Just a Little Patience

Music has played a fairly profound role in my training and racing since I began my triathlon journey several years ago. This blog was started because of a U2 song, "Walk On."  For my first Ironman, I couldn't get the song "Map of the Problematique" by Muse out of my head. I was drawn to the drama and the sense of struggle in the song. 

Like many, I draw strength or inspiration from powerful lyrics and crescendos. But it also takes having an open mind to that kind of input for it to be a positive force in your training. Which leads me to a rather odd sequence of events last week. Over the span of two days, I heard Guns N' Roses' "Patience" four times. Twice in immediate back to back plays on two different stations on the dial. What's that all about?

At first, I thought this was a strange coincidence.  Then, I couldn't help but wonder if the universe wasn't sending me a message for my upcoming Ironman this Sunday. "Just a little patience. ..." Hmmm. 

Patience for what though? Patience for anticipating the race in just over a week? Patience for waiting to see if I made the 2015 Wattie Ink roster, which will be announced shortly? Patience for letting the race unfold as it's meant to and not dictating my own terms?

Hell, maybe it was just Axel Rose's birthday weekend?!

I spent way more time than I ought to admit mulling this likely inconsequential tidbit. Ultimately, I settled on the kind of patience I need to call upon. Patience on the run. My coach and I think I have a 3:30-3:35 marathon in me, a 20-plus minute improvement from IMAZ last year. However, to achieve that goal I need to start slow and work my way into that 8-minute pace and eventually build to a 7:30 pace. If I start too fast and force the pace, I'll likely pay the price.

I know I would have learned this lesson on my own in training, but it's those quiet moments like when you're driving to or from a workout that matter just as much to get your head prepared for race day. My coach has been touting meditation lately and I think just being quiet with your mind -- even if there's music playing in the background -- does indeed play a role in improving performance. 

Now let's see if all this Patience talk can turn Tempe into Paradise City.