I had the best complement this week. A friend and regular cycling class attendee said I look like I have my mojo back. I appreciated it – because that’s how I feel. I feel strong and like the upswing is finally nearing the top after my accident…which is why this weekend makes me sad.
It’s the Boulder Ironman and was to be my second appearance at this race. I hoped to better my time of 13:29 from last year…now I’m cheering from the side lines as the injury cut training time and has me off a bike as long as I’m on blood thinners.
The family and I are headed up to Boulder this evening to take advantage of my hotel reservation and to support all the athletes, especially friends, who are competing in the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run. A feat of incredible endurance for sure and one that I’m definitely not in shape for, but sad that I’m not part of too.
Oh, I definitely realize this race will be there next year and for other years too; after this weekend – it’ll be but a memory for me and even the participants. I also recognize that things happen for a reason and it’s OK in the long run that I’m sitting this one out – but it’s also OK to be a little sad.
On the bright side, backing off training has given me incredible gifts:
1) A daily walk with my 9-year-old son during which I learn more than I could when we’re in the house around electronics. Triathlons will be there forever – he’ll grow up.
2) A body that appreciates movement, rather than dreads every run, swim and class. I look forward to every exercise now – instead of looking at them as a chore. THIS is why I started all this madness to begin with.
3) A better mood. As you encroach on overtraining, your mind is fatigued and constant soreness wears on you. Now that the stress of “having” to get a workout in is gone, I feel freer and less overwhelmed.
4) A freer schedule. In addition to not training as vehemently, I stepped down from a position that I found to be mentally draining – realizing that life is too short. I couldn’t be happier. I had wanted to make the change for a while, but had no real reason – my accident made me realize I didn’t need one.
So, will I go back to training next year? Most likely. As of tomorrow – I’ll have one year to get my body ready. I can’t resist a good challenge, but I’ll also do it with a refined perspective. Training will be different. I may just ditch the spreadsheets and wing it – I know, crazy…but empowering.
Of course, I can’t resist making a challenge. I’ve got a 30,000 step goal each day this weekend – 50% higher than my usual. I’m off for a long run to start that tally.