We have had some ridiculous weather in Central Iowa in the last couple of weeks that has not cooperated with my triathlon training. A few weeks ago we had drought conditions, but that has quickly changed to flooding. In the intermittent weeks, there were MANY windy days…Oh, the relentless wind. Some people may not pay as much attention to the weather and scoff at the relentless wind, but as a triathlete, I enjoy the opportunity to get outside and complete my workouts safely.
When every bike ride I do pounds wind in my face, I have one of two choices…gain mental strength from the challenge I’m faced with or mentally break down. I choose to accept the wind as a challenge that is going to make me stronger. This relentless wind has helped me improve my physical strength and mental strength. I have had to alter how I’ve completed some of my workouts due to the extreme weather, but that has only added to the mental strength I have gained.
Some of the more memorable Central Iowa weather days for me include the following:
Sunday, May 19, 2013:
I knew there were storms in the forecast for later in the day, so I got out early to complete my triple brick. Those storms did eventually show up and boy was I glad to have my workout complete when they did!!
Saturday, May 25, 2013:
I was suppose to complete a dress rehearsal for my upcoming race, but I pushed it back to Sunday due to the severe weather. Instead, I did Sunday’s workouts…swim in the pool and run on the treadmill.
Sunday, May 26, 2013:
I had to go to the gym to swim in the pool for my race day dress rehearsal since there was thunder and lightening in the area. I was hoping that the weather would clear up enough for me to ride outside while I was swimming indoors, but no such luck!! 😦 Instead I had to hook my bicycle up to the trainer in the basement and ride in my own head for 2 hours at race pace. While I rode in the basement, the weather did clear up enough for me to complete my dress rehearsal with an outdoor run. I ran for one hour at an average pace of 8:42…I felt really good and strong 🙂 This was a huge mental boost for race day!!
The weather over the weekend did lead to some flooding in Ames…so much for that drought from a couple of weeks ago!!
Wednesday, May 30, 2013:
I was suppose to swim outdoors after work, but due to severe storms, I was unable to do my open water swim. 😦
I am hoping that this ridiculous weather is nearing an end and that I have near perfect conditions for race day!!
After last year’s mild winter weather, I decided to train for a March marathon this year. Our most recent Iowa weather has not been the best for my outdoor run training…Last Sunday we had a freezing rain/snow mix and this last Wednesday we had a snow day at school due to a snow storm with lots of blowing winds. Thursday and Friday we had high temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill factored in.
What is a girl to do in these weather conditions?!?!?!?!? Hit the mill…the SUCKMILL that is!!
I decided to run on the treadmill in the workout room at school, so I wouldn’t have to potentially give up my treadmill at the gym. I knew this would provide me with VERY LIMITED company on a Friday afternoon/evening as there are very few people who use these facilities to begin with…let alone on a Friday. The first hour wasn’t so bad…a couple of teachers were using the facilities, so I had company for the whole hour. This allowed me to keep my mind off of the run and enjoy conversations from others. I took the first hour to warm up nice and easy gearing up physically and mentally for what would be a long run. Since the treadmill stops at an hour, I decided I better take a photo of the treadmill after each hour to help me remember how far I had ran.
The second hour was ok as well. My husband came to school to complete his hour run on a treadmill next to me, so I was able to chat with him. I decided to increase my pace a little for this second hour.
After completing my second hour I thought, “I’m 2/3 of the way done. I CAN do this!!” I started off the 3rd hour at the same pace I was at for my second hour. At this point, I felt good and was mentally confident about the run. After about 20 minutes, my mind started to play games with me and I began to doubt myself. “Can I really finish this last hour? Why am I doing this again? Oh…Is that a cramp in my calf? Boy am I getting tired. Maybe I should just stop running. UGH!! This is a LONG, BORING run!!” That is when I called upon my husband to come chat with me…he was still in the workout room lifting weights. I needed the change from being in my own head and knew he would help motivate me to keep going. He talked with me for about 20 minutes and then decided to head home. This left me with 20 minutes to complete on my own. Could I do it???? I decided I WOULD do it and pushed forward!!
I was SO HAPPY to have that treadmill quit for the last time!! I thought about a friend who recently ran for 24 hours on the treadmill to raise money for MS. I had a new found appreciation and respect for him and his accomplishment!! It made my 3 hours on the treadmill seem so minuscule!! After 19.01 miles in 3 hours and some serious stretching, it was now time for a shower and a LOT of food!! Man was I hungry!!