Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Uninspired Triathlete is Hoping For a Little More Inspiration Next Year

It's Christmas Day, and I am sitting here writing this with my laptop balanced on my bloated stomach. I have been eating massive amounts of food for the past four days at my mom's house, and still have two more days of overeating to go. This seems like an appropriate time to admit that I have been uninspired for, oh, at least the past four months since Pikes Peak. Really since before then. Training for Pikes Peak was miserable and I never enjoyed it. Going back before Pikes Peak, Boston was a disappointment too. I've spent hundreds of dollars on swimming lessons and have improved my technique but have somehow actually worsened my times. I don't know how that's possible but that's what happened. I'm riding my bike for fun and for commuting but couldn't possibly stretch that and say I'm training on the bike. I haven't blogged because it gets tiring for me to write (and boring for you to read) the same thing over and over again: "I hate this and I suck at it. I hate this and I suck at it."

Tim and I broke up in November. Following my previous break-up, I lost 20 pounds and worked like a demon to qualify for Boston, and did it! I was hoping for some other spectacular athletic achievement to follow this break-up, as a sort of compensation for the suckiness of any break-up, even a clean one, but nothing of the kind happened. Maybe we were just too civil to each other, or there just wasn't enough drama, or something, but for whatever reason, I didn't find myself with an excess of emotion that needed to be dumped into training or would otherwise manifest in a nervous breakdown. Instead I got another puppy and rediscovered my love of writing (which, like dog training and triathlon training, is permanent but goes in cycles). It's hard to be a writer, dog trainer, and good triathlete all at the same time. I find that I can manage two out of the three pretty well but never all three, and lately triathlon has been the one that has gotten cut out.

I'm really hoping I'm better in the new year. I have my first 50-mile race ever in March, which means I'll be spending a lot of time with TTR out on the (cold, maybe snowy) trails this winter. I am lucky enough to live very close to the Starr Pass trail network, so I really have no excuse for not running out there between TTR runs. And then, too, I absolutely have to lose weight. I know I am too fat for running -- well, for one thing because I can feel it while I'm out there feeling like 9:00 pace is killing me, but also because when I came home my mom said I look great. She normally says I look scrawny. Her "great" is my "fat"; her "scrawny" is my "fit". I don't have to be Boston-skinny (though it would be really, really nice to requalify at Grandma's Marathon in June... what do you say, Jolene?), but really, 10 pounds is not too much to lose and is totally doable once I get back to Tucson and out of Mom's house.

Part of my plan is to train less for triathlon and do more running. I want to be somewhere between 50 and 60 miles a week, along with bike commuting four out of five days a week (now that the puppy can go all day without being let out), one long ride per week (60 miles or more), and swimming two or three nights a week. For some reason I abruptly began dreading the pool last month -- I don't know why, but suspect it was a combination of the arrival of winter and the knowledge that if I kept taking lessons my intervals were going to get harder and harder and more and more uncomfortable. I haven't been in the pool for at least two months. I promise to change that when 2012 arrives!

On that note, I plan to enjoy the next two days of endless food here at Mom's house. I've actually been running more miles here than I have at any time in the recent past -- 11 on Thursday, 13 on Friday, 8 today (but a tough 8). I feel pretty good aside from being fat and slow. Next year will be a better year, I hope...

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