Thursday, March 19, 2009

I found a new Zone

I've discovered a new place, a new zone.
It's a place deeper inside me.
It hurts a bit more.
But I do believe it's what will take me up a notch. I believe it.

I know my body well. I know my different levels of hurt. Of work. Of suffering. I can run along at a nice pace, I can go faster, I can push harder than that, and I can run until my legs feel like they're going to fall off and I will gasp my last breath. That 5K feeling....
And the water. Ahh, the water. You see, I have been in the water "making it hurt" since I was about 8. Swimming came naturally to me as a kid. I was lucky. My Dad was a jock and somehow I was blessed with some solid athletic genes. Dad taught me about working hard. Not giving up. Always doing your best.
So that's what I did. I have always worked hard. At everything I believe. It's just who I am. I do believe in giving it my all.
I no longer swim with teammates. I do miss swimming with my HS and College friends. We really were a family. And workouts were a whole different experience than they are now. And, sigh, that was a long time ago....
Now I swim alone. Typically I have my own lane. There are no teammates who swim 3 seconds faster to pull my along, to make me push harder.
It's just me. Most of the time I can make the intervals. I have to work hard to get in on some of them, but I do it. I know just the right speed to make 100s on 1:20 for ex. I can do that. It gets hard for sure. And I work hard. I really do.
I took it up a notch the other day and now I know. I know I have more in there. I have a new zone. I was digging even deeper. Pulling even harder. I thought I had been going as fast as I could. I thougth I knew my 'fastest my hardest zone.'
Ha!! I was wrong! Yeah!
so now I have raised the bar for myself. I will no longer accept the other speed. The other pull. the other pace. Its' gone.
I have had a few solid workouts lately.
Instead of taking it right to the pace I'm supposed to and holding it and gradually backign down as the body fatigues, I take it back up. The only way to get to the next level is to push beyond where you think you can. Dig more. Dig longer. It's those moments that will change your season.
Try it.
You might surprise yourself.
And man is it fun.


IronMatron said...

That is cool. You've been at this a long time, and for you to find another, deeper level of pain that you can bring on is an achievement.
I think I just have started to learn to welcome serious, suffering pain as a sign that things are going as they should. The brain needs to learn that the body won't DIE if you push just that much harder. The brain is just trying to protect you--but it gets in the way. You need to train the brain that it's okay to really, really suffer.
(that's all matt fitzgerald talk, btw. He's a smart dude.)

Marni said...

Love the bloody pic!
I'm finally making my intervals on seemed like it took FOREVER to get there! It is nice to push the body and suffer every now and then :) keep up the great are getting so close!
Looking forward to helping you with the it this morning and I'll start working on it! :)

Sara Cox Landolt said...

It's the coolest thing when you can change someone's idea of what is possible, whether that is yourself or someone else, very powerful stuff. Nice post!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! keep up the good work, Ange!!

Rural Girl said...

That may be the inspiration I need. Thanks!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

This sounds like torture but when I heal up like a good idea... heck, is that you in the swimming picture? That is like a motorboat wake!

MaineSport said...

You're absolutely right. Breaking those physical and mental barriers make a huge difference on race day...when it counts.

Swimming for ME said...

Wow! I don't know if I am grateful I am not swimming with you (as I definitely am not at that level of pain appreciation) or bummed as I could use a swift kick in the butt! Either way let's do some lake swims as soon as it gets warmer. That is soon right?????
You are so ready for IMLP!

Melissa said...

Congrats on finding your new level of confidence. How cool is it that you are becoming even better at your sport than you already are.