For most people the hard part of exercising and racing is getting up and out the door everyday and especially the day of the race. For me, it’s so much harder to stay in bed and chose not to train or race even though it’s a much smarter decision…until this past weekend. I made the tough choice of taking my very first DNS (did not start) because it was the right decision, but definitely not the easy one.
I’ve been struggling though most of this training season and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m mourning the loss of my motivation to race but still love all things swimming, biking and running. I’ve had recurring, daily bouts of vertigo and plenty of family and dog drama. I reached a point of maxed out stress and finally resolved to just take a break and coast for a few weeks. Here’s what happened:
MONTH OF JULY 2017
This all started a few weeks ago at a mid-week sprint triathlon. I found myself an hour away from home and alone at a race on a Wednesday night at 6pm and all I could think was “Why the hell am I here?” I swear I would have gone home if it wouldn’t have been so difficult to get my bike out of transition at that point.
The start was delayed because of a car accident on the main road where we would bike and run. No one was injured but it took almost an hour to clear. In that time the buoys marking what was supposed to be a half-mile swim drifted and the race director told us to “keep them on your right shoulder, no matter where they are.” Seriously? WTF.
As a result of my poor attitude, the long swim and the sweltering heat, I had a terrible race and was six minutes slower then my time the previous year. Although I came in third in my age group, I won my age group last year, and was just sulking and upset for the next 24 hours.
I didn’t even take any pictures or post anything about it. I’m hoping this means it didn’t really happen.
SWIM, BIKE AND RUN
Each has just been ok. When even a long run doesn’t make me deliriously happy, I know I’m in trouble. Although I have still been doing all of them, with mixed results, I had to make a decision about an Olympic distance race on the Sunday before leaving on a two week trip to Cape Cod.
And I went to see Ed Sheehan at Mohegan Sun two days prior. It was amazing except for the phone call I received from my dad almost as soon as the show started, telling me Vaughn was having an asthma attack and wanted to go to the emergency room.
I spent most of the show texting my dad, FaceTiming with Vaughn, annoying the hell out of the people I had to keep disturbing to go in and out of our row so I could make the calls, and wondering if me or my husband could even drive home at that point.
Vaughn ended up being fine with a little Benadryl but really?
Ed — here is my advice: Don’t have kids! I wouldn’t want anything to stress out your amazing voice. You rocked!
DNS (DID NOT START)
As a result of my exhaustion, partying, sulking and general disinterest in racing, I decided to take my first DNS at the Litchfield Hills triathlon. Something had to give and this was it. My sights are still set on Nationals in Omaha on August 12 so my coach said I could race or not race and it wouldn’t make a difference.
I have never felt about a race the way I did about this one. I knew not racing was the right choice but I felt like a quitter and cried hot tears of shame into my coffee on race morning.
Why can’t I be in cabana sipping mojitos every morning?
THINGS I LOVE
The cure for my lack of interest in racing has been to do workouts that I only truly want to do. First on the list was Orangetheory with two friends, since I hadn’t been in over a month. My body let me know exactly how long it had been by becoming brutally sore for DAYS! Holy hell.
I also took the boys bike riding and ran behind them with Star for the first time ever. OMG. Since I didn’t have a proper running leash at the time (I have one now) she basically pulled me for three miles while the boys yelled at each other to “Get out of the way!” and “Stay on your own side!” It was so much more relaxing than swimming a mile riding 25 and running six. Yeah right.
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
The return of vertigo.
It’s not nearly as bad as what I experienced in Cuba but I have multiple small episodes every single day. Whenever I lay down, get up, look up, look down, reach up, reach down — you get the idea. The issue is I forget about the dizziness so I will reach down to put on my shoes, get up, and almost fall over. I’m so afraid of actually falling one of these days (it happens every time I close my eyes to shampoo my hair in the shower!) and what I may injure if I do. Probably just my dignity, but still.
I saw the doctor and she wrote me a script for physical therapy. Apparently there are exercises you can do to put the fallen balls back on your inner ear hairs. < – – yea, that’s right. #dontask
The dog is also driving me completely insane. She now hates people and will bark loudly and fiercely at strangers.
And she leaves little gifts like this sometimes:
I just finished All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood and although it’s a weird, sort of tough read because of the subject matter and odd, scary characters, it’s a really great story and so well written. There were definitely times it made me squirm but that’s partly why it’s so good.
A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
RANDOM PICTURE OF THE MONTH
A different kind of hard included my parenting.
It’s much harder to be a good parent so when we were at Hershey over the fourth of July, I decided to let that slide as well and let the boys eat THIS many boxes of shit cereal for breakfast:
That would be six with one box of Frosted Flakes waiting to be opened, and they didn’t even get sick afterward. #proudparent
[Tweet “It’s been a different kind of hard, a first #DNS and drama @EdSheeran!”]
As for the blog, I will be writing less in this space for the rest of the summer. I intend to enjoy as much of it as possible but will absolutely write updates about training leading up to Triathlon Nationals, with plenty of race recaps afterward. In the meantime I will be trying to remember that it’s the hard that makes it great.
How have you been?
What has been hard for you lately?
Any upcoming races?