I don't know how many BCC members made it out today for a ride, but I think the conditions made for a classic case of why the mind plays such a huge role in achieving fitness, training or racing goals. Winds today were out of the north west at 62km/h. For those of you who rode or perhaps like me you went for a run, you no doubt experienced points in the ride where your ordinary speed on a flat surface was slowed to a near crawl. To the extent you were heading north (which most of us in the beaches must do or it becomes an aquabike!) then the challenge of the wind was unrelenting. This is where the mind has all of the control. Continuing to turn over the pedals or to keep running with the body fully pressed into the wind can be the most disheartening situation. However, it is only disheartening to the mind, the legs, lungs and heart can't really tell the difference.
My experience with cycling races, triathlons and in particular the ironman has proven to me that the mind is the critical muscle. I think almost anyone are physically capable of completing double century rides or do an ironman (with 10-12 hours/week of training over 6-8 months) but the most critical factor is getting the mind aligned with the goal. If you can't get the mind to convince itself that the goal is achievable then the body quits. That happened to me today, I let myself quit at 25k of a 30k training run. Sure the conditions were challenging and yes the legs were hurting, but I didn't put myself into the right frame of mind and so I bailed at 25k. While I still have a lot of training left before IM Canada, it is going to be this element of my training that is going to be crucial if I want to hit my goals. The mind has to find a happy place, and push the body through the hurt.
Inspiration - "whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are probably right!" - Henry Ford