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Ironman 13: Staying mentally tough

Hey there! Here’s the thirteenth in our series of guest post from Lance Rogerson, who has partnered up with us for his Ironman training. Read on for this week’s update.
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Hello again di’lishiNATION!  I hope this blog finds all of you enjoying the nice cool temperatures we’ve been having.  The time is quickly approaching for the Beach2Battleship.

This past Saturday I got in my longest and hardest workout yet.  Along with a buddy of mine I put in 85 miles on the bike.  One of the best parts about it was that every single one of those miles was on the actual course that we will bike on race day.  We managed to average a 17.8mph pace, so it was a pretty good workout.  While that ride was important for my endurance and my physical strength, I think that even more so it was important for me on a mental and emotional level.  Mentally because I was able to see the actual course, feel how bumpy or smooth the different roads were.  I was making mental notes the whole time in preparation for race day.  It was good to be able to make myself tougher mentally in preparation for the race.

lance-distance

Perhaps even more important than the mental aspect was the emotional one.  Throughout this entire training process I have had those doubtful thoughts lurking in the dark corners of my mind.  Those thoughts that I would not be able to complete such an enormous task, the thoughts that I was not good enough, etc.  However, for the most part I have been able to keep those doubts at bay.  I was training and preparing – I knew I would be ready.  Then I injured my knee.  During that week of doing absolutely nothing for training to enable my knee to heal, those thoughts came out of the dark corners and started to take over.  I began to really fear that after all the work I’d put in I would not be able to complete the race.  Going into that ride on Saturday I knew it was make or break time.  I knew that if I managed to successfully complete the ride then I would have a lot more confidence in my racing abilities.  What I did not realize was just how much of a battle it would be with my inner demons.  Many times on that 85 mile journey I battled against those demons of self doubt.  I cannot begin to count the number of times I almost let myself stop and throw in the towel.  It was during those moments that I began to discover what I’m made of – quitting is not an option.

traning-sunrise

I know that in the days leading up to the race and especially on race day, I will battle those inner demons again.  The thoughts of self-doubt will definitely be there, but I know that I have it in me to push past those and make it to that finish line.

I challenge you today to take a look at your own battles.  What inner demons do you face?  How can you battle them and keep moving forward to keep yourself active and healthy?  What motivates you? Who inspires you?  The people who inspire me are the ones who unknowingly helped me get through that ride and will help me to finish the race.  That’s a topic we’ll cover in next week’s blog.