Just like Jack Nicholson peeking out from behind the shower curtain. I am back. And moving forward.
It has been a very strange year. I look back on my last post and I can’t believe I haven’t written in so long. I can’t believe I completed the TTT. I did the Irongirl relay with my awesome daughter. I also can’t believe I just swam and biked this past week for the first time in 7 months. Yes, you read that right. MONTHS. It has been a very strange year.
Triple T was an incredible race. I look back now on that race with fondness. I would recommend that race to any triathlete. But the months leading up to it, and the months following it, I would not.
You might have read about my lack of
motivation focus after Ironman in this post. This year seems to be the same. Coupled with a lot of eating (weight gain) and crappy weather all spring, there was not much going on in the motivation department. Finally one of my training partners, and a fellow TTTer, knocked some sense into me and took me on a death march, aka, bike ride. The first bike ride outside since Ironman, in the wind, 56 miles.
I was feeling pretty badass at the start of this ride. I am an Ironman! But by the end I was in complete meltdown mode. I had never experienced a bonk. I stopped and took out my phone to call for a ride. I never want to experience that again. I was literally talked through riding the last 10 miles by my two buds.
The rest of training really wasn’t any better. The three of us laughed a lot about how we were in the worst shape to do this race, and even though I was sort of joking, I started to believe it!
I will give a race report in another post, but suffice it to say that I was going to quit triathlon after that race. The course itself was hard as I outlined here, but the mental game was even harder.
Of course I couldn’t stay away from triathlon. Silly girl! Moving forward, I signed up for what would turn out to be my favorite race ever.
A 70 mile race in my backyard and training grounds to benefit young adults with cancer. So inspiring. Loved it. And a PR for me.
And then I went into a backslide again. Twins going into middle school. Twins involved in a lot of activities. Hormonal twins. And my own job in education going through a time of radical change with curriculum and teacher evaluation. This all led me to believe that now would be a good time to take a break from tri.
So I did. I loved sleeping in. I had so much time to pay attention to my family, talk with my husband, go grocery shopping, do the laundry, read! I went to dinner with friends. I actually answered emails in a timely manner! I had all of the Christmas presents wrapped before Christmas Eve! I was able to spend time with Zachary, who had come home with hospice. It was wonderful!
But of course I was missing the training, as you know, I love more than actual racing. Still, I wasn’t ready to commit to training for three sports when I was loving all of this extra time to be the devoted mother and wife I was always meant to be (insert heavy sarcasm here).
What’s a girl to do? What else? Sign up for a marathon! Running doesn’t take a lot of time right? You just throw on your shoes and out the door you go! Long runs? ‘If I get up early enough I’ll be back before the kids get up’ I told myself. And this marathon I was doing with my racing BFF Nancy! And look at the elevation profile! EASY. Maybe I can qualify for Boston! Oh yes!
Those lines that look like the Batman mask are just 110 feet rise in elevation. I got a training plan from Runner’s World that put my race time at 3:30.
Little did I know that Maryland would have the snowiest winter on record. Many, many, many days on the dreadmill. Many, many, many days running outside jumping over ice puddles and snow drifts. Many, many, many cold, cold, cold, runs.
I’ll have to do a race report on that race too. Or maybe you just know that I did not qualify for Boston. Shocker, I know. That I did the first 18 miles in under 3 hours, and the last 8 miles in 2 hours. Oh, and I effed up my knee. Yeah, that’s awesome (again with the sarcasm).
Four days before the race, as I was running on the treadmill once again, my knee swelled after my run. It wasn’t painful, and I stayed off of it for the rest of the week. On race day it was still swollen, but not painful, and I did the marathon anyway. By the end it was really swollen but still no pain.
I laid off the knee for a week, and still it was swollen. Now, I have NEVER been injured, so this was all new to me. I figured if I stop doing what made the knee swell, the swelling would go away. That’s why I am a teacher and not a doctor. The swelling didn’t go away. I won’t recount for you all of the
money and time I spent wonderful appointments and procedures to figure out what was going on, but nothing says O-L-D like getting your knee drained and a cortisone shot.
Those procedures worked on my knee, but not on my motivation. I had no races on the books, and it had been 6 months that I had not swam or biked. What was going to snap me out of this? Another race! Another running race! I became a part of a relay team for the American Odyssey Relay Team “We Call this a Vacation?”
I was glad I had the opportunity to experience a relay race. I’ll have to do a race report on this one too.
Still, no moto. I thought maybe I would try something different. My friend Michelle and I started meeting for Body Pump and yoga 3 days a week. I loved the stretching, but something was still missing.
So I sought council from a few tri friends, started to set my alarm earlier, looked up a training plan, and got back to business. These past two weeks have been fantastic- back outside on a bike (Maryland FINALLY is having spring), and to the pool 3 times now. I am signed up for a short sprint tri next weekend with my tribuddy Nancy and her husband Ron. I have zero expectations except to finish. I am trying not to get down about the fitness l have lost, thank God for muscle memory.
What I have learned through this past year is this: I am MUCH happier when I am swimming, biking, and running. Suck it up sister, you are a TRIATHLETE!
(I just finished reading some earlier posts from the start and end of my race seasons they read exactly like this one. At least I am consistent. So sad I can’t break the cycle LOL!)