Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I am having a very hard time this year getting focused on what races I want to do this year because I’m thinking a little part of me wants to do none. And that for me is a first in over 20 years. For the first time since I started running back in 1988, I do not have a full year agenda for running or triathlons.

Part of it is, I am sure, all the mandatory training I did last year. And while some of the benefits of that should have carried over to the new year, the motivational part did not. Its not that I’m not motivated to stay in shape or work out. Its just that I do not have a goal race or races I am working towards. I’ve reached all my athletic goals except qualifying for Boston, but I’m not sure that will ever happen. I’m okay with that mostly, but a small part of me feels guilty too, like I should be using all that newly acquired iron power to excel over last year.

But I’ve also reached a different stage in my life, to a point where I want to enjoy each day and not feel pressured to train just because I hastily signed up for a race that I probably wanted to do but wished I didn’t have to specifically train for.

Its truly hard to break old habits, especially ones that have been over 20 years in the making, so I still work out most days—now because I want to. I enjoy the brief encounters on Facebook also, meaning I can still keep up with everyone’s accomplishments on a regular basis but am not necessarily compelled to blog about my daily routine.

Last week, on vacation in Florida, I couldn’t help realize how much I really enjoyed being on vacation, being in the great weather and sunshine, having a laid back routine with no set agenda until getting up for the day. And I certainly couldn’t help enjoy being away from work that for the past few months has offered me absolutely no stimulation. Due to a lot of changes around here, my daily work routine consists of either scrambling for work to keep busy or waiting for someone to give me something to do. There is no longer that daily list of tasks to be performed or ongoing projects to look forward to, so the days drag into endless tedium. And that certainly does nothing for my mood during the work day and leaves me with little to no motivation toward the job, as well as the constant fear of not having a job, like so many others recently. These days, its like being between a rock and a hard place when you don’t like your job, because on the one hand you can’t just quit because here in Michigan especially there is little to nothing out there, and if there is its not going to pay what I make now, and wanting to try something new but being fearful because of being low person on the totem pole.

Instead of getting up at 5 am to work out because of the need to fit everything into a day, my workout times have occurred a lot of times during lunch hour because it’s a way to shorten the work day, or after work with Don, who is now running regularly again and I know its me who keeps him motivated there, so I hate to not organize my day for noon or after work runs.

So I continue to mull over what the rest of my year will be regarding racing. Right now, since my one unreached goal is Boston, I really feel I need to give myself this year to work on my running more and see where I am at the end of the summer or maybe mid September and stop torturing myself looking at races I am not that inclined to do. Its like window shopping though, because I enjoy looking at different races, venues, courses, etc. and dreaming of being at that particular race but then not registering for anything.

Part of me here too is not being ready to quite push myself to the level I want to be at. Because I know I’m not there yet and don’t want to be totally disappointed that I’m not. But another part of me wants to get out there and just do something to see how I do. Ambiguous, I know, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.


ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, this is a thoughtful post that actually captures a lot of feelings that have been swirling in my head recently too. If it weren't for my decision to focus on finishing my 50 states quest this year, they'd be at the forefront. Even so, though, I have an unsettled feeling that I am "wasting" my iron gains from last year or, at a minimum, losing them but by not actively training tris (really just doing swims and cycling for recovery and maintenance).

But something I just started thinking about today for next year is the Triple T ( which is a multi-day event, 4 tris over a 3-day weekend (1 sprint, 2 olys, 1 half iron). The new NC venue being offering starting this year is a mostly flat flat bike/run course too which I like. I'm sure the training would be quite intense but completely different than training for an iron tri since the individual race distances are not so long. Being able to race on back to back days is key, however. Maybe this might interest you & Don? The 4-race entry fee is surprisingly reasonable too, about the same as one half iron. Just more food for thought ...

Christie said...

I think jobs are few and far between anywhere you go. Heck, an entire country went bankrupt. Wait, aren't two countries bankrupt now (Iceland and Greece)?

I think it would be cool to push yourself a bit to see what you're made of. You may surprise yourself. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide.

Just_because_today said...

when I started running, I wanted to race every weekend. I have since moved away from racing and only enjoy marathons. During times, different needs.
Sometimes we need a break to be able to enjoy what we do again. When it feels like a another job, it loses some excitement.