As some of you may know, I was in Austin, Texas this weekend for South by Southwest, the annual music, film, tech and gaming mash-up that brings smarties and hipsters together from all over the country. I spent my time trying to do three things there:
1) Get a sense of which way the marketing trend winds were blowing (answer: user experience is king)
2) Eat as much BBQ as possible (mission accomplished, Salt Lick brisket three out of four evenings)
3) Keep up with my Oceanside 70.3/Ironman St. George training (ugh)
Stormy weather, really good food, and an unpredictable schedule conspired against my training plans. And what plans they were! I purposely booked my SXSW hotel near the University of Texas campus so I could gain a weekend pass to the Gregory Gym Aquatic Center, which sports fast outdoor pools and a natatorium (I didn’t know that’s the proper term for an indoor pool). I had visions of lap swimming only to be interrupted by Lance himself, asking if he could split a lane with me.
The lightning storms quashed any possibility of that happening. That, and the fact that he left for Kona the day after I arrived.
A couple years ago and I would have freaked out. Missing a 3,000 swim workout and staying indoors for both my weekend runs? With less than two months to go until an Ironman?! Oh, the humanity! I’d obviously be 3% less ready for my race. I still had those feelings at times throughout the weekend. I tried to find any which way to make it to the pool when the weather started to clear. But then I did something I usually didn’t or couldn’t do in the past…I simply breathed.
Dude, chill out. It’s ONE workout. It’s not the end of the world. Let it go, man.
It’s easy to listen to your coach or articles that state missing a workout here or there won’t hurt your training. It’s much harder to put that to practice when practice matters so much to a guy like me — this sport doesn’t come naturally and I have to work hard every workout to stay at the same level or incrementally improve. So, missing a workout feels like missing an opportunity.
But there are other opportunities out there. Like good BBQ, for instance. Or a good seminar. Or walking the streets of Austin with your wife. And maybe sneaking in some ice cream too.
I’m no doubt a bit scared for my third Ironman race. I might be as worried about this one as I was the first — the enormity of the challenge has definitely hit me. But I vow to have more fun this time as I prepare. To try and relax a bit more and keep a better perspective of it all. To have a bit more fun with it. To simply let go at times.
While I’ve had many goals for my races, I’ve really not had many goals for training. This seems like a good place to start.