When I was swimming at Davis our coach called our winter training dog days. It was the time of the year for a week and a half before Christmas and a week and a half after Christmas that we trained 2 sometimes 3 times a day, basically with no other teams in Davis and all of our friends on winter vacation, and with terrible weather (one year the wind was rain was so bad that signs at the pool were being ripped off, there were legitimate waves in the pool, and the entire town lost power except for the campus which had its own power source which meant we could still train.) It was our last big push of training before we started our dual meet season and it was something we all hated but loved at the same time because we knew that the work we did during that time period would carry us to conference.
The past 3 weeks for me have been somewhat similar except that for the most part the weather has been a lot better and unfortunately I had to do all of my training by myself. Doing that much hard training solo really started to wear on me and for awhile it was hard for me to see the end. I just tried to take it one day at a time and the one motivating factor was that I knew I would be prepared to race at the end of this block. (I was also excited for the ensuing break from training that would follow my last race.) When my coach first gave me my schedule for this block I laughed because I really didn’t think I would be able to do the workouts. He told me I could and just told me try them and see what would happen. I did and each key workout was better and better even though I was in a very exhausted state. After the first week and a half without a day off and doing some of the hardest workouts I have ever done I was in a place that I had only felt during the dog days of swimming. (Except unlike swimming when I could nap and recover between workouts I had the enjoyment of working all day every day) My last days of this block were over the weekend and I am proud of the effort that I was able to put forth the past few weeks. I can only rest now and race the way I trained. I am looking forward to the end of my first full professional season and I am also already excited for the work ahead to start preparing for the 2011 season but not until after a much needed break.