Fit Nation Tri Challenge: Breaking down the wall
June 20th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

Fit Nation Tri Challenge: Breaking down the wall

Hello wall, my name is Scott and I saw you coming. I knew that this moment was going to happen. Every athlete has that moment where he wonders if he can really continue.  Will he stop or will he bust through that wall and take it to the next level.? My wall came last week.

That weekend I ran the Bellin Run. My first 10K race and I had more than 18,000 people running with me. My goal was to run 9 minute miles. When this whole process started I thought running 10 minute miles was going to be a challenge. Energized by the crowds, fellow racers and my team of friends and trainers who coached/supported me the whole way I finished the run in 56:18, 9:04 minute miles. Not bad for my first 10K.

The following day my friend Tim and I biked 36 miles on a beautiful Green Bay day. It felt good although I was a little sore in the thighs for the last 5 miles. The next day was training with Corey. He feels that I am at that point in my training that he wants to transition me into the program for the more elite athletes. Never in a million years would I ever consider myself a candidate for that program. We did sprints. It has been a long time since I sprinted. I survived, but my legs were sore! Sore enough that when you sit down you hope that you are able to stand up again. That night there were lots of thoughts like “Am I crazy?” “What have you gotten yourself into?” and “Could my legs hurt anymore than they do right now?”. I had hit the wall. Sleep and ibuprofen helped. Swimming the next day gave the legs a much needed break.

Later in the week I busted through that wall. A group ride was planned for that night. Cloudy skies all day and some scattered sprinkles throughout the day. The evening came and after much debate we decided to still do the group ride. The week before we had 12 to 15 people for the ride, this week only 4. My trainer Corey, a seasoned multisport athlete; Robin, a 21-year-old college student who just finished 4th for females in the Green Bay Triathlon – long course; Dan, a veteran cyclist with thousands of miles under his belt and me, rookie triathlete in training. As we got ready the weather got worse. The rain started coming down harder and the wind picked up a little.

The first half of the ride wasn’t bad. We had the winds at our backs and moved along pretty well. After 10 miles we decided to turn around and head back. At that very moment it seemed like the skies opened up even more and the wind kicked up a notch. We were now riding into the wind with a driving, painful rain in our faces. With all my might I tried to keep pace knowing that they were all suffering and wanted this to end as soon as possible too. After much effort we made it back, soaked to the core and looking for a hot shower. I survived!

Finishing that ride and breaking through that mental wall told me that I was ready for anything a race day would throw at me. See you later wall. I know that you will be back, but I am ready for you.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Bill

    That's just a tiny wall Doc, there are bigger on the way MUCH bigger. Have fun

    June 20, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. John

    That is the first of many walls to come. I took up triathlon last summer and did several events during the summer with torn cartilage in my knee. That pain created a lot of walls. Have been training for Ironman and three months before the event I now find myself with a broken ankle. Now that's a wall. Persevere, there are many walls to come but if you climb them and move on you will be amazed at what you can do.

    June 20, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Confused

    How stupid is it to show several people in a photo without telling us who is the subject they're talking about in the article? I'm guessing its the far right guy as he looks not as lean as the others but who knows? Why do people do this? Did they just stop thinking when posting a photo? Why not show a photo of a hundred people? Its just as useful.

    June 21, 2011 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Debbie

    Hi Scott! I just heard from Corey what you are doing, and I want to congratulate you for your efforts. Corey was my physical therapist last year after my ACL repair. I signed up this summer for my first Sprint Triathlon. I can relate to your "wall", as yesterday, my legs felt like someone hit them with a sledgehammer!
    But today, I have a bike and an open water swim practice, and I am looking forward to getting out there. Thanks for your posts and good luck in NY!!

    June 30, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply

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