I have been training with a different focus this year, and let me tell you. DANG. Work hurts.
I am in week 13 of a 14 week program geared towards increasing bike power and run pace. So far I have seen major bumps in both. Work works.
The training started out with over-achievment occurring on the daily. Oh, am I supposed to run a 9:50 minute mile run? Bam... take 9:30! Oh, am I supposed to hit 172 watts in the ride? I see your 172 and raise you 10 watts.
By week 6, and the mid-program retesting, not only had my hard work paid off with sizable bumps in power (from 172 to 212 watts) and in running speed (9:45 to 9:08 minute mile 5k run, Vdot of 30 to Vdot of 33) but I started to feel the effects of such hard work on my body.
Tired feelings. Struggling to not only hit my numbers but maintain them. I went from overachieving to hanging on for dear life. Ahhh... the progression of progress. I do not consider my hanging on for dear life a failure or a struggle, but rather the cost for fitness. I was overachieving because the gap was that big I had so much room for improvements. Now that I am approaching my high end abilities, the room for improvements are no longer there as they were before, and I need to keep working just as hard if not harder to see much smaller gains.
The fitter we are the harder is becomes to get more fit. The faster we are the harder it is to become more fast. The thinner we are the harder it is to get more thin. The only thing that this does not apply to is the fatter we are. :-)
The closer to the goal you become, the more we have to stretch to achieve it. It is in the final stretch that I personally find the most satisfying experiences. This final stretch, for me, means getting out of my comfort zones and really pushing for the win whatever it may be. With every push and effort it is driving me closer to the goal and further from the couch!
It is a fundamental change in me. While my abilities have not changed, the way that I approach my abilities has. I no longer see my ability as an immovable object, a destiny. I see it as a temporary cap, and I am always trying to move that cap. Always.
I am excited to apply this new power and speed in the forthcoming season. And while this has been an amazing experience so far, I am very excited to see how my new approach to this lifestyle will pan out over the next few. More than all of the speed talk and goals goals goals that I am gunning for - I am just so happy that I am capable of participating in this adventure of life. I plan on living in every moment with gratitude, because maybe one day I won't be able to do this any more.
While I hope that day never comes, I chose to live in the now and leave nothing out there to regret.
So how about you... how has your attitude towards fitness/health/life/wellness changed? Have you had any revelations as to who you are as a person?
I always like hearing people's journey, so please feel free to share your experiences!