After two glorious weeks of mostly fun and relaxation interspersed by minimal amounts of triathlon training over Christmas, it was then gloriously fun although not at all relaxing to get back into my proper triathlon training this week. I guess when you find training that you love, it’s easy to look forward to it and enjoy it, especially after a well-earned holiday.
January is a tough month for those of us with nothing but first-world problems to contend with. Faced with 12 months to struggle through until we can have more pavlova and drink beer every lunch time again, it feels like we’ve got to run a work ultra-marathon 12 times over before we can even dream of having more fun.
The reality of over-spending has sunk in. My two precious weeks of holiday that I didn’t even want to take (but was rudely forced to) have flown by. And worst of all I have got to go to bed at a reasonable time and stop taking naps in the middle of the afternoon. I miss my late-night ‘Scandal’ marathons (For goondess’ sake Olivia, FORGET FITZ!!)
But the joy of getting back into my training routine makes it bearable, especially because the stark contrast between ‘starting back’ and my original ‘start from scratch‘ is even more emphasised this week. Because everything kind of feels like I am starting from scratch, except to my surprise I can actually do triathlon-style stuff and it turns out I’d forgotten how good I’ve become (in comparison to where I started)
I have reveled in getting up before the sun rises again, and I know deep down that Christmas is only as super fun as it is because it comes once a year, for a limited time only. I do not wish it could be Christmas every day, Slade. I would actually turn into the drunk fat woman that hides inside me.
So I began this week with an uphill slog of 5km on the elliptical machine which was my way of making sure that when I can run again (when my newly developed hip pain has been fixed) I’ll be able to run a 5km fast-ish and on mountainous track. The Bribie tri is only 3km on flat roads, so I’ll be sorted there hopefully.
On Tuesday I did a casual 1500 metre swim in the pool because, you know, I can swim. Suck it, Triathlon Gods. I am hoping that 1500 metres is good enough to get me through the Bribie 300m ocean swim, but another practice session with waves and sharks before the big day is an absolute must. I’ve actually planned to do this on my Birthday as a treat (31st January) so stay tuned for that.
Then yesterday I did a 49km bike ride that had my legs screaming for a break (particularly as I had foolishly incorporated 10 sets of weighted squats into my leg workout on Monday night, what an idiot) but it was officially the longest distance I have cycled non-stop so far. I’m thinking of doing the Redcliffe ride this Sunday (70km round trip) so stay tuned for that too.
I would like to think 49km means I’m all set for the 6km Bribie bike leg, but it is actually the transition between biking and running that has me concerned because I am crap at it and tend to get off the bike and run like I have pooped my pants and then stuck pogo sticks under each shoe. I have not been able to practice my mash-ups as much as I had hoped. There is still time.
Overall, my comeback is a success so far and I am confident that with 30 days to go, I’ll be a competitor at Bribie. That’s the first time I’ve written that. I don’t tell people I am going to compete in a triathlon – I have been saying things like ‘I have signed up for a triathlon’ or at best, ‘I am going to take part in the Bribie Triathlon’.
I’ll be a competitor at Bribie
It only recently dawned on me that ‘to compete’ is what I have been striving for. I knew when I first signed up that I could stumble across the Bribie Island Triathlon Short Course finish line somehow or another without changing my training. It would have involved lots of breast stroke and riding a borrowed mountain bike and running in agony, but I could have done it. Except I wanted to be a competitor, I just didn’t know it.
I’ve admitted to being quite competitive on this blog before. But usually I am competitive secretly. You don’t even notice I’m doing it and I certainly wouldn’t admit to it.
At the supermarket, I win if I have healthier food in my trolley than you do. If you get on the treadmill next to me and I don’t know you, you’d better believe I am secretly ensuring I am going faster and further than you. When I mow my lawn on a Sunday before my neighbour has cut his, it’s all I can do to stop myself from yelling over the fence ‘I won this week, you loser!!’
I am a salesperson at work for goodness sake – if you can’t picture it, my day job basically revolves around beating all my coworkers and competitors to sell people stuff.
But being competitive is not the same as being a competitor. You can be competitive secretly. To be a competitor is to have thrown your hat into the ring – to have nominated yourself as being in with a shot. You think you’re in the mix, in the race. Being a competitor means you have publicly announced that you are going to be competitive. You great big egotistical tart, you.
So to say that I am going to ‘compete’ in a triathlon, or multiple triathlons, to me is a bit scary. It means that I am hoping to give someone else in the field a run for their money. It means I have no intention of coming last. That’s not a guarantee that I wont come last, because let’s face it I can’t guarantee anything at this stage, not even that my tri suit still fits me after all my pavlovas. But I have no intention of coming last – I’m officially announcing that I am out there to compete.
Of course, I am well aware that people all over the world are doing much harder, scarier, braver things than a triathlon right now. But after all my training, I was starting to underestimate the courage it has taken for little old me to get this far. This is the bravest thing I am doing right now and it is scary to admit that I don’t ‘just want to finish’. But there I’ve written it and you all may think I am crazy and getting wound up over nothing but jeez I am frightened of what I have written!
Come on, me!