My “Rocky” Moment

Cue the Rocky soundtrack (original, not “Eye of the Tiger”) because that’s how I felt at the top of Wilke today on my final repeat.

I think Ironman training is teaching me a pretty basic lesson that, somehow, I hadn’t yet learned in these 10+ years of running. It’s teaching me to be in the moment in my workout.

I started out this morning thinking about the humidity (85 percent) combined with the temperature (somewhere in the upper 70s), which for me typically spells trouble. And then there were the hill repeats…I tend to think of myself as a crappy uphill runner. So as we were doing the warm-up run over to the hill, it was almost like I was pre-making excuses for a bad workout. I actually realized this as I was doing it. Instead, I chose to focus on making my splits descending. And I knew the key was I had to be sure to be slow enough on the first one. That was all I had to worry about when we started.

It’s been a long time since I did repeats on Wilke; the last time would’ve been back prior to ’04, when I was running with Coach Mixon Henry. Later, I hit Wilke a couple of times with various Rogue groups as part of Coach Steve Sisson’s 4-mile hilly loop, but that’s not the same — that loop has some seriously sweet downhills that seem to even things all out. A hilly loop is nothing like hill repeats.

Thank goodness I had Cathy to head up first. I let her climb away from me and concentrated on that first one truly being a warm-up. Time=2:39 You know what my last one was? 2:12

The four laps in the middle were truly in the middle and descending.

The glow from that success has lasted all day. And I know the workout was a success because I lived in the moment instead of thinking ahead to what might be or comparing to what I used to do.

I just took it one piece at a time and did my best at that particular point.



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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “My “Rocky” Moment

  1. Yep

    I always figured Ironman was like ultras in that regard – you don\’t want to think about how much further you have to go, just focus in the moment, one foot in front of another.

    1. Re: Yep

      I\’m guessing you\’re right. I do like that about the ultra stuff on the trail, doing what the trail allows and focusing on the here and now. Why I have a hard time translating that to the road is kind of mysterious.

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