When I signed up for my first ever triathlon at Bribie, I had just over four months until race day. This week, I have 8 weeks to go, so I am half way though my training.
In some respects, training thus far has gone better than anticipated: I thought that the pain when running would take the whole four months to resolve, so I am thrilled that I can now run quite comfortably.
So we should agree that Trying to be a Triathlete is so far a success… except, I am a spoiled rotten human and I can’t help but want MORE!
I didn’t even realise it until a friend who reads my blog mentioned at dinner last week that my training seems to be going well. And my immediate reaction was – didn’t you read the part where I can’t yet run a marathon, or swim three thousand metres in shark infested seawater, or ride a bike all day and all night non-stop?
So I shrugged, smiled and said ‘well I guess I could be doing worse.’ Because apparently, like most egotistical maniacs, my initial goal of simply completing the race to the best of my ability has developed into a goal of outdoing the best of my abilities in all facets of the sport of triathlon and then completing the race in that manner AND NOTHING LESS. In other words, I find myself putting extra pressure and expectations on myself than is really necessary.
This week in particular I have been a bit overwhelmed; yesterday I had a mini meltdown. Breaking my finger has slowed me down immensely and I have struggled to do simple things like tying my hair back and putting my shoes on tight enough to run in (I like to feel as though I have boa constrictors cutting off the circulation to my toes if possible)
Don’t even get me started on trying to put a sports bra on. The manufacturers of women’s sports wear could really do with spending some time with one-handed people. The hilarity kicks in when said sports bra is soaked in sweat and you have to get the damned thing off. Today I am working from home so I will be jumping in the shower with my sports bra still suckered to my flesh and I’ll just wear it all day. No visitors please.
These one-handed challenges were magnified by Doctor Bad News (name changed for privacy purposes) at the fracture clinic yesterday telling me I cannot get my new finger splint wet – ie no swimming. And this comes as my bike sits forlornly with a flat tyre I can’t change. And even if I could, I couldn’t ride it because I can’t grip the handlebar and I don’t know if I could change gears.
Furthermore, having run every day since Saturday my bones were a creaking, sore, aching mess and I could barely walk let alone run. Everything snow-balled into a much bigger issue than it really was and all I could see was a gigantic sign that read GIVE UP LAUREN YOU ARE A LOSER.
GIVE UP LAUREN YOU ARE A LOSER
I generally cope with being overwhelmed by utilising an approach I have dubbed Ruthless Cutting of the List. Because let’s face it, as long as I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboard and health in my body then any feelings of being overwhelmed are entirely fabricated by my first-world society over-expectations. In other words, I have simply added too many things to my List.
Some of the first things to get cut from my List when overwhelmed are doing the laundry, dusting and watching tv. Other things simply get modified – like, less make-up instead of full make-up, Chobani yoghurt for breakfast instead of making porridge, one type of vegetable with dinner instead of three. You know things are bad when dinner is something out of a tin and the soles of your shoes leave my house dirtier than they would ever be from walking outside.
This week, I take no prisoners. I’ve bought paper plates to save on washing up. We’ve lost the dog under the pile of laundry. If the vegetables aren’t cut into little pieces and frozen in packets that you steam in the microwave, we aint eating them. I’ve written Shane a beautiful love note in the dust that has collected on the coffee table. If anyone wants their clothes washed, they must wear them in the shower. Only one of these things is a joke.
As far as training goes, I learned many years ago that the most important thing when sick or injured is to maintain your habits and routines wherever possible. It doesn’t matter if all you do is put your gym clothes on, go to the gym and walk around chatting to your friends for half an hour. Because the next day when you feel better you don’t have to ask yourself whether you’re going to the gym or not – of course you’re going, you always go. Incidentally, the likelihood of you turning up at the gym and just walking around chatting for half an hour are slim-to-none. If you’re there, you generally do something and doing something is better than nothing so all of a sudden you are a warrior and a champion who laughs in the face of headaches etc. Yes!
So I walked the dog this morning for an hour, and that has nothing to do with training for a triathlon but my hips complained the whole way around and my finger stayed dry. IE it wasn’t too bad and it served a purpose.
Tomorrow I will try to do better; I think I can remove my finger splint and go for a swim without it on, reattaching it afterwards. Shane took my bike to 99 Bikes (the shop) so that they could change my flat tyre for me. So I could at least try to ride my bike and see if I can change gears or brake well enough to go around the block a couple of times.
If nothing else, I will walk the dog again and throw in a couple of hundred-metre sprints to get the heart pumping.
Am I on track for Bribie? Well I am on a journey a bit like a track, and I am making my way along it. So… yes?
In an ideal world, is this the position I want to be in? Well, no because I would like to be an Olympic athlete.
Is there actually any kind of problem though? No. Everything is fine and I am doing OK.
Things I am pleased about so far:
- I have not sabotaged myself
- I haven’t backed away from the challenge
- I have maintained a good/healthy/enjoyable balance between triathlon and real life
- I feel mentally prepared for more training and a race or two
- I have had fun
Things I am not pleased about so far:
- Lack of consistency in the pool
- Breaking my finger in the pool
- Getting a flat tyre on my first ever long ride
- Not hitting 7km on a run yet.
- Not practicing transitions enough before I broke my finger
8 weeks to go to Triathlon number 1 – bring it on, I say!