Over the few years that I've been training, I've become a firm believer that it's not the hard days that make the athlete, it's all the OTHER days! It's the gruelying long "easy runs" and "light spins" that are the hardest to get through. First of all, you almost never feel like doing them. And Secondly, they never feel easy. Honestly, recovery weeks are my least favorite weeks. Sure, there are a few fewer hours I spend in the pool, on the bike or running, but I wouldn't really be able to do those extra hours if I tried! Those are the hours my mind starts to play tricks on me. Do you really need to get up at 4 to go swim, really??? Wouldn't you rather meet for Happy Hour than do an "easy spin"? Oh man, am I ever going to feel better?
Getting thru those days is where you find a lot about yourself and your mental strength and determination. It will also teach you a lot about your friends and how much you rely on them to make grueling workouts barable. Not to mention, your loved ones and their ability to love during these hard times!