This past week was the 3rd of 4 tough training weeks in a row, and I'm pleased to report it was a success - and by that I mean, I'm still alive and I haven't killed anyone! Towards the end of this week, I started to feel the toll of all the work I've been doing, in the form of mental and emotional fatigue. For those of you that don't know what I mean, I would liken this state to PMS. A little tired, but not so much "sleepy tired", as much as the kind of tired when everything makes you mad, frustrated, or break down in tears.
On a good note, I have managed to make significant gains in my fitness and stay relatively focused and productive at work...at least, as far as I'm concerned. Okay, okay, at least I'm still GOING to work ;)
For those of you that haven't been here (this level of fatigue) before, this is where all those mental skills come in to play. This past week would have been one in the past where I would have either given myself an "out" on a workout or had a complete melt-down in the middle of one... most likely at the pool. But this time, I knew it was coming. I kept my mental skills tool box with me, and used them every day...whether I needed to or not. Even on my "recovery" workouts, I congratulated myself on how well I got through them, how much better my technique has gotten, etc. By the end of the week, I felt amazing! I all but flew through 4 hours of riding on Saturday, nailed my swim set and topped it off with an endurance tempo run on Sunday, without even batting an eye!
Don't get me wrong, I have always loved training, but getting through 3 weeks of 17+ hours in a row and feeling great physically and mentally, has never happened. I have always been a believer in mental training, but never had the confidence in my own voice to make gains. I know that in order to get where I want to go, there is no room or time for self-doubt and fear.