Don’t worry—I’m not going all P90X on you.
But I have to admit that Tony Horton, the guy behind the super-expensive workout videos, is onto something. You may remember that back in April, I stumbled upon a story about Horton in Men’s Health in which he said something that really hit home for me: “The more you dread doing something, the more value it holds for you. So if you hate stretching or intervals, that’s probably because flexibility and speed are your weaknesses.”
This week, as I knock out a series of hard sprint workouts in the pool as a pre-race tune-up ahead of the Luray Triathlon, which I’ll compete in as part of the Killer Honey Badgers triathlon relay team, I’m reminded of how good it sometimes is to do something you’re really bad at. For me, that’s sprint freestyle, which I’ve been whining about for weeks, and actually doing something about for the last few days. I’ve been doing variations of the workouts you guys suggested last week, and holy moly, are they kicking my butt!
I start pretty much every workout by swimming 1,500 meters, with the first 500 at warmup pace and the last at “I am being pursued by a shark” pace. On Friday, I followed that with 15 X 100 longcourse meters on 1:45, thanks to suggestions from Katie at Run This Amazing Day and Allison at Runner in Progress.
This was pretty much the first time since high school I swam anything resembling intervals, and that’s exactly how the set felt. By the end, the perfectly reasonable 1:45 felt impossibly short, and I even had to roll right into the last 100, because I had zero time to rest after taking so long on the previous one. But when I heaved myself out of the pool, I was instantly grateful for the wake-up call to my shoulders, letting them know it’s time to get in gear again. I felt the same way earlier today, when I did a set of 250s suggested by Victoria at The District Chocoholic.
My inner monologue looked like this, from start to finish:
Pre-swim: NO! NonononoNO!
Early-swim: I’m gonna kill this swim. Look at me, going so fast after so much time!
Mid-swim: Gaaaaarrrghhh! (This may have been not-so-inner, but rather screamed into the water).
Post-swim: Awesome. I am awesome.
So this week, I’m motivated by the joy and excitement that follow the completion of a real challenge—and the feeling that I did something that really, truly made me stronger.
What’s motivating you this week?