I won a triathlon today!!!
Alright... it was a relay.
And I just did the swim.
And I think the results are wrong.
...The splits look a little dodgy... Otherwise I'd have full faith in my team's ability to beat the power team of Brent McMahon on the bike & Lucy Smith on the run!
It was a very impulsive decision on my part yesterday. I was just visiting with the Aquasphere & ProCity tents at the Shawnigan Lake pre-race expo when the Lifesport crew asked if Alex or I could swim for a team lacking a swimmer. I was all excited to be at a race site, and apparently that shut off my brain, because I jumped on it. I would have felt really bad if a team couldn't do their race simply because they didn't have someone who would swim 1.9k for them!
Afterwards I remembered that I was signed up to volunteer at the Oak Bay half marathon the next morning, and that my arms were so trashed from our big swim volume week that I'd had to use spinny arms to make it through practices, and that I'd had this spasm in back/neck while blow-drying my hair so I couldn't really turn my head, and that Sundays are my only sleep in and off-swimming day of the week, and that I'd have to get up in the 5s!!!!!
So for a bit, I felt like the stupidest person I know.
Luckily Austin took over my position to help out at the half-marathon! I feel super bad about that. He couldn't breath with my volunteer T-shirt on. Coach Alan gave me a pep talk on getting up in the 5's, so I felt better about that too... and to be honest it was too early for me to feel tired. I give thanks every day for not having to train super early anymore, and I have huge respect for those that do it. I couldn't! I also give thanks every day for not being a competitive swimmer, but that is another story.
It was super great to be back 'racing' again, so maybe I'm not the stupidest person I know. The swim itself went well enough. I didn't really have any oomph, so I just cruised along with Tenille Hoogland. We would take completely different lines, and get really far apart on the straights, but we always seemed to hit the turns at the same time, so eventually I just tucked in behind her. I told myself "All you are doing is the swim. Tenille's doing the whole half-ironman! Try harder!" However I never seemed to get going much faster, despite the increased efforts. Tenille is legit though, so I didn't mind that she was the one towing me around the lake. It was really fun! It was fun swimming with Tenille and getting a big gap on all the boys. Going to get a coffee while everyone else continued on with the bike and run really wasn't so bad either.
These local races really bring back the joy of the sport for me. My favourite people are all the hot-shots who come out without fancy gear or much training, but have so much fun! You know they'll own the not being able to walk the next day part too.
I like that. Sometimes you get so caught up in the desperation of fighting for your goals and overcoming challenges that you just have to take a chill pill and stop taking yourself so seriously before you give yourself overtraining syndrome! Oh wait... I've done that.
See, I do learn from my mistakes :).
Even though I've been trying to take myself less seriously, I've had a few low periods this year. Usually because of sleep deprivation. When March rolled around again and I felt like I was in the same boat as last year, I felt pretty sorry for myself. School was really holding me back in my progression. I made some bad judgements, had some more setbacks, and I wasn't sure if my body just wanted me to give up already.
It's the same dilemma when something is going wrong in a workout. When you are over-tired or sick, and a part of your brain is telling you it would be better to stop while a part of your brain is telling you to not be a quitter, and you just end up suffering in no-man's land while your brain's argument wages on. One-hundred percent of the reasons why I've cried in a workout have been because of feeling sorry for myself for having ended up in this pain-filled dilemma. Pretty close to 100% of those times I've settled with HTFUing and sucked it up. That is partially why I hit rock bottom last year.
Like Ryder Hesjedal tweeted, "It's better to smart and soft than stupid."
Anyways, this time around I realized that being continually unsure of whether I will ever be healthy enough to do this was just making me sad. So I finished my school, and have been dedicated to doing everything I can to make the most of this transitional 'become indestructible' year. It's really hard work. There are a million little details that I can use to make myself faster. So so so many details.
But I'm so lucky right now to have the support that allows me to focus 100% on my training within the recovery matrix (as Alan says)! I know in the future this is going to be a lot more challenging. Especially financially. But for right now, I'm just so stoked to be swimming & biking aaannnd running! ( and I feel healthy enough to not need to knock on wood while saying that :). I'm excited man! Hope and support are the two best motivators.
Our Jedi leader Libby and our coaches have been so supportive and have encouraged me to break the 5+ months of injury/year cycle that I've been on for the last 4 years once and for all! So I will be training most of the summer, and by the later season races I'll be ready to rock & roll.
Congrats to all the racers out there!! Hope you had fun! Way to get out and make the world a happier & healthier place.