Going With the Flow

I am type-A. I like creating training plans, filling out spreadsheets, documenting every single mile and I get giddy excited to check-off workouts when they are complete.

I also really, really don’t like missing workouts. It doesn’t matter what the reason/excuse is, I usually feel guilty when I miss a workout. It isn’t that I think I am going to completely bomb my 70.3 because I miss one workout, it is just that I get a huge sense of accomplishment and increased confidence knowing that I checked off every workout in the schedule.

As you can imagine, during this 70.3 training cycle, I have struggled with all of the disruptions to my schedule.

Oh you don’t remember these “disruptions”? Let me remind you…

After I started building my “base” training back in mid-June, I went to Hamburg

To New York City

And to Lake of the Ozarks with my family.

And since I started my “official” training schedule during the first week of August, I wrecked my bike

Went to Denver for a wedding

Traveled to Seattle/Oregon for one of the most amazing experiences of my life

Went to Smith Mountain Lake with friends…

Went back Hamburg (for almost two weeks)…

And finally to Illinois for yet another wedding (why yes, that is the same dress I wore in Denver…don’t judge – it was a completely different group of friends!)…

So, while the last several weeks of training have been excellent, as a whole, this training cycle has been less than ideal. 

I have done a pretty good job of squeezing in workouts when I could and making arrangements to get workouts done on the road, but I have missed a lot of workouts. Sure it is *just* a speed session here, a brick or bike ride there and seemingly at least one swim every week. But for someone who is obsessed with logging every workout and checking each sweaty swim, bike or run off of the calendar, this was quite stressful at times.

This post is NOT about making excuses, though. This post is about what I have learned throughout this training cycle. And that is to just go with the flow.

(This term is shamelessly stolen from my HTC Teammates Laura, Lauren & Jocelyn).

I knew going into this that if I wanted to balance all the fun travel and work obligations with training for a 70.3, I had to be able to lighten up. I had to learn to forgive myself for missing workouts and to believe that I am ready and fit, despite an imperfect training cycle.

Have I swam as many yards as I did last year before AugustaNo. Until the last 3 weeks, I was only swimming once a week for most of the summer. I know time in the water trumps all, but since I was swimming with the Master’s group, I feel good about the intensity and quality of the workouts.

Have I biked as many miles as I did last summer? Not even close. But in the last 5 weeks, I have had some good, confidence building rides. And overall I know I am a stronger, more experienced rider than I was this time last year. 

Running is a different story. Because I was almost always able to run when I traveled, it has been the one consistent factor and I definitely feel like I am a stronger runner than I was last year.

I have convinced myself to stop looking back over my endless training logs and counting the number of swims and bikes I did (or missed) for each of the last 16 weeks. I have to trust that what I lacked in the early part of this training cycle in volume, I will make up for with experience, because there is nothing that can be done to change it now!

And just like I have had to learn to go with the flow with respect to my training, I need to start preparing myself now to go with the flow on race day. I cannot control weather, wind, start times, water temperature, transition location or how fast other people are racing. And only to some extent can I control the possibility of GI issues, a flat tire or some other mechanical bike issue. So if something less than ideal occurs, I must deal with it and move on. I cannot freak out, dwell on it or let it ruin my day.

I will spend the next 3 weeks repeating this to myself as I lay in bed at night imagining every worst-case scenario possible….go with the flow.

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in bike, Goals, Greenville, Hood to Coast, injuries, life, Races, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, weekend fun, work travel. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Going With the Flow

  1. Ahh, yes, this just might be the secret to a happy life. :) Definitely something I’ve had to tell myself and BELIEVE as a mother. And more and more as I get older and train for marathons, etc., I realize just how much life has to offer and if I don’t “Go With the Flow”(of life) it is like swimming up stream…lots of effort (mental, emotional, physical..etc.) but really doesn’t get us very far. so, good for you…hold on to this! Happy Tuesday Corey! Excited to hopefully be your “neighbor” soon.

    • Corey says:

      Such a thoughtful comment :) Thank you. I am hoping it works out and you are in Asheville soon too! I hope things are getting better for you. I am following along (even if I don’t always comment) and it seems like you are having brighter days :)

  2. Laura says:

    You did an amazing job of squeezing everything in despite all those trips! I’m Type A too, and am always re-learning that go-with-the-flow lesson. It’s easier now than it used to be, but still a struggle at times.

    • Corey says:

      I have to actively remind myself…and to just let it go. I suppose with a little one, there is some level of things that you just “have” to let go!

  3. lschwecherl says:

    :) love the name of this blog post. But more importantly, trust is so important! A few missed workouts wont cancel out how strong you are physically and mentally. You are gonna ROCK the 70.3…and I’m so excited to see that happen! :)

  4. elizabeth says:

    i didn’t realize you had adjusted so much of your schedule till you posted all of your trips. holy crap! you have still done an amazing job training and i think you will KILL this 70.3. believe it and you will. :) proud of you for going with the flow!

  5. Carrie says:

    Corey, I love everything about this post. You’re so open and honest without making excuses. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote–being type-A, making workout schedules (I color-code mine ;)), feeling guilty when missing one workout, etc. Life can make training for a 70.3 challenging in more ways than just swimming, biking, and running. Even though you said you lack training volume, you shouldn’t discount your experience and current fitness level. You’ll do great on race-day! :)

    • Corey says:

      Carrie, thank you so much for the sweet comment. It seems like so many of us runners/triathletes, etc. are type-A! It’s like a constant conversation with myself these days to remind myself to just relax and go with it. Ultimately, it definitely will make race day the best day possible to just relax and enjoy it!

  6. Terzah says:

    Lots of wisdom here! I was having this talk with myself after missing some runs and having others made easier due to that stupid cold last week. My half is in 2.5 weeks, and I too am just going with the flow.

  7. Jodi says:

    Remember when we beat Washington? With you on the mound? Mental toughness. You’ve got it. You KNOW you can do it, so you will. That’s all there is to it. So it’s great that you were able to work your training around all those trips and still enjoy life while training. It would be a lot harder to look back and say “Wow, I spent my whole summer training and missed all these fun trips.”

    • Corey says:

      Aw, Jodi. This made me smile! I haven’t thought about that day in a LONG time, but it was seriously probably one of my favorite games…ever. My first college win :) Thank you for reminding me (and for the really sweet comment!)

  8. XLMIC says:

    Everything will work out…it’s all good…as long as you

    Go With The Flow :)

    Thinking of you!

  9. Christina says:

    Part of the training does have to incorporate real life! One reason I like the “Train Like A Mother” training plans is because they incorporate real life, knowing with kiddos for example, the weeks get mixed and shaken up out of our own control. Just remember, you have a massive base – and your base will get you through almost anything! You will be fine! :-)

    • Corey says:

      I haven’t read “Train Like a Mother”, but I have heard it is a great (and hilarious) book, even for non-moms! And you are right…in the end it’s all about having confidence in what you DID do, not what you didn’t, right?!

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