Random Ironman Training Thoughts While Biking

Patience. Getting in shape, losing weight, building strength, recovering from injuries, improving store / work systems, looking at life with the glass ½ full…. all of it takes patience.

Today I snuck in a bike ride (on my nifty super light Felt carbon road bike) (Check out our Road Bikes!) before the impending excitement of a wet sloppy snowstorm. Doing so, I forgot to answer my weekly work call-in from a consultant who is helping me improve management tools for the three somewhat different GW businesses; so much for MY organization.

On the flipside, the bike ride was fun and a great way to start the day. I felt strong(er) than the past few weeks. Of course, my confidence falls if I compare my strength to others who are more solid cyclists than I. (Must always remember the great Theodore Roosevelt quote “comparison is the thief of joy”.) But after the past couple of weeks, it is rewarding to note some s l o w improvements. The sun was bright, the ice was a crumbly black topping over the bays of Lake Minnetonka and I remind myself that despite work obstacles in retail, having the flexibility to train in the morning is pretty awesome.

There are a zillion setbacks on why not to do things and to forget the joy and thankfulness we can pull from having the ability TO work out. It takes constant vigilance to crowd out stupid dilemmas and let serious challenges inspire change instead.

I had a mentally ridiculous setback the other day. After swimming I weighed myself in Lifetime, and the scale said 5lbs heavier than two weeks ago. I instantaneously became super bummed out. Had I avoided stepping on the scale, my mind would have been free of such a useless expenditure of energy. Hoping the scale was broken, I told this pathetic little story to my 23yr old son after yoga together, and he just shook his head and said, “Mom, you know the Lifetime scales are insanely accurate and you are such a girl”.

Feeling fat, or unmotivated to work out for whatever reasons, challenge us all.

Many think that training comes easy to me, or in general, we look at those who do things consistently and well, and believe THEY were given a secret access to success. Obviously, most of us chose activities we think are fun and for which we have an aptitude. Yet to get it done well, takes determination, focus and some sacrifices. We all must access internal reasons for why we want to work out, be it a race goal, a fitness goal, or just a healthy way to release stress. For me, I have to continually tap those ‘larger, motivational reasons’ to bike when the wind pummels my face, or run when when stiff muscles want to remain on the couch, or swim when I have to jump into a cold pool (How do swimmers DO that daily?). Working out and trying to IMPROVE certainly involves discipline, but we gotta remember, we GET to do it.

The motivation of thankfulness, the feeling of fitness and the desire to absorb life’s adventures (which are always attached to ‘stretch’ goals) are what gets me out the door on a daily basis. And today it is snowing, Wed April 14th. The reason for technical clothing!

- Jan Guenther

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