It is best every once in awhile to reassess your goals to see if you are on the right track, both for what you want in your life to what you able to do. We all know that feelings, and goals change, and sticking to the same track you set for yourself years ago may be the wrong thing for you at the present time. Life has a way of screwing up the best laid plans, and you have to reassess where you are at.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this the past few weeks, especially since getting that eye opening email from my coach concerning reigning it back in as far as the goal to get to a full Ironman in my 50th year. Even before I got that email I knew that it was out of reach. I got off track, trying to move forward too soon instead of building the base training I would need to get me to that goal.
In my first season I did 5 triathlons, with one DNS. All of them sprints (Escape from Fort DeSoto, Top Gun, Crystal River 1 &2, and Madeira Beach). I finished in last place in every one of them, though I did see improvements in time. In season two I did 8 triathlons (Fort Desoto, Crystal River 1, 2, & 3, Nature Coast Twilight, St. Anthony’s, and my first Half Ironman in Augusta Georgia).
I finished last in every one of them (by last, by the way, I mean in my age group/Clydesdale), and saw my times get worse, especially in the run.
This season, my third, I started off with a Half Iron Distance race in Ocala in March (HITS 70.3) and ran the thing injured (“ran” being a kind word for “walk”). I completed St. Anthony’s once more, and have Crystal River 1 competed.
I finished last in each of them.
I know what you’re thinking … “it’s an accomplishment to just finish these races” and I do agree with that to a point, but also at some juncture you expect to improve. The only discipline that has improved is my swim, and I tend to think the improvement there is mostly mental. My bike is about the same as it was last season, and my run is still bad. In fact, every time I try to push myself on the run in order to improve I end up injured. I will be seeking some other guidance at the advice of KC, but there has to be something to this that I am not seeing.
I used to think it was the “lack of Killer Instinct”,as I wrote about in the past, but I don’t think that’s it any more, because I do push on these races and in training. As you can tell, I am a little frustrated. I have a great coach (and group of coaches through TNT), I have a great partner, and I have a great group of people surrounding me when we train and race. A part of me feels like my lack of improvement, and my constant injuries, is letting them down. I know they would never say that, but that’s how it makes me feel. I was listening to Jon Smith’s Fit Fat Fast podcast (a very good and informational listen and I highly recommend it) and he and co-host Debbie Potts were talking about the fact that obese and morbidly obese people are completing triathlons all the time (a point that Vinnie and Anna also bring up quite often at their podcast). He made the point that just because you can will yourself through this type of race, not something that should be taken lightly; it doesn’t mean you are healthy. There are many “skinny fat” people around, people that are thin or appear healthy but eat junk food and smoke and drink. They are just the “lucky” 20% that can get away with it (for a time … because it catches up to everyone eventually. But you are not going to find the opposite, the “fat skinny” or the “healthy fat” people. I have finished many races now, but I am overweight, and I am not healthy.
So the goal this year is to stick with the Sprints, add some 5k’s, 10k’s, and work on almost starting over. We still have Augusta at the end of the year, which will be a decent barometer for the progress made (or lack thereof). Ironman will have to wait.
And I’m OK with that …