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theunexpectedtriathlete

I never saw that coming!

Month

July 2015

QUITTER!!

Yup, that’s me. I’m a quitter. Or, at least that seems to be the case in the last week. This is probably not a good thing given the fact that my attempt at a sprint is two weeks away. But, in order to justify my quitting here we go with the explanations:

  • Last Saturday -> Quitter moment #1
    • Pop myself out of bed, head out for a run, get half way and call for a pick up. Why? It was 27C at 10am and like 90% humidity. I thought I was going to die. I was on the home stretch, mind you, and likely could have made it but I wondered if it was worth it. Is that last kilometer worth it if you end up passed out and sick for the rest of the day? No. Not it’s not. At least, not when you’re at the lake and have day of hanging out on the dock ahead of you. You need to be able to enjoy that. Or, at least I do. So I quit…for my health.
  • Today-> Quitter moment #2
    • The goal today was a brick training session with a 16km bike and then the 5km run but I flaked out 1km in to the run. There are a couple reasons for today’s quitter moment. The first is that the wind was just plain crazy today and my cycling session took three times as much energy because I’m pretty sure I was moving backwards the whole time. My cousin’s wife told me that the only time she has every crashed mid-race was because she was fighting with a strong wind and couldn’t unclip fast enough to stop herself and now I get it. The wind today was crazy and let’s face it, I’m not a huge fan of the hills out here in the first place. Add wind resistance to that and FORGET IT!!!! The second reason is that it’s the August long weekend, the highway was nuts and I was worried about being run over. Third, it was my first time doing a brick training sessions with my running belt. The added weight of that thing is crazy. I don’t think I like it (or I’m just not used to it yet) and while I’m sure it adds 3 lbs at most, it feels like 10. I feel heavy running with it. Now, this could be a good thing because I will feel all light an bouncy running without it but for today it was weight that seemed like too much.

So, there you have it. I’m a quitter. I realize that all of the things I faced could be realities on race day and I wonder if it would be beneficial to push through. I’m sure others have plans to deal with this sort of thing… but for now I will wear the title of “quitter” and deal with the shame of it.

Brick Training

I finished my workout and I didn’t die. Sometimes that’s the best you can hope for. The purpose of brick training is to help you get used to the feeling of hopping off your bike and then starting to run on legs that are already tired. Or, as I like to think about it: the opportunity to get used to the fact that you are, at some point in your race, going to feel like a Muppet. Seriously! If you’ve never tried it, I dare you. Your legs feel so strange. They feel totally disconnected from your body. Brick training helps you come to terms with the fact that, for about 5 minutes, you are going to look and feel like Phoebe from “Friends” and there’s just nothing you can do about it.  Except, you won’t look quite as happy because, lets face it, you just cycled for a somewhat silly distance and now you have somehow find the energy to get through what normal people would consider running for a “long time”. Eventually, though, you find your legs –or rather they find you by screaming at you to remind you that you just finished beating the crap out of them– and you run. And, if all goes well…you don’t fall down and you actually get to the finish line. When I did the try-a-tri my legs felt like they were made of lead, until I came around the corner in the home stretch and some nice gentlemen called out to me “you just made that look quick and easy!” to which I replied “I think you mean slow and painful!” but that moment of laughter distracted me long enough to let me get my groove back. Yes, the runner’s high is a thing but even better is laughter so if you’re ever watching a triathlon, please, please make me laugh with a funny sign or silly comment. It will distract me 🙂

Today’s accomplishment: I survived brick training and I didn’t die… SUCCESS! Sure, I’m slower than a herd of turtles running through molasses by the end, sure I look like a rabid monkey while trying to climb the last brutal hill that I just dragged myself up on the bike and sure my current times mean I will likely drag my sorry ass across the finish line pretty close to last but … I DIDN’T DIE…and that’s a good thing.brick training

Anxiety is a jerk

New challenges are scary!! Sometimes I wonder why on earth people step out of their comfort zones — I mean, they are comfort zones for a REASON — they’re comfortable! When you stay in your comfort zone you never have to worry about anything. It’s safe, it’s protected, it’s comfortable, granted, it’s a little boring but that can be a good trade-off right?

I think one of the hardest parts of taking on this triathlon challenge is not so much the physical part but the emotional one. The anxiety is sometimes overwhelming. It feels like t5196178649_672e5672f9here is a small creature clawing it’s way though my stomach lining, much in the way the alien bursts out of the stomach in “Spaceballs” (although, I fear anxiety isn’t as adorable and doesn’t dance around with a hat and a cane. I think my anxiety must take the form of a giant man-eating spider.)

