Training for Race to Survive 2016
Those who have known me for a while, will know that I'm no athlete. I try, but it's just not in my genes. I was never one of those girls who were naturally awesome at netball, I couldn't even catch a ball (literally learnt when I was like 20). But over the last little while, I've realised that genes means nothing, and I can do anything I work hard at.
It's easy to look at your ability to do something in the current moment and criticise it, to see the faults in what you're doing and beat yourself up about it. I wanted to share with you the recent epiphany I had which I feel has changed me slightly! I know, I'm basically Gandhi right now (bear with). But it made me see things in such a different perspective and I've learnt to look at how far I've come, rather than how far I have to go, and it's affected me in so many ways.
Art and I were asked if we wanted to participate in Accor Hotels Race to Survive - it's 5 days of challenges in Fiji, involving a lot of swimming (1km - a LOT for me), running, camping, some fear factor challenges and helping re-build some devastation caused by the hurricane earlier this year. Essentially a mix between The Amazing Race and Survivor. It will be an amazing, but super challenging week. Now I have never been a swimmer, it took me a long time to learn and I'm not very good at it, so I have always just written it off as something I'll never be able to do. I actually think I have some kind of weird phobia, as I get quite panicky in water (especially deep water) so never really swim. About a month ago, the organisers of the event put on a time trial to see where everyone was at for the swimming aspect of it. We were split in to two groups - 1km for the strong swimmers, and 500m for the weaker swimmers. Obvs I went in the 500m group, and let me tell you I did not do well haha. I had to stop every length and was so tired and frustrated at how terrible I was doing that I had to fight the urge to burst in to tears. We left the pool and I had an absolute mare... I told Art that I was going to pull out because I wouldn't be able to do the swimming aspect so I may as well not do it. This is my reaction to most things, which I have never even realised until Art called me out on it! It was a bit of a blow to the ego, as no one likes receiving criticism. After a couple of days of sulking because I'm really mature, I mentioned it to my boss and told him I was thinking of pulling out of the event, and he replied super casually "if it was me, I would just train fucking hard and see where I get to" and that's when it happened. That's when my epiphany of all epiphanies hit me right in the face. It was honestly as if a switch was flicked in my head and I realised that literally the only person holding me back was me. Who says I can't be a swimmer?? How do I know I won't be able to do it? I then came to this really frightening realisation that my own mind has held me back in so many ways because I've been too scared to try.
Anyway, that gave me more motivation than I have ever felt before. It's T-50 days until we leave for Fiji, and I'm feeling fit, healthy and super motivated. I've started trying harder, and training from the ground upI I can now swim 500m aaaalmost without stopping, and getting better every time. Don't get me wrong, I'm still pretty shit and have to swim on my back for a rest all the time, but I'm LESS shit than when I started. Who knew that you get better at something when you train hard at it?! Oh, and the icing on the cake is that we get back from Fiji on Saturday 29th October, and I run the half marathon on the Sunday morning ha, it's all go round here!! Here is a run down of what my training schedule looks like at the moment:
Monday: Swim before work (try for 500m)
Tuesday: 7-9km run at lunch time or after work
Wednesday: Swim before work, strength/conditioning workout after work
Thursday: 7-9km run (somewhere with hills)
Saturday: Trail run if it's a sunny day or a strength/conditioning workout at the gym
Sunday: Rest, or Ludus Magnus if I can be assed
I've also just bought a wetsuit, as I'm trying to get used to deep ocean water (as it's far different from the pool), and I can confirm that the water is bloody freezing at the moment, but wow how good are wetsuits at keeping you warm?!
Anyway, if I can nail this swim in Fiji, I will be absolutely stoked. If anyone has any swim training tips, then I'd love to hear them? I'm currently using the "do it lots" method, but if you have any advice or give, then flick me an email, I'd really appreciate it.
Wish me luck!