I fear I’m already failing at keeping my training and tri-life documented, but truly nothing drastic has changed so I’m excusing myself this once. I’ve tried some new routes, noticed my confidence on the bike building, and most recently I’ve realized that I can skillfully navigate my bike simultaneously while hydrating or fueling, which is no small feat.
Mentally things have been much harder than they’ve been physically. Right now my body wants to keep going, and psychologically I’d almost describe myself as angry when I realize my ride is half over and if I don’t turnaround I’ll exceed my allocated time. Lately, I’ve been feeling stagnant, a little discontent. I love building from where I’ve been and pushing myself one tick further each day, and when I don’t get to do that I start to feel a bit of depression sinking in. Not true depression mind you, but I feel my self-worth as an athlete slide backward and question my ability to do the job. Not because I really feel like I can’t do it, but because I’m not currently doing it and if I can do it why am I not and blah blah blah… Quite silly, quite unreasonable, but truth. My training has been building in ways that don’t include longer workouts or more miles and I automatically base my emotions off time, not effort. I’m not fast and never will be but damnit I’ll keep going at a pace that’s faster than slow. Mentally it’s a hard place for me to be right now. Ironman still isn’t for 12.5 months but emotionally I’m so attached, I feel like it’s in 4. And I can’t wait until it’s in 2!
Tonight I was texting with a friend who reminded me how far I’ve come in just 2 months. Us type A’s just can’t get enough, can’t stop until we get it right and though I’m lucky for countless reasons one of those reasons is that I have someone to talk to daily about that shared “gift” aka sickness. Our conversation made me think, and though I certainly haven’t gotten it right yet, I suddenly understood that just two months ago I swam in a lake for the first time ever. About 8 weeks ago I did my first open water race and had to breast stroke with my head above water for 75% of it. Now, I still play mindgames for the first 500 meters, but can swim 2.4 lake miles comfortably at a respectable pace a couple times per week. I should be proud of that, and I AM proud of that, but it’s just not enough right now.
I read an article at some point recently that pointed out the fact that most successful athletes are Type A personalities. Then, it poignantly mentioned that if successful athletes are Type A’s that triathlete’s should be considered type AAA. Guess I’ll fit right in amongst this crowd.