7/26/19 — Dan’s Journey 5 Weeks Out from Ironman 70.3
Pushing Our Limits
Your body wants to stop.
Much of the advice and coaching I’ve had speaks to both the mental and physical part of the training. It is an internal conflict between your body that wants to preserve energy and stop and your personal desire to push further. As I began training, it wasn’t really an issue. I was out of shape and physically wasn’t there yet. There was no pushing, just surviving. My body was tired all the time and was using Ibuprofen to stem the pain and swelling.
But there came a point in the training, when my exercise shifted from surviving the workouts, to being able to push myself to see what could be possible. The trainers and coaches I spoke with talked about the mental part of endurance racing. I remember my brother (who ran marathons) saying the last 6 miles of a marathon is a mental game. The first time I did a BRICK workout, I thought it was crazy. It is a full bike work-out with a full run workout. In this case it was 4:15 on bike and 45-minute run done consecutively.
When I got off the bike, my legs were wobbly, I struggled to switch from biking to my running shoes. It was intimidating to think I still wasn’t done. Really? I just biked over 50 miles and the workout wasn’t done? I wasn’t so sure about this. My legs were a combination of being as heavy as cement with the strength of rubber. I’m sure I was an amusing sight for the folks on the TART trail as I shuffled my way along, looking tired and haggard. I really wanted to stop. My body wanted me to stop. But I couldn’t. As hard as this was right now, I needed to learn to run through this mental and physical block. The surprising part was after about 10 minutes, my legs adjusted and the rest of the run (still hard) was doable. I was still tired, but my body wasn’t screaming for me to stop anymore. Subsequent BRICKs are still hard, but I now have the confidence to do it.
We never really know our limitations, until by choice or circumstance we are confronted with the opportunity to find out. It can be an amazing, uplifting, and humbling experience all at the same time. It is times like this that I appreciate the opportunity to support our community, as we don’t know what can be possible if we are willing to get through the mental and physical challenges that it will take. Consider contributing in honor of a physical or mental challenge you overcame to bring hope and nutritious food to families in need in our community.
Dan Buron, Executive Director
Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan