I love reading the blogs and tweets of people who are super dedicated to triathlon and taking their sport performance to the next level. They make time for their training, they don't complain about it, they look forward to the hard stuff, and they balance out the rest of their life in such a way that they manage to become the best athletes they can be. I know we really shouldn't compare ourselves to others, but I do think it's beneficial pull a little WW[insert athlete initial here]D when you're faced with that moment where you don't want to roll out of bed and go to the pool.
After five full seasons of triathlon, I'm still finding that there are a plenty of things I could do to improve, plenty of things that need improvement. You'd think that after this long I'd have stuff figured out, that I would've learned the magic trick to get myself out the door at 5:30am on a chilly morning for a run in the dark. But judging from my lack of o'dark thirty run workouts accomplished, I obviously have yet to solve that mystery.
But I am learning that, at least for me, dedication needs to come in small pieces. I get overwhelmed with trying to fit together lots of big pieces all at once - No More Recreational Sugar! Be in Bed By 9pm Every Day! Get Up at 5am Every Day! Get to the Pool by 5:30am! Write Down Daily Goals! Update Training Peaks Daily! Etc! Do Every Single Workout! Stay 100% Focused for the Entire Duration of Workout! - and inevitably I end up dropping the ball on one thing which leads to a domino effect of ball dropping and I simply give up for a bit before regrouping and trying again. Part of dedication is focusing on what I can do right now to become a better athlete, to do that workout right, to set myself up for a good tomorrow. Today dedication meant not wimping out on the combined total of 1,000yds of IM in the pool. Will perfecting my 'fly and backstroke make me a more awesome Ironman swimmer? Oddly enough, I actually think it will. Much to the relief of my fellow swimmers, I will NOT be doing butterfly during the swim leg of a triathlon; but learning how to do it in the pool, mastering a hard stroke or a technique I don't particularly enjoy (hypoxic swimming, weakside breathing, fly) will make me a stronger swimmer. One who is more aware of how my body works in the water. And overall, I think that is going to translate into a better swim time. Dedication also meant getting on my trainer at 8pm after work when I would've much rather gone to bed. There is rarely a day where I finish a workout and think to myself Well golly gee, I really with I hadn't done that bike ride. It made me feel like absolute crap!
And according to Training Peaks, dedication tomorrow is going to mean the dreaded before-the-sunrise-alarm to get outside and run in the dark.