Lessons in intuition: Be your competition - not your enemy

The other day To_scho (Tory) and I were joking around about how I don’t to ‘any of the ones.’ I don’t really use heart rate monitors, or watches, or track how far I run and neither does she. There are many reasons why we both don’t use these, but the main one for me is that it STRESSES me out!

I used to be the kind of person who did 'all the ones' and though it did bring me successes, it also brought me some not so fun times.  I have always been my biggest competition. It was never necessary beating others, but beating myself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Though it can become bad, when your own standards and bars become set so high that nothing you do is ever good enough.

 There’s been times when despite the numerous records I set or the countless times I got to compete on the provincial, national and recently world level -no matter how big the accomplishment I simple felt as though it was still never good enough!

There’s even been times where I’d cry because I didn’t win and took home the silver instead of the gold.  Did I cry because I am a sore looser? No! I’d cry because to me I failed, I wasn’t good enough and I thought that that gold medal would just make me that happier! The truth of the matter is though; gold wouldn’t have been either.  

SO what are we supposed to do? Where do you draw the line and know when enough is enough? How do you mange the constant push -pull with your relationship with success, when you want to be the best that you can be, yet your mental drive leads you walking a very fine line. There’s no one answer to these questions, as it is completely based on you and your intuition. It is also based on your experience - which we have learned is invaluable as we develop as athletes and human beings.

For me I have found that finding comfort in the discomfort, developing intuition in training paces, and setting small goals that don’t leave you placing all of your #ducks in one row.

Finding comfort in the discomfort- Over the years I have learned a lot more, and failed a lot more. But with failure becomes more lessons than with success. Succeeding is easy, failing is not. So find success in the times of discomfort and failure, because that is worth more wisdom and courage than a gold medal around your neck or a time on your watch!

Developing Intuition in training-  This one is my favourite, ditch all the watches and heart rate monitor. Cause lets be real - how much is your watch going to help when it dies half way through an ultra! Train solely on how you feel and learn to develop your own intuitive paces. Here’s what my “zone” training looks like:

ZONE 1: It’s a walk, it’s a ultrawalk to work, a hike.  Or even a moving coffee date. #ultrawalking
ZONE 2: “Lets talk” call up your mom, a friend or even a buddy. Strike up a conversation and catch up on all the juicy gossip. Usually long, slow, distance. #LSD
ZONE 3: Running dance party- rock out to your favourite up beat tunes. Spin those legs and feel strong and consistent in your stride. Be able to belt out a few lines to TSwift or JB if needed. #betterthanTSwift
ZONE 4: Questioning life choices. As Tory's old coach would say "you can answer a question, but you really hope they don't ask you another one." #tempotuesdays
ZONE 5: Turn down for what?! – Balls to the wall, everything you got. #trackthursdays

Set Small- I train purely based on processes. 'The process is a process is a processs...' Finding success in the little things that may have something to do with the speed of my legs, maybe something as simple as reading for 15 minutes before bed, or managing to keep my room clean! Not having all your success come from one area of your life is extremely important in keeping things balanced and fun.

This is how I now train and it's working for me now. Will I probably have a head to head with my own self again? Yes. We need to remind ourselves that we don't always have to be our own worst enemies. We are learning. It's all a learning curve about developing your own intuitive engine.