I think it’s fascinating, the way your body and your mind work together (or against each other). This whole Ironman training has often been about this:  what I think I can do versus what my body can really do. So often, the mind says one thing that has little to do with what the body is willing and able to do.

Since we found out the water temperature was going to be colder than expected, I’ve been making a point to swim colder (I wear my sleeveless top, and I begin swimming without easing into the water). Coach Amy has us do some swims where we start out strong, and it’s amazing how quickly my heart rate climbs. Woosh! There it goes–and all of a sudden, I feel like I can’t breathe. This is a smart thing to practice; it happened at PlayTri and caught me completely off-guard. I had never felt like that before. There, it was the combination of cold (both outside and water temp), jumping in off the platform, and almost immediately starting.

The funny thing about today was that I found myself discombobulated by the bubbles.

Do You Breathe Underwater?

Cathy lead off on the first one (and she was swimming hard and fast) and I was drafting. I found myself thinking, “There are too many bubbles!  I can’t breathe!”
I don’t know how many strokes I swam thinking this, feeling out of breath, like I didn’t know how to swim, until it actually dawned on me, “You NEVER breathe underwater! It’s impossible! What difference do these bubbles make?”
Once I talked to myself, it suddenly all became easier. I took some extra breaths and it just got better and better.

See…it’s entirely psychological. Yes, there are physiological things going on, but what makes it feel yucky is the psychological. My mind doesn’t want me to do half the things I’m doing lately, it seems. Recognizing this has made me realize all the things my so-called “logical” brain has talked me out of over the last few years.

I have been my own worst enemy.

Seismic shift–I need to be my own best fan.

I ran so much better today with Cathy. It sure wasn’t any cooler (we were running late in the morning; I forgot to sunscreen the back of my neck, and you should see it), the route wasn’t any easier (Barton Hills…but she spared me Wilke), and I wasn’t any more rested.

Yet falling in step with my friend made it all seem so much easier.

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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 www.leahruns100.com, 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 “Bubbles

  1. Something that will help you – remind yourself during the race that you are trained and you are ready. One of the funniest things my coach told me when I was freaking out before my first IM was, \”You will do fine and people who trained a lot less than you will do fine\”. (Also, he didnt mention that conversely, people who trained a lot more will not do fine – you will be surprised at how many of the \”uber fit\” you pass!) It cracked me up because it wasnt really a compliment but it made me feel much better. You will do fine!

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