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Sweat from the Heart: Quit or Conquer

Sweat from the Heart: Quit or Conquer

Sweat from the Heart: Coach Bree’s blog on training, racing and life.

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I’m not just a coach, I am also an athlete. I think the very thoughts you probably think. I experience the fears you probably experience. Why am I sharing this? Because I believe that in sharing our weaknesses, we make others stronger.

I ran into a triathlete friend, Sanaa Cody*, at The Cove restaurant on Friday evening. I’m not sure if I invited myself to ride with her, or if she invited me, but either way, I was committed to riding 75 miles on Saturday morning at 7:30 AM.

(*If you have the honor of knowing, and/or training with Sanaa, you’ll know she’s a beast on the bike).

After the initial excitement wore off, doubts flooded my mind. The last time I rode that far was before I had Cora, so that makes it about 5 years. Would my butt hold up? Would I be comfortable considering I need to update my bike fit? What would I eat? I’m riding with a fast chick, what if I suck? Would I do something stupid and embarrass myself?

Why did I think these things? Because I’m just now getting back into serious training for events after having a child. And because the 50 mile ride I did the prior weekend hurt. It hurt my butt, lower back, and neck. I also did not bring enough nutrition, nor eat enough before the ride, so my athletic performance was compromised.

Despite my doubts and the painful 50 miler the weekend before, I was committed!

I prepped my things for the ride, prepared food (two peanut butter/honey/banana sandwiches, orange slices, electrolyte gels and drink), crawled into bed, and got comfortable. And I couldn’t fall asleep. I tossed and turned all night. Doubts kept flooding my mind.

Yes, I admit it. I slept like shit because I was nervous. {Can you relate to this?}

Alarm went off, time to ride! I met up with Sanaa and was happy to see her, but secretly anxious. She briefed me on the route and told me words that were music to my ears– the distance would be 65 miles. Phew! Awesome!

We start pedaling and I feel good. About an hour in, I take a few bites of my sandwich and drink some water. I continue to do so about every 45 minutes, and that made all the difference. I felt great! I felt a million times better than I did last week and I attribute it to my commitment to training, nutrition plan, positive attitude, and an awesome gal to ride with! Mile by mile my doubts were dying, and my confidence was building.

And around 60 miles we made a quick detour to enjoy kid-made “lemenade” and cookies! This was the best lemonade we ever had! It was the perfect pick me up.

Best detour ever!

Best detour ever!

I could have let my doubts take over and backed out of the ride. If I had, I would have missed out on a confidence-building ride (and delicious cookies and lemonade, and quality girl time). I am more confident today than I was Friday night. I am more confident in my nutrition plan for long rides than I was Friday night. I learned out there on the road that I am stronger than I know.

Moral of the Story: 

It takes putting yourself in uncomfortable situations to learn what you’re made of. We can quit, or we can conquer. We can doubt, but we can’t let those doubts define who we are.

When have you decided to conquer instead of quit? Share with me! I would love to know!

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