'm going to get plenty of running in this week, and I had a great track workout the last few weeks and...and..."
...No. NO. EXCUSES. I had to GO, DAMMIT!
I opened up the house. Nice and cool inside. I opened up the fridge to grab a quick snack. As I reached for the carrots, I saw it.
Oh, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, why must you stare at me that way? I immediately saw myself lounging in the backyard, plucking that silver cap off, putting the cold bottle to my lips and enjoying the first taste of this smooth, light ale that is so aptly named.
Oh! How civilized it could be! I could be like my neighbors, whose barbecue had already been fired up, and start a nice light summer dinner, sip my beer and enjoy the warmth of the long evening.
I shook my head, grabbed the carrots, and left the beer and my daydreams alone in the darkness of the closed fridge.
No, I was going to be good. I had my day of rest yesterday. It's time to move forward. Upward.
This is what will separate me on race day, I am convinced. Even if it doesn't - even if my day doesn't go my way - at LEAST I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I DIDN'T succumb to my temptations or my desire (in this case, yoga and/or beer). That I stuck to the plan. That I did EVERYTHING I COULD to be ready on race day. To perform.
I think most triathletes are used to hearing that they're crazy for doing this sport. And people think that we naturally have these personalities that make us so driven ALL the time and that we're just machines who are able to get out there and train endlessly. They also seem to think that training is the hardest part.
And while I acknowledge that there are certainly training days where I'd wished I'd stayed in bed instead, or later felt so sore and exhausted I didn't think I'd ever recover...there is another hard part. It's not always easy to get to your workouts (esp if they're solo). It's not always easy to make the choice to train instead of see friends. To make the sacrifices you have to make - another beer, that extra slice of pizza or staying up late to watch a movie. Sometimes just showing up is a struggle. Not because I don't want to; but I'll be the first to admit that sometimes options present themselves that are much more enticing than training (like sleeping in or yoga!!).
But more often than not, I stay the course. I stick with it. Why? I love it! No other sport or activity has given me so much - humiliation, satisfaction, disappointment, exhilaration, motivation, hysteria, growth and achievement, to name a few.
Even the simple mental challenge I experienced today was an exercise in growth and strength. I enjoyed my mind trying to convince me to do something else. I loved entertaining some enticing alternatives. And I smiled when I struck a deal with myself:
Throw my running clothes on, write about this experience (while the sun goes down a little more and things cool off), and go run.
So off I go.