Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's better to burn out than fade away?

I think I am officially burnt out on training. There is not much on my schedule right now. That should make me happy. So why am I tired all the time and lacking motivation? After meeting with my coach I decided to change my Stump Jump 50K race to the 11 miler. This was to give me more time to recover and concentrate on a 50K in January. I then quickly added the Mystery Mountain 12 miler onto my schedule because I miss my GUTS friends and mostly because I am stupid. Now October is crazy! 

Oct 6 - Stump Jump 11 miler
Oct 13 - work and Tap n' Run 4K (probably a bad idea but looks fun)
Oct 14 - Mystery Mountain 12 miler
Oct 20 - B2B swim leg of Ironman Relay
Oct 27 - Tech Homecoming
Nov 3 - IM Florida (supporting)

Seriously, why do I do these things??? I feel like I have made no progress on the mile long "to do" list I have compiled. I have let a LOT of things slide in the last 6 months and now I am manic about not having anything done and simultaneously tired and slug-like. Not a happy place for me. So, what have I been doing the past 4 weeks?

First I was sick. I had a cold that kicked my ass for about 48 hours right after Louisville. On top of that I had a mole removed from the bottom of my foot that made walking painful for a few days. Thankfully the biopsy came back negative. There has been some progress made around the house - pansies and fall flowers planted, minor cleaning, straightening up and organizing and tri gear cleaned and organized. I have completed 15 hours of continuing education toward renewing my USAT coaching certification. A CPR class is all that is left to do toward checking that off the list. I still have some major cleaning to do around the house. A giant purge is on the horizon. We just accumulate too much stuff and my OCD and anti-hoarder mania is about to hit high gear. My gardens need a major clean up but some of that might have to wait until fall really kicks in and stuff starts to die back.

There also has been some much needed down time and quite a few trail runs and short bike rides. Problem is that once I get a run or bike done all I want to do is nap. That is not normal and is a huge waste of the weekend. I am able to do my workouts (yes I still have workouts on my schedule) but they seem to kick my ass. Swimming has been the worst. After 30-45 minutes in the pool I have had enough. Hopefully, I am turning a corner and physically my recovery is about complete. The biggest obstacle right now is mentally I am checked out. The big race is over and its hard to get too fired up over a swim or a short trail race. I know I can do them even though I might suffer a little bit but in a way its a bad thing because it makes training for them hard. I will come right out and say it....I kind of don't care right now.

So, here I am burnt out. I look at my 9 (yes, 9!) workouts for the week and I say really? why bother? I don't want to feel that way. I have been less than compliant these past few weeks but I have tried. I feel resentful toward the workouts thinking I could be chipping away at that "to do list", or playing with my dog or maybe spending time with my husband. That all sounds good except John just started doing Crossfit. So now he is getting up early and going to the gym and or going after work and we still seem to be working at separate purposes. He has multiple long distance trail runs on his schedule and an Ironman next year. I guess this is another thing I need to figure out since my plan is to do 2 half Ironmans after my 50K and possibly a 50 miler/100K in the spring. Finding that balance is going to take some work.

Speaking of cross fit, I would like to try it too but finding time to work that in amongst an already packed schedule seems difficult at best. I thought I would have all this free time after Ironman. I also planned to try Paleo. I think I am actually eating worse post Ironman. A lot of things need to be worked out in the next couple of months. For now, I just need to find that spark to re-light that fire....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where do we go from here? Go ask Alice

It's been a long journey from my first triathlon (Iron Girl 2008) to Ironman Louisville in 2012. Clip in pedals were a new and scary thing for me. I was just learning how to really swim and the longest run I had done since my sad performance at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001 was a 14 miler the fall before.  I was training for the Baltimore marathon when I got hurt and couldn't run all winter long. Triathlon was a means to cross train and help heal my mysterious leg pain. It worked and it also helped cross something off my bucket list. It also started me on the path to the insanity that has been my life the last 3 years.

I was reminded of the perfect description of my journey when I drank a Magic Hat #9 to celebrate 9/9.

Magic Hat #9 in a can has the basic instructions of "Drink Me". One of my favorite books is Alice in Wonderland and my triathlon journey was akin to falling down the rabbit hole. I have been falling and chasing that damn rabbit since August 2009 and I finally made my way back home. Here's another great quote from Alice:

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop

 Now that I have come to the end, what do I do next? There are no plans for an Ironman in 2013 (under penalty of death by my coach). I honestly don't want to do one so I am completely fine with that. There has been a little peer pressure going on since a lot of my friends (and husband) have already signed up for Mont Treblant. There is also a group planning on signing up for Florida in November. Neither interest me but I might have been persuaded to do Florida if enough people were on board. It's all about the shared misery. The latest craze is the Little Rock Marathon since they give out huge finishers medals. By huge I mean Flav a Flav would be jealous. If you don't know who that it is then google it. Public Ememy's "Fear of a Black Planet" is an awesome album but I digress. I have no real desire to do a road marathon but again I might get sucked in by peer pressure.

Right now what is on my race schedule is the swim leg of an Ironman Relay at Beach to Battleship (Team 3 non-blondes) and Stump Jump 50K on October 6th. I did this race last year and loved it. Absolutely stunning scenery and Rock Creek puts on a good show. I PR'd last year so I hope to do the same or better this year. The next race was to be Bartram 100s in December. The race has yet to open for registration and word is that it's cancelled. I was hoping to go for my longest distance ever at that race - 100K. So now what? I can wait until March and try to do a 50 miler or 100K at GUTS' Operation Endurance. Or I can try and find another similar type race that is sooner. Long term goals include a 100 miler one day. Its to become the new "white rabbit" after the 50 miler and 100K dragons are slain.

What about triathlon? I am planning on at least 2 half iron distance races next year but which ones? A return to Mountain Madness? More like Escape from Witch Mountain (something else you might need to google). Never again I told race director Chris Green but I might change my mind. Maybe some Olympic distances? 2013 is all about getting stronger and faster. The plans are to meet with my coach this week and do a post mortem on Ironman Louisville and see what makes the most sense for the future. For now I have made a list of races I would like to do someday and things I think are bucket list items - either super crazy or super hard or both.

Races I would like to do: Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Coeur D'Alene (score to settle?), Ironman Wisconsin (score to settle?), Chesapeakeman (maybe?), St Croix 70.3, Ireland 70.3, Eagleman 70.3, Vineman 70.3, Timberman 70.3, Eugene Marathon or Half (Pre lives! - I just want to run onto Hayward Field), Pine Mountain 40 (score to settle?), Fuego Y Agua Ultra,  a 50 miler, and/or a 100K

Bucket List races: 100 miler (Umstead?), Hood to Coast, Rim to Rim - Grand Canyon, OtillO - a crazy swedish swim and trail run, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

I will let you know what gets decided. For now here are 2 of my favorite Alices