Posted by: Susan Loken | August 20, 2011

Toughin’ it out in training

Yes, my life is wonderful and I feel so grateful, so blessed and so happy, but a wonderful life doesn’t mean a life without challenge.

To clue you into how my training has been going, my mantra for the past few weeks is the Rascal Flatts song:

If you’re going through hell keep on going, don’t slow down, if you’re scared don’t show it, you might get out before the devil even knows you’re there.

My workouts have been a struggle … I can’t hit any of my prescribed splits  … My hamstring and foot have taken turns being cranky with me  … I ran a marathon-pace 15K on July 4 because I couldn’t go faster  … All in all, it has taken a lot of focused effort and positive self talk just to keep the fire and desire in me alive to train this hard and keep on going. I think they call this a funk or a slump or a plateau. Not sure, but it’s my personal challenge right now.

Bottom line is, you have to want your goal and want it bad to train like this. If you drop the ball, and lose focus and desire, it will spiral you downward instead of upward. If you’re a runner and reading this, you understand that it is hell when you can’t hit your splits, or when you can’t finish a long run because your hamstring hurts, or when you’re
so exhausted from getting up at 3:40 am every day that you just can’t function well at anything.

So, to keep myself focused and positive during this personal challenge I find myself signing the song above …

The good news is, I kept on going, I changed my negative thoughts about my training into positive thoughts, I didn’t give up, I kept my fears in perspective (OK, I did have one humongous melt down at track!) and, now, the devil doesn’t know my name.

I’m thrilled to say that after a few long, long weeks of “keeping on going!” I’m feeling pretty good again. My hamstring and foot are happy (thank you Dr.Ball!). I’ve made a point of taking naps on the weekend and not adding extra activities into my already jam-packed schedule. And I gave myself permission to slow down during interval training (took away the stress) until my mojo came back. By the way, I nailed a couple workouts last week!

My lesson to share…when you hit a slump, don’t give up. Keep on going and the tides will turn eventually. Oh, and yup, you must be patient with yourself.

Well, I’m off to San Diego to race for the first time as a 48 year old! (I’m sure some of those 28-year-olds have funks too.) This race will give me a good idea of where my fitness is at. It’s so hard to tell where you are when training in 90- and 100-degree temps. I do have an idea because training in this heat isn’t new to me, but I’m hoping for results
that are better than my training has indicated in the last few weeks.

My game plan for Sunday’s race and for my 48th year of life is to give it all I’ve got and be thankful that I have it to give!


  1. Your posts are inspiring to read and helpful. They help me try and turn around my negative thoughts and feelings of complete frustration and anxiety as I battle achilles/calf issues. So, no Chicago for me, but hoping to heal in time for a hard surge towards CIM. You put things in a positive perspective. Thank you.

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