Some people do not know how to self motivate.
I, however, am not one of those people.
All I need to get to me out the door is a little piece of paper.
That's right. All I need is my training plan telling me exactly what I have to do that day. To me, that little bit of black ink on the calendar is the "end all, be all." There is no questioning the plan. It was written that way for a reason.
My current training plan is epic. I have faith in its ability to produce results (it worked for Irondiva and she's a freaking Ironman) I feel like it's balanced and challenging without being so daunting that I want to stop.
The thing is, the plan is so balanced and challenging that it's messing with the game plan I have in my head.
You see, I like to run. OK, I love to run. But the disciplines are so balanced in this plan, that I usually only have two runs (and two bikes and two swims) each week. Sometimes, I get really lucky and there's a brick and I get a bonus run. At times, it can be torturous.
For example, this week, I have 15 run miles scheduled. 15? That's insane. I like to run 40+ miles. 15 just doesn't work for me.
My head is telling me to run. My plan is telling me to chill the heck out.
Confession: I do a little bit of both. On my "shorter" and strength days, I add a 3-5 mile run. It calms me. But, unlike my official training plan, these "penciled in" runs do not have the same power over me. If I miss them, I miss them. If I am feeling good, I brave the cold and log the miles. If I'm tired from the day before (like this morning), I choose my warm bed over the run.
In some ways, this inability to follow the plan in my head is disappointing to me. I have such high standards for myself that missing these self-prescribed workouts make me feel like I am letting myself down. Self guilt can be rather motivating.
But usually, that self guilt fades quickly. I know that too many "bonus" miles are going to start to take away from the training I am focusing on. I am learning to remind myself that the number one goal is a 70.3 finish, not "see how many other things I can do while getting a 70.3 finish." I need to remember that less run miles is not making me a weaker runner, but rather more diversity in training is making me a stronger runner.
For me, triathlon training is a road untraveled. I will find my way. I just need to trust the plan.