I started to write this post on Thursday, but just never got around to finish it. While this published, I should already be on the race course and then some.
Oh.... And this post is loooooong. Sorry, about that in advance.
My hubs decided to join me for today's race. It's going to be his first International (or Olympic whatever name you prefer) Distance Triathlon. It's also going to be his first open water experience (in a wetsuit) in a race. He talked about it for the longest and then finally bit the bullet last Monday to sign up for it. He has commitment issues when it comes to race registrations. On Wednesday, he headed out for a 25 mile bike ride and came back with some nasty road rash on his arm and a bruised hip... and ripped bike shorts and gloves. Looks like he got away with minor injuries and the bike is alright too! ;-)
I was thinking it and he said it out loud: "It seems like I always have to race injured in some way!"
He's right. For his first marathon (Thunderroad in 2009) he started training early, but didn't sign up until maybe 6 or 8 weeks before the race. Three days after registration, he ran into a box sitting on the ground and busted up his knee so bad, that proper training wasn't possible anymore. He went into his first marathon somewhat undertrained and the race was a disaster. His first triathlon of this year's season was just a week or two after his fall at the Paris Mtn trail race where he strained his back and if I would think a little longer about this, I am sure I would remember several other occasions where he toed the finish line in less than perfect health. But he's a trooper with a high pain tolerance and the will to compete.
That all made me think about my own racing (metaphorical) baggage.
I have tons of things floating in my head right now, when it comes to my athletic goals and it's not quite sorted out yet, so please excuse my rambling. Here goes nothing:
Today I am racing my first international distance of the season and according to my plan for this season, I have two more races with that distance lined up for the year. Leading up to the race, I didn't get excited, I didn't look forward to it... I don't neccessarily want to say that I was dreading race day, but it was close enough.
I don't think that I am a good competitor. I don't think that I have much of a will to compete in me. It's not realistic to place in bigger events and I know, I mostly compete with myself and my goals. But a lot of the time, I don't think I push enough. Okay, I take that back... I do push myself in the swim and on the bike, but I just flake out on the run. I am giving up on my runs before they even start.
While swimming and cycling come somewhat easily to me, I struggle running. Also, I don't see any improvements, which makes me struggle mentally even more. It also makes me question, if this is just it... If the paces that I run right now, is just as fast as my body will let me go. I don't know.
Part of me just wants to quit the running thing... There are tons of bike and swim races out there to keep me busy, so why even bother continue to run?
The other part of me remembers, how hard it was to get back into running shape (still slow for everyone else, but at least my usual paces) after months of minimal mileage during the preparation for Mt Mitchell. I don't want to experience that again either.
I am going round in circles.... Sorry, no big revelations to see here. I am still as clueless than I was when I started writing this post.
Hopefully, while you finish reading this long winded post, I will cross the finish line after a good run (for me)... A run that motivates me to keep on persuing this triathlon thing. A run that makes me realize, I made progress after all.
PS: I am not looking for pep talk, I know that I am lucky for basically never being injured *knock on wood*... I am just trying to get my mind back on board, because it really is my worst enemy.