And I have forgotten about that. The last six (or so) weeks I have struggled. I have lagged mentally, I even lost my smile. I have been dropped on more rides than I care to think about. I have hurt. I have even questioned my motivation.....the why do I do this to myself questions. But what I forgot is that all those experiences were just that. Experiences, difficult or not, and something from which I will draw upon in the upcoming weeks and months. I have made some huge deposits in the Bank which I only now recognize, and I remember that sometimes you have to go through the crap to come out smelling like a rose. Or something weird/icky like that!!!!
Things finally came together this week, or maybe I just finally realized it. I rode Shadow Mountain twice this week and didn't even cry once. I smiled. I laughed. I rode with my awesome buddies. I recognized in someone else the suffering that I had done and tried to help her out of it. I had fun. I even sang up the steep part of Shadow. I didn't run out of gears. My legs were strong, tired but strong. And that ache that had been there for weeks has disappeared. There were FAST descents, and it was FUN. And yesterday morning, I had a great run.
On my schedule was a 15 mile run. I knew it was going to be tough because I haven't been running long since Grand Canyon and my weeks haven't been too stacked on miles. But I wasn't freaked out and I was relaxed going into it. There were specific goals with this run: first 6 miles easy, next 8 miles at my half race pace, 1 mile super easy. I was determined to run those first 6 as easy as I could. I let people pass me, I said hi to everyone I saw, and I kept looking at my watch to make sure I was in the right range. I wanted to pick it up!!! But I kept myself in check, I wanted those next 8 miles. Mile 7 came along and I was ready to go, I slightly picked up the pace and was at 8:20. Not bad but not quite the pace I was looking for. So I picked it up slightly again. 8:08. I felt good. There was lots more there and I only had 6 more to go! Only 6 more to go?? Who is this person?? I knew I could hold this pace and even lower it from here. I also knew that I wanted the 14th mile to be my fastest and I didn't want to blow up to do it. The miles just seemed to go by quickly 8:00, 7:45, 7:53..... and I was at that final mile. Yes, I was hurting. My legs and ass(!!) had felt heavy the entire run but I just didn't let that get into my head. I knew I could do it and finished it up with a 7:38. No negativity. No self-doubt. Just lots of positive thinking and positive self-talk. And fun. I loved being out yesterday morning with everything as green as can be, the weather perfect. Alone with my thoughts....my positive thoughts. Knowing why I do this. Because I LOVE it!!!
Afterwards I was so happy that I nailed the workout! I was just a bit giddy and tired and had a silly smile on my face. It lasted almost all day! And looking back on not only that workout but the successes of the past week.....I know my Bank account is looking fat and happy and there is plenty in there for the upcoming withdrawals.