November 21st. That is the last time I was bodymarked and had a race number. And that is the longest time in YEARS that I have gone this long without so much as a run race, a swim meet or some other timed adventure. But this winter has been different in other ways too....nursing my foot back to health (ahem, a 10.5 mile run in Tucson a couple of weeks ago!!), spending lots of time with my kiddos, enjoying the mountains and the abundance of powder days this winter. And slowly getting back into the bigger training weeks. Really, what's the rush when your "A" race is in October!
As is often the case, PIC Sonja and I were having our weekly errr daily therapy run session trying to figure out why we seem to be in a bit of a funk the last couple of days. What? A funk? How could that possibly happen? It's true, we like to match our funks too. We both have different ways of showing it but we also do some of the same things. Like not being fully prepared for a ride, for weather changes, food. Not having the right shoes or just forgetting the shoes, your favorite goggles or swimsuit. The lucky socks. Maybe not having the right attitude. Making poor decisions.
So I thought about it more as the day wore on.
I won't speak for Son, but here are a couple of my thoughts. It's funny, I have been doing this for a long time. "This" being training and racing. And I love it. That is why I do it! That is why I spend countless hours on my bike, running, and marinating in chlorine. And I almost hate to admit this......but I thought it would be easier by now. Not the actual training.....but getting ready for the training. It's almost like I feel I've paid my dues for Ironman training so I should wake up for a long training day and somehow, everything should come together pretty easy. As in, the right clothes and shoes should miraculously be packed in my car. My bike should somehow be clean (without me actually cleaning it) and in perfect working order without much, OK, NO effort on my behalf. My bottles should be made, nutrition packed. Basically, everything should be done so that I can wake up, eat, take care of my kiddos, and voila be workout-ready.
But after a partially failed workout yesterday, I have to take ownership of my own training. Ironman is not easy. Ironman training and prep is not easy. It is not supposed to be easy. If you want to succeed at it (the event and training), you have to be prepared to make good decisions for your training all the time. You have to "work" to be triathlete....and not just an Ironman - any distance triathlon training requires dedication and good decision-making. And this is the work that happens off of the bike, out of the pool and off the roads. What's the weather going to be like today? What could it be like in a couple of hours in the hills? Is it going to rain? Snow? Be 100 degrees? How many bottles will I need and what should I fill them with? Am I going to need arm warmers? Arm coolers? Leg warmers? Shoes and helmet? Pull buoy, paddles and tube? Sports bra and run shorts? Vest, long sleeved shirt, rain jacket, gloves, toe warmers, hat? Tubes, CO2 cartridges, sunscreen, phone, plastic baggies for said phone if it does in fact rain. Do I have my bike???? And the GARMIN!!!! (and yes, I have forgotten most of the items on this list at one point) I can't be dependent on anyone but myself to answer those questions. I mean it would be AWESOME to have my own personal training valet......but I'm not sure I would appreciate my hard work as much if I didn't have to make all those decisions!!!
Yes, I have had my wake-up call. But, my itty-bitty funk isn't all about gear/training readiness. I have not entered a single race (except for that 2.4 mile swim back in January....forgot about that one) since November. I am antsy. It is time for the first race of the season. I am kind of chomping at the bit to put on my new TYR Carbon kit and Hurricane wetsuit. I am ready to see just where I'm at. I know I am not totally fit. I'm not a lazy ass mind you but I'm not in tip-top shape. We'll wait till September/October for that. But, I'm pretty sure I can pull together a decent swim and bike. And, I am so excited to be running again and fingers-crossed, be running without any pain in a race. I'm looking forward to seeing peeps, friends and competitors that I haven't seen for months!
Because my "A" race (you know, the Ona-K one) isn't until October, up until this point, I haven't been all that excited for the season. But after a planning session with PIC, Chuckie, and MM Angela in Tucson, I started getting excited. My season is planned. 4 half-ironmans. A sprint!!!!! 2 Olympic distances. Possibly guiding a blind athlete or two in support of the CDifferent Foundation. And, I've noticed that I'm glued to the computer "watching" friends and my athletes compete in recent races, getting nervous for them, and feeling a bit of anticipation for my events.
So, it's time. Time for my 2011 season to begin. Wildflower is just a mere 16 days away. And realy, what better way to start a season than with a fun "event" like Wildflower.....8,000 athletes! Camping!! A completely new and different triathlon experience. 16 days!!