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CREATIVE VISUALIZATION; for childbirth,…for IRONMAN

October 27th, 2006

I swam with the University of Calgary swim team again today:

Mainset (with paddles, pullbouy and band around ankles for 400,300,200,and100):

  • 400m free on 5:40
  • 4x100m free on 1:20
  • 300m free on 4:10
  • 3x100m free on 1:20
  • 200m free on 2:50
  • 2x100m free on 1:20
  • 100m on 1:25
  • 100m on 1:20

 (I just overcooked my eggs while typing this set…)

I got thinking about the pain one endures while racing Ironman.  I’m a firm believer that depending on how you approach or focus your mental preparation, you may alter your body’s perception of pain, hence allowing you to OWN YOUR PAIN.  I spoke with one of my patients yesterday about her experience with childbirth.  I was facinated with what she had to say — she said that she gave birth to her first and only child with no drugs!  She said that for months prior, she prepared for labour by CREATIVE VISUALIZATION.  She focused all her conscious thoughts towards PAINTING AN APPLE thoughout the entire process.  She did so with no regrets, showing not a hint of pride during her description.  She elaborated that she had practiced the technique while running on rocks as well.

Is there a lesson to be learned here?  I’m a firm believer that with all the training and preparation for Ironman, THERE IS A HUGE ADVANTAGE TO BE GAINED by practicing visualization.  For example,…during a 6-7hour bike ride, by thinking of repetitive thoughts like, “SMOOTH PEDAL STROKE,…BE EFFICIENT,…TURN THE PEDALS FAST WITH AS LITTLE EFFORT AS POSSIBLE,…RELAX THE ARMS,…FOCUS ON BREATHING”, you may contribute to the end result of getting FAST, AND channel your mental thoughts away from NEGATIVE TALK and PAIN.

Similar with labour, the end result you are looking for must be well defined.  It is easy with childbirth to know what you are in pain for,…but do YOU KNOW WHY YOU ARE IN PAIN WHEN YOUR ARE RACING AN IRONMAN???  You BETTER know, because that same definitive reason is what will get you through the rough stages of an Ironman – having a reason is what separates the tourists from people who are racing.

Scott Curry running photo by Kevin McElheran

On a different note, my wife Allison, in her last year of medical school is doing a placement in Pincher Creek at the moment.  She was planning on coming back to Calgary tonight – but may stay there as she has developed a cold/virus and doesn’t want to expose me to her sickness so soon to Ironman.  Her thoughtfullness is unmatched by anyone.

Asides from a focused run (where I’m going to break in my new racing flats), and bike,…I’m going to bring my bike into SPEEDTHEORY to change the chain, and get new tires for the race.

Had my body fat tested,….using BIOMEDICAL IMPEDENCE — was 7% (+/-3.5 standard error)

SC