And now it’s time for something different.
Another successful (mostly) tri season is behind me. I had a good August TriGirl race despite a horrible swim. My first top 10 age group place in Clear Lake and wrapped up the season with taking 3rd in the Athena 39 & under at the Lonestar Sprint. The season wasn’t anything like I had planned at the beginning of the spring but part of life is just learning to roll with it, right?
Now though, I find myself at this weird kind of cross roads in a no man’s land point.
Usually, when I reach this point, I just stop. For months or years at a time.
This time though, I’m committed to being uncommitted but I’m not unfocused. See the difference there? Since I started working out after Eliza was born (three years ago now!) I’ve been so race focused. Race, find another race, train for that race, race, etc. I did that because way in the past, if I didn’t have a race, I didn’t do anything. Except be lazy and gain weight. I was determined this go round to avoid that pitfall and I’ve done it. Other than my cast, I’ve worked out every week for the past basically three years. And I did it by having specific races and specific goals.
You can’t, or rather, I can’t keep that up for much longer without getting burnt out. And that’s what I found out this past training cycle. I was pushing my goals and not having the time (or making the time) to put in the work to meet those goals. So I was getting disappointed and frustrated and upset. Look, I don’t get a paycheck for doing this. My family’s food is not put on the table by my crossing a finish line. It’s not supposed to be “work” it’s supposed to be fun. And I found that out in time enough to pull back from goals and end this last cycle on a positive note.
As the end of tri season crept up, I found myself going on and thinking towards next year. An olympic, yes. A 70.3, more than likely. Half marathon goals. When could I do a marathon. Track cycling. Maybe my first road race. Do I want to think about doing some straight open water swimming events?
Then I took a step back and realized that it’s good to have goals, of course it is, but if I really believe that this is a lifestyle change I’ve adopted over the past three years and not just another quick fix or gimmick, then I need to learn to keep motivated and keep going without a specific event to train for or a hard goal to meet.
So from now until December, I’m goal-less, but not aimless. I need, have, to lose more weight. I need to get stronger and spend some time in the gym. I need to have fun running again. I really have lost my love of running and I don’t like that. I want to spend a lot more time on my bike, especially now that fall is pretending to make an appearance here. I don’t want to lose all the gains I’ve made in swimming. I have a plan but it’s flexible. I’m trying to think more along the lines of it matters less what I’m doing and more that I’m actually doing something.
I started a new 12 week lifting program this morning and feeling it already I have a love/hate relationship with weights and I’m ready to be able to commit more time to that. I went for a swim after lifting and it felt surprisingly good. I’m going to try to keep up with some short recovery swims after lifting. I don’t really have any specific plans for running right now but I’m sure over the next few weeks I’ll get some more concrete ideas. (And as I finish Jack Daniel’s Running Formula I’m sure I’ll be extra motivated to put it all down on paper!). Track season on the bike is wrapping up and without a doubt, I’ve found a new love.
It’s a weird place to be in right now but it’s not a bad place. I think it’s a place where I can do some growing and mature a little more. And that’s never a bad thing.