Embrace The Pain.....Then Look Back And Smile

It was a few weeks ago that I was emailing with Jeff, BDD and Patrick about my frustration with my bike speed. Each one of them was incredible and generous with their words and time, but one email has stood out for me. It was a bit of advice that I have carried with me for bike training but also in the water and on the run as well. BDD's email to me was three simple words. EMBRACE THE PAIN. He was referring to being on the trainer but as I said I use this for swimming and running as well. I have been embracing the pain and seen incredible improvements in all three phases of triathlon. It has truly been a mantra that I carry with me on all training sessions whether it is a 15 minute run after a 2 hour ride or a swim set of 3x500 (:30 RI) Negative Split. Saturday I EMBRACED THE PAIN....THEN LOOKED BACK AND SMILED.  My coach had a 14 mile run at a pace of 7:55/mile. Typically this is not a problem. The week prior I did a 13.1 mile training session in under 7:55/mile on the treadmill. I knew I could do 14 at this pace. The weather was perfect as it was around 60* with no clouds. I set out and started slowly to get truly warmed up and start hitting my splits. The first split was 7:51 and I thought to myself alright here we go. From that point on my legs felt like concrete. That was until I hit the Dolly Parton's. If you have read my posts you will remember the Dolly's were where I fell apart a bit during the White Rock Marathon on December 5th. Since then when I run White Rock I attack these hills as a way to tell them...not this time. I have owned them since that date and on Saturday it was no different. I crushed them as I went through them at paces of 7:44 and 7:36. I thought I was on Cloud 9. After those two miles I suddenly felt like I was standing in place. I would see times in the 8:00+/mile range. I would pick up the pace but it never lasted long. I even went so far as to say I am stopping. But then I thought about each of you and what I owed you. I owed you my best and whatever my best was at that point. I thought about Beth (SUAR) turning the corner in her recovery from injury and how I could not stop running. I EMBRACED THE PAIN and kept on going. My last two miles were 8:36 and 8:28. I cursed myself the entire way to the car. I was unrelenting in my opinion of my effort. How could you go so slow? How did it get to the point of being so hard? Why didn't my legs react when my mind was ready since it is usually the other way around?  What went wrong? I got to the car and refused to look at my Garmin. I thought to myself you did the 14 miles. Look at the course and fist-pump like Tiger and say to the course you thought you had me but I still beat you. I did just that and started smiling. I just ran 14 miles....period! Nothing else needed to be said. I DID IT! 14 in the books and not once did I walk. It was very slow at the end but I did it. I then smiled and asked myself what was your time?  My final pace was 7:58/mile. On what was the hardest day I have had in this one year of training I was still right there. I was :42 away from hitting my coach's time. I then jumped up and down and smiled and allowed the sun to shine on my face. I EMBRACED THE PAIN....LOOKED BACK....AND SMILED On my worst day I was still pretty darn good and that is my lesson for you on Motivational Monday. Even on your worst day you are good...make that GREAT! You are awesome and you are an inspiration. You are a motivator. Nothing can stop you. People don't dream of doing what you are doing and remember that. You will embrace the pain then look back and smile knowing that for this brief moment in time you got stronger physically. You got stronger mentally. Now there is no other training session or race that you will put yourself through that will be harder. You CAN do it. KEEP SMILING, STAY HEALTHY AND HUNGRY
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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