Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Head games

Thank you for all your kudos and comments on the duathlon.  I think I was feeling pretty negative about it for a number of reasons.  First and foremost was that I just didn't expect it to be so hard.  I mean, I've done those distances before.  I had done some practice workouts in the weekends leading up to it that didn't suck so badly.  I really thought it would just be a fun time.  And it was a real hit to the ego to be suffering pretty early on.  Yes, the conditions were less than ideal, but I really don't think that was what did me in.  I think if it had been as hot as the weather we'd been having, I would have suffered much more.

Don't get me wrong, I never doubted finishing - but I was hurting a lot more than I thought I should be.  I've tried breaking it down a bit, but the only thing I can think of was that I pushed my pace more than I do during training because I didn't want to be DFL (though I was close).  Coming off the bike was brutal so I definitely need to do some more hard bike rides followed by some running.  I know I've been slacking on my swimming so I will need to amp that up too (which is just really a side note - not related to the du). 

My ego hit has also made me start doubting the idea of finishing an Oly this year.  Before the race, I was like "I've swam 1500 m before - no biggie" and "I've biked 18-19 miles before without feeling like it was that hard - could surely add 5-7 more" and "I've jogged/walked 8.4 mi before - 6.2 shouldn't be that bad".  But what became absolutely apparent on Saturday is that putting it all together will be a super challenge.  Yes, I can train harder and get to the point where I can finish.  But what am I going to do with my training to really "get there"?  And can I stomach being last again?  It is really demoralizing to me.  That said, I'm still thinking about it.  The two front runners (though if I got to the point where I really felt I could, I might try both) are the Lake St. Louis tri on 8/25 and the Redman OKC tri on 9/23 (part of Club Championships so tri club would partially sponsor my travel).  But am I crazy to aim this high?  Both races also offer sprints.

Regardless, I'm signed up for the Pewaukee sprint the weekend after the 4th of July (and my kids are doing their races again).  And I'll likely redo the Show Me Games sprint 2 weeks later (and see if I can avoid the DFL this year).  I'd like to find a tri that made sense to do before July and then make the solid decision (ie. sign up!) for something later in the season.  No matter what I feel like I need to be following some kind of plan because I am flying a bit too much by the seat of my pants and maybe that is what did me in at the du.

In the end, I'm just doing a lot of thinking right now.  I'm not in the best of head space so maybe I just need to sit on this for a little bit.  Another week and maybe my head will be clearer.  I tried to go on a walk/jog with Stacy last night.  I wasn't up for much running though I keep up with her fast walk better than I used to.  We did a couple miles, but it was more social than workout.


  1. I've been DFL before and in fact they had taken away the finishing line even though I was well within the cutoff. It might happen again. So what? You aren't racing against other people, you're racing against you. The you that once could never even have thought of doing an Oly. The you that whispers in your ear that you can't. The you that worries about being last.

    It is hard to do all three events one right after the other. Don't dwell too much on your race. There might have been a nutritional issue, or it just might have been one of those days you weren't quite with it. They happen in training, and they happen on race day.

    If your goal is to do an Oly, then I'd sign up for one of the ones mentioned. Lots of training time between now and then. If you wait till you KNOW you can do it, then you won't feel as much of a sense of accomplishment. The best way to learn to do something is to try to do it. The first one is always the hardest.

    If your home life lets you, take a good chunk of a day, and do an Oly from your home. Do the swim at the usual pool. In an ideal world you'd have your bike at the pool. Change, get on bike, have a buddy take the car home with all the swim stuff. Ride a 40 K route from the pool to home. Change, then run 10 K. The key here is not to rush the transition like in a race. Take the time to eat a bit, drink, stretch, and prepare mentally for the next leg.

  2. I'm sorry you had a rough day at your du. Don't beat yourself up--think of the millions of people still sitting on their couches, not even daring to try something like that.

    So I think you should shoot for the Sept. Oly, with a couple of sprints beforehand to boost your confidence. You can do this!

  3. First, you must do Redman because I want to meet ya!

    Second, you can do whatever you set your mind to doing. I believe in you 100%. Don't doubt yourself now because its too early in the season. Follow the great advice provided by Keith. And you can email me anytime either for advice, motivation or just to bitch. I will be your virtual partner if you want. I will do whatever I can to help you meet your goals!

    Third, let's do this girlie!

  4. You've done the distances, so you know you can do it. Between now and your chosen race work on putting it all together. As far as the mental aspect, remember the saying goes, "if you think you can, you're right."

  5. Like the advice, "don't make any decisions on an uphill" a caveat should be "don't make any decisions while still stinging from a tough race".

    I'm with Keith...if you want to do an Oly, do an Oly. Look at yourself...you're saying "I know I could get to the point where I could finish". A year ago, what were you doing? Had you even STARTED? Look at all the awesome stuff you're doing now. THAT is what matters.

    I think there's a sprint/oly in Carlyle IL in May that's supposed to be pretty well done. It would be a bit of a haul for you...3.5-4 hrs?

  6. Who are you competing against? I think you are winning.

  7. You can do an Oly for sure, but it might be rough. Before my first sprint, I thought I would do one or two sprints then move to Olys. My second sprint was so hot and humid I couldn't imagine doing an Oly in the heat until I was in better shape. I ended up doing five sprints my first year then getting injured. I'm kind of a puss though :-). You'll have to decide where you are on the scale between me and SuperKate. BTW, Lake St. Louis sells out fairly fast.

    I agree with you that a plan would be a good idea. Check out the free ones at beginnertriathlete.com.

    Regarding your comment on my blog, my first race is a sprint in 5 weeks in Effingham, IL and my second is an Oly the week after in Carlyle, IL.

  8. You could do an Oly. Would you want to do one tomorrow? Probably not. But, you'll train towards it, and by the time you get there, you'll feel stronger and more confident. Take a risk. Of course you can do sprints. But, don't play it so safe.

  9. A structured training plan will probably help a great deal. Maybe do more bricks. Doing an Oly is definitely within your reach. It is a matter of training up to it and doing it when your ready.

  10. Breath deep; let it out; relax. It was one event and that one event does not define you. On any given day, anything can happen, and since we are all human it's hard to explain why our bodies did or did not respond. Rarely do we have that perfect day when all the stars align. It is a tribute to your perseverence that you got through it. OK, we're done here. Get out there and conquer!