Tag Archives: confidence

Bike, Run, Bike . . . and Training Progress

This morning I got on my mountain bike around 7 am and rode to the Moosic City Dairy Dash to run a 10K.  It’s a nice little race.  Very flat, fast and they feed you ice cream with pasta.  This was my first 10K (last year) and it’s pretty amazing to think that, in essence, I treated it as part of a training day.

I hate to harp on this, but I’m nearly 50 and just started running last year.  It hasn’t been easy and I have been putting in a ton of effort, but the difference you can make in a year is quite astonishing.

I was actually pretty proud of my time last year, 54 minutes and change, but it was unbelievably difficult.  I was seriously close to fainting around mile 5 and somehow sucked it up to finish.

I’m not even sure how to quantify this progress in training, but I think the best evidence is how I felt hammering home on a heavy bike after running hard in that race.  And now, I sit here writing, when last year I was already in bed taking a nap.  There is just no denying I am, at the least, giving myself the opportunity to get more out of life.

The consistency in moods, the follow through on projects, the overall energy level.  All of these are directly tied to what I would consider a marginally insane workout plan.

A lot of the time it’s difficult to see progress.  It’s like wiring electrical in a new house.  You know stuff is happening, but you don’t really notice results until the lights come on.  Today another light came on.  I think it was in the basement, but it gave me another jolt of confidence that will push me one step closer to, not only the Ironman goal, but the person I know I want to be more often.

There is no substitute for being strong in mind and body.  Clear about who you are and what you want.  Comfortable in your own skin and decisions.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens . . . if you work it.

Manti Te’o and Believing in Yourself

The more I hear about this Te’o story, the more I tend to believe he was genuinely duped. I think — just like we wanted to believe his story– he wanted to believe this relationship was real. Against all logic, he kept rolling with the unthinkable twists and turns because he truly felt comfortable with the image she presented.

She said the right things. Pushed emotional buttons. And, as a Mormon, maybe it was just easier for him to be in a relationship removed from religious anxiety.

He likely had a huge pool of female possibilities on the Notre Dame campus, but was conflicted by the temptation of it all and chose to recede into a safe world of fantasy. It doesn’t make this cover-up right, but I can see how it all spiraled into a big mess he simply hoped would go away.

Regardless of the outcome, I think Te’o’s story is more proof that we can talk ourselves into anything.  He wanted comfort, love and understanding so badly that he ignored blazing red flags all around him.  He was all-in on this relationship and it was fueled by hope and faith.

Or maybe it was all a big cover up.

Regardless it got me thinking about the power of the mind with regard to training.  How much can we talk ourselves into?  How much of an affect can visualization have on our finish times?  I believe a lot.

If so, how do we find the right mindset?  Can we talk ourselves into confidence or does confidence drive the train?  Which comes first?  I kinda think it’s fluid, and like meditation, takes practice.

Some days I feel so good about a workout or have so much energy I look up qualifying times for Kona.  That’s when I get this Jekyll &Hyde thing going on.

Mr. Mike Hide says, “What the fuck are you doing?  You haven’t even done one Ironman yet.”

The honorable and soft spoken Dr. Michael Hyde starts calculating splits and devising ways to pay for the trip to Hawaii.

The frightening part is . . . both sides are right.

I respect Ironman more each day.  While it is becoming less intimidating for some triathletes, it is still a monster quest.  A year ago I couldn’t run a mile without stopping, now I’m concocting ways to blaze through 140.6?  It seems as illogical as having a serious girlfriend for 3 years without meeting.

But you try to keep the faith.  You want to believe you can crush it . . . or kiss it.

Consequently my Kona qualifying target time for Wisconsin would be anything under 11 hours.  How ridiculous of me to even think about that kind of time, and that’s the problem . . . the more I think about it, the more I talk myself out of the possibility.

The other night I had a discussion with one of my training partners, Jim (who is looking eerily close to Einstein these days) 882_4614175104691_258020759_nabout the intensity of the training schedule so far away from the race.  I was concerned about getting too deep too fast.  The last thing I want is burnout.

Jim’s been through this and knows what it takes to finish an Ironman.  He’s completed two.  Essentially he said he didn’t think the workouts were that difficult and asked me if I wanted to “do okay” or “crush it.”

So, like most things, it’s better to make a decision and be wrong than never make a decision.  The first decision was made when I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin.  The second one I have to make is, how will I approach it, with questions and doubts, or confidence?

You can’t have doubt.  Te’o played at an elite level while leading Notre Dame to a 12-0 record.  Then his world came crashing in just before the National Championship and he was invisible in that game.  He was thinking too much.  His confidence was gone.  He did “okay.”

If I really pay attention to my life, I can see that confidence is built through action.  By tackling fears and showing up for the tough workouts.  It’s one thing to plan and plot strategy, it’s another to over think.  With Ironman training, I need to believe in myself, trust the workouts, and not let my mind fall into a pattern of doubt.

Swim, bike, run.