Saturday, September 13, 2008

Closing Out the Season

This isn't how I wanted my season to end. Injured. Demoralized. Burnt out.

But I've missed the last two races I wanted to do because I waited to the last minute to sign up. I didn't want to commit and then decide to bail at the last second, so I planned (instead) to sign up at the last second. But triathlons are becoming more and more popular in this part of the country, I guess, and both of those races ended up sold out.

The important part, though, is that my hesitance to commit to these races tells me that I probably don't even want to do them. And probably shouldn't do them. And should probably just close out the season already so that I can get excited about my life again (although I don't think my dismal attitude is entirely the fault of triathlon; I've got a lot of irons in the fire right now).

I have two more events: the Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon in Texas, which is mostly an excuse to roadtrip with a few friends, and the Tulsa Half-Marathon (which was going to be a marathon, but with this pain in my ass, there's no way I'm going to be able to build up to sufficient volume without doing some long-term damage). I might also throw in a little triathlon at Lake Afton for next week, just to see what I can do.

But honestly? I'm not planning to work too hard for any of these races. I'm well past my peak fitness. I'm well past my priority A events. I'm well past my patience for this sport. And it's time to back off, before I end up hating it.

Which means it's time to think cross-training. Which is actually very exciting.

First of all (believe it or not), I have actually been enjoying time on the elliptical trainer. I know. I know. It's insane. I've always hated the elliptical machine with a fiery passion that burns deep in my stomach. It's boring. You don't go anywhere. It's not running, biking, or swimming.

Come to think of it, that's probably why I enjoy it so much, right now. Plus, I can read a book while I'm on it.

I also got to go to the Kansas Cliff Club this weekend (on a date that was not a date . . . oh man, don't even get me started on that little escapade), and did a little bit of climbing. I forgot how much I enjoy climbing, what a great workout it is, and that I'm actually pretty good at it. So this triathlete is seriously considering sacrificing her plans of Masters Swimming for a membership to the Cliff Club, at least for the fall/winter.

Also? Yoga. Jamie loves yoga. Jamie would like to learn to teach yoga. It's quite appropriate to the laid-back (read: pot-smoking) side of her personality. So I'm loading up on the yoga classes and discussing with a friend the possibility of one-on-one yoga practice.

But it's hard to let go of the sport that I love and for which I've worked so hard, even for just a little while.


  1. Oh boy! I can so relate! I burnt myself out in a big way earlier this summer with 4 tris and the marathon. I didn't want to do ANYTHING this summer. I didn't go on any long bike rides like I did last summer, no long runs. Nothing. And you know what? Today I got in the pool, after watching your quick-catch drill again, and shaved a solid minute off my swim time. I've got the bug again. I'm glad I took time off and now I'm ready to have at it! I'm going to concentrate on swimming and get a respectable time going there instead of being last out of the pool.

    And yoga? You would be so good at yoga! I can't wait to get some yoga podcasts from you!

  2. Burnout SUCKS. Avoid it like the horrible, slimy disease that it is. You need to take time away to get better. It sounds like your body and mind are NOT down for offseason training. So go, smoke some pot, climb some rocks, do some yoga, whatever you gotta do so that when/if you come back to triathlon you love it again.

    But for heaven's sake, step AWAY from the elliptical trainer!!!

  3. I second Speed Racer. Get away from that elliptical. It is evil.

    I do totally understand the whole mental exhaustion thing. Just like how swimming/biking/running go through cycles in a training plan, you've gotta give your brain a rest too. Training is its own endurance event!

    Now go toke up, get yourself a new (better) date and relax a bit. It'll all come back in due time.

  4. Thanks, guys. Clearly, it's time to call my totally underused dealer.

    Lisa, I can't WAIT to do a yoga podcast. I'm going to be pretty close to that with my next "Stop Slouching" article, I think.

    And also, what's so bad about the elliptical? Besides the fact that it sucks and is boring (even more so than running)?