The thoughts of “what was I thinking?” can be totally overwhelming but the worst is the fear of failure. What if I can’t do this?? I did the try-a-tri and did quite well and really enjoyed the experience —and I didn’t die –which was one of the main goals in the first place. I’m not sure exactly what it is that Ib528d88f7a80bd0670f2d91f5d6aba3c‘m afraid of. I know I can do all of it. I’m not 100% sure that I can do it all together and without dying, puking or crying (there’s “no crying in baseball” but it’s allowed in triathlons right?).

There were people at the previous event who did the sprint without really training and I’ve definitely been working for it, but maybe that’s the fear. Maybe I haven’t done enough. I know I’ve slacked off now that summer has hit (the drinks on the dock are just oh so appealing). Maybe I won’t be ready. Maybe I won’t live up to my own expectations. Maybe I should stop worrying so much!! The mental game is at least half the battle. No matter what happens, I will set a personal best in the sprint in August but I sure wish the anxiety would stop sneaking up on me. Anxiety is a jerk.

Laziness Avoided

PHEW!

Dodged that bullet! Got off my butt and did a workout. The way to avoid laziness is pretty simple actually: step 1 – get off your ass, step 2- just do it.  So I did. It’s way too humid to go and run so I chose to do a workout video and try to develop some strength.  I grabbed my Jillian Michaels “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism” video and got to it. DAMN that thing is hard. I’ve done i51sy-LuH5zLt twice now and I’m pretty exhausted by the end but it’s a good kind of exhausted. Seeing as I’m new to this triathlon thing, I’m going on the assumption that I need to strengthen as well as work on cycling, swimming and running. Can’t get better at those things if I’m a wimp right?  The other plan is to drag my lazy ass over to my buddy’s dock and do some swimming…but must go back to step 1 and get off my ass first….

Motivation

Turns out today, I have none. I’m sure that other people must experience this as well but today… I don’t feel like doing anything. It’s hot out, my dogs are cuddling, my coffee is nice and I just don’t want to move.
The last two days I’ve been pretty productive, I ran one day and cycled the next and followed each with a Jillian Michaels 30-day shred video to help develop some strength but today…no motivation.
Now, I recognize that rest days are important, and I could…in theory…make this a rest day but the problem with rest days is that once I take one…I want to to take another.
I’m not sure if anyone is actually reading my blog, but if you are: how do you stay motivated? What do you do to prepare for events? Does anyone else have as much trouble with rest days as I do (either not wanting to take them or taking too many?)
Somewhere in here is my motivation…

I am…

I am a triathlete…

there’s a sentence I never thought I would say. I’ve collected a lot of titles over the years: teacher, actor, dancer, wife, closet chef…someone once called me a “runner” and I thought that was weird. None, though, have sounded as strange to me as “triathlete”. I’m not sure if that title is totally deserved at this point because I’ve really only done a try-a-try and am in the process of getting ready for a sprint distance in August but I’m going to claim it anyways.

I’ve decided to blog for one reason only… ok. two reasons: 1) because I’m sure people are tired of me clogging up my facebook with constant triathlon stuff and 2) because really, if I can get through this ANYONE can.  I have never in my life considered myself athletic. I am the person who cowers in team sports. Sure, I was a non-competitive rhythmic gymnast while I was growing up but I never considered myself athletic. Athletes were those people I didn’t talk much to in high school and who totally intimidated me for most of my life. Turns out I might just be one of them.

So, how did I get here??

I have no idea!!!

I started running in my late 20s because I had put on weight and a lot of it. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin and running just seemed to be the way to deal with that. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Not that I was necessarily good at it at first, and definitely now there are still days when I’m not good at it, but there’s something about it that just makes me feel good after. Not going to lie– there are days where I hate every minute of it until it’s over but by the end, I appreciate my run.

My family has a cottage in Clear Lake (Wasagaming), Manitoba and I often catch glimpses of the annual triathlon. My cousin and his wife were big in to running and Iron Man events and so  I would hear about their stuff a bit but never ever ever ever considered attempting it (who? me? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA). Then, one day, a few years ago, I watched a few of the athletes go by and I thought… I could do that. And then I didn’t. And then again I had the same thought. And then I didn’t. And then my aunt dared me to do it….and I didn’t.  And finally, last summer I watched the kids go by for the “Kids of Steel” event and that was it. Of course I could do it!!  I had no idea what I was getting myself in to and better yet –I took down my best friend Sandra with me!! MUAHHAHAHAHA!! Now I had someone who could keep me on track and that was as crazy as I was! And that’s kind of how I ended up here. I’ve done the smallest version. I’m a faker of a triathlete but a faker who still got off my ass and did it! Next journey..the sprint.

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