Monday, July 28, 2008
Regardless, I needed a car...so off to the sales lots I went.
I drove, I bartered, I debated. And all through the process I found myself saying things like, "well what kind of rack can I get for this car?" .... "Is there enough room in the back for my bike?" .... "How many people, gear bags, and bikes will this car hold?" .... "Well....I think I could put my bike in here, but then how much cargo space will I have left..."
You'd think I was talking about my family of four the way I was all "well, I don't know if that will work with the bikes."
In the end I walked away with something that should work out quite nicely for me and the bikes. I hope the bikes appreciate this. But then, kids these days have such a sense of entitlement.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
And there was some of this too....a beautiful sight for a cyclist...a straight, flat road all to yourself.
Friday, July 18, 2008
This is another classic example. Two days of biking. 150 miles from Milwaukee to Sturgeon Bay. Camping on Lake Michigan along the way.
OK, I'll admit that in a romantic sense it seems like fun. Can't you just picture the glossy flier...jovial cyclists all easily rolling along...laughing, enjoying the scenery, making new friends, not a bead of sweat to be found.
But here's how the situation looks mere hours before the event:
- Delusional cyclist hasn't really been training. Has only done one ride over 50 miles this year. And just came off a 10-day vacation. (Hmmm....in the flier everyone looked so fit and happy?)
- The weather is predicted to include oppressive heat, suffocating humidity, and thunderstorms. (where's the sunshine and 70 degrees from the flier?)
- Less-than-enthused and under trained cyclist will be sleeping on the floor of a hotel room she's sharing with three other people the night before the ride. (This was definitely not in the flier.)
Moral of the story: Never believe the promotional material. PR people lie.
The good news is that I've managed to convince someone else that this looked like fun too, (the benefits of peer pressure!) so I will not be suffering alone. Then again, she is the same friend that emailed to see if I was opting for the century on day one. -- uh, no thanks. 150 miles in one weekend will be plenty. --
So kick back and have a beer for me this weekend while I roast on the pavement of Wisconsin's back country roads. If I'm not back Monday will someone come peel me off the road where I melted into a puddle of goo before another thunderstorm washes me away forever. Thanks. :)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
- If you've done an "Iron" anything people have some preconceived notions about your athletic abilities (as ill-founded as they may be). So when your little sister knows she's going hiking with alleged "Irongirl" her competitive nature will kick in and she's gonna bring her A game. Don't expect to be able to slack off. You've got a reputation to live up to.
- Theory holds: Things that are harder have a better reward. (i.e. steeper = prettier)
- The early bird gets something better than worms....she gets the trail to herself.
- Those trails that you see in running shoe ads really do exist.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
How does one humbly roll up to packet pick up and get number one? I mean, I know (at least I think) the numbers are randomly assigned for the most part. And those itty-bitty numbers are reserved for the crazy-elite. But still. I think I'd have to request another number. Number one is a lot to live up to. And a little presumptuous, is it not? I wouldn't want that kind of pressure. How about friendly number 937....now there's an expectation I might live up to.
Yes, clearly me and my non-competitive attitude are not going to be mingling in the little numbers anytime soon. So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to gorge on some i'm-home-from-vacation-and-i-can-be-depressed-if-i-want-to ice cream now.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Vacation workouts rock!
(and incidentally so does the weather here in the NW ....rain? hasn't rained once in 6 days! just look at that blue sky over Rainier)
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
When I started feeling bad about my decision I took a minute to think about all the things I have done in place of three hour bike rides, and two hour runs, and it makes me pretty darn pleased with myself.
Here are a few:
- Golfed with my dad.
- Got the brakes checked on my car (ya, this was loooong overdue....$600 estimate overdue)
- Enjoyed a Saturday morning at the farmers market.
- Went out on a Friday night and didn't worry about how many drinks I was having.
- Had a campfire after spending the day at "the farm" and grilling out with the fam.
- Caught up on filing the paperwork of life....the bill statements, the receipts, and other assorted fun stuff.
- Shopped for and bought a fancy-schmanz new camera and have attempted to learn how to use it.
- Played personal photographer and support crew for friends at a race, rather than racing.
- Finally took a load of stuff to Goodwill.
- Had a long dinner with some of my favorite girlfriends....the kind of dinner where you're not worried about what time you'd like to get home so you can get x hours of sleep, or where you have to be the next morning...so you can actually relax, enjoy the good company, and catch up in a way that's more than just "here's what I've been up to."
I'm sure there are many more that I'm not thinking of, but you get the picture. Could I have done these things while working and training full time....sure, if I didn't need to sleep and had a personal chef. But in reality, a lot of these things just got pushed to the back burner because time and energy were being diverted to all things triathlon.
Not to say that devoting your life to triathlon is bad. But its a choice. Its the unspoken requirement that you commit to when deciding to tackle something like a half Ironman. Eventually your life begins to revolve around your workout schedule because it has to or you won't be able to fit it all in. If you want to succeed, triathlon will rise to the top your prioritization list.
When I opted out of the race and deleted triathlon from my priority list (even if just temporarily), I kinda freaked out. I was relieved to not have to train in pain anymore, but if I wasn't doing triathlon what WAS I doing? In reality, this break has been a nice reminder of the things I wasn't doing.
In the future, I'm hoping triathlon can play nice and bounce around harmoniously with all the other things on my prioritization list, without having to always monopolize the top slot.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
At the moment I'm consumed with packing for a 10-day trip to Seattle. A trip that was supposed to be the celebration of 6 long months of training and another successful half Ironman.
Instead, I'm simply packing for vacation.
To make a long story short, my body gave out before I could reach the goal. Injuries got the best of me, both physically and mentally, and I threw in the towel four weeks from the big race.
I know, I know....four weeks. That's practically taper time. Why give up then? And I assure you I have bounced that question around in my brain enough to give myself quite a concussion over the whole ordeal.
In the end, I know that its the right decision for me long term. I would rather back off training now and have a shot at maintaining some manageable and sustainable training, than try to gut it out only to put myself completely out of commission for the rest of the year. The 'gut it out and pay later' option is what I've been using up 'til now and its not going so well. It usually means a mediocre and painful race followed by a brief (but not brief enough) period of complete and total inactivity. Then after sitting around like a slug long enough for the aches and pains to subside, I sign up for the next big, crazy goal and have to start from scratch. I end up pushing my body too much, too fast, and inevitably I've put myself on the road to another situation like the one I'm presented with right now.
I'm hoping the decision to drop out of this race will help me put an end to this painful cycle. But mentally....its hard not to feel like a big quitter.
Its been quite an emotional roller coaster these past few weeks. There was the initial relief of the decision, then a feeling of failure, then guilt, then acceptance, then back to failure.....at one point a few days ago I almost decided to go ahead and do the race, after three weeks of thinking I was backing out (and the workouts based on that....which means, none). Crazy.
And after a few weeks without a stupid-big goal on the horizon I freaked out and signed up for a 150 mile two-day bike ride and started pulling together a training plan for a fall half marathon. Double crazy.
But I needed to feel like I wasn't giving up on triathlon....giving up on workout goals....and just giving up, period.
I'm sure I'll be dragging my soggy backside out of another horrible open water swim again very soon. But in the meantime, I'm looking forward to a great trip to the northwest full of hiking, kayaking, lounging, and just enjoying the company of my various travel companions. Hopefully, I'll come back rejuvenated with a new "manageable and sustainable" training plan. (but I'll be happy with just some good pictures!)