For the past 2 months, maybe longer, I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to do in 2013. I've put work into my other personal goals, but I've really struggled with training.
The fact is that I have to have training goals. Contrary to popular belief, those of us who are active, have times we struggle with it, just like everyone else.
If I don't have goals, I won't do anything.
I've been struggling with it because something has been gnawing at me.
I am 45 years old. Over the past 6 months to a year, I've noticed that I am unable to do things that I was able to do in the past. The reason for this is that for the past year, I really focused on becoming a better triathlete.
In doing so, I let other things fall off.
I'm paying for it now. I stopped doing yoga and strength training and mountain climbing. Granted I didn't stop them 100%, but I cut them back so much that my physical body was negatively affected. I've lost flexibility. I've lost balance. I've lost core strength.
These things are critical as you get older.
It bothers me.
In December, I started doing things that I enjoyed again. Unfortunately, I didn't have a "plan" or goal, so I felt lost....and I couldn't figure out how to balance swimming, biking & running.
Then I realized something quite obvious.
I don't have to swim, bike, run.
AND if NOT doing those things meant that.....wait....
WHAT would happen?
I'll tell you what. NOTHING would happen.
I haven't even registered for a race.
I don't even have the desire to do a race.
I've had all this stuff on my mind, trying to figure out what races to do. Trying to figure out how I want to train.
I realized that I don't want to race this year.
Well, I don't want to do multi-sport.
What I want to do is focus on getting back into overall good shape....not triathlon shape. I don't want to stop swimming, biking, running.....but I can do them 1-2 times per week and be just fine.
The fact is that I get bored if I'm not doing a lot of different things. Put the same old same old in front of me, and I can't handle it. I think that's what I'm afraid of this year. Registering for races, then feeling like I just don't want to do them.
The most important thing for me is that I want to regain the lost flexibility, core strength and balance that I had a year ago.
Last summer, I missed out on climbing. Unfortunately, right now, I'm not in the shape to do it. I had different goals last year. I knew I'd have to give up something in order to reach those goals.
I'm tired of getting up and getting packed for triathlon races. I'm tired of giving up on things that I love just to get faster in one way or another.
I've spent time listening to some of the athletes at Master's, and you know what? I'm just not OCD enough....I have never been OCD enough to get into all those numbers. I'm perfectly happy ending a swim at 2900m or finishing a run at 4.67 miles. Trust me when I say that they are truly the nicest people to hang out with. I just feel lost when they talk about swimming the extra 100m or running the extra mileage to make it an even 5 miles.
I don't want to measure my life in meters or miles or finish times or speed or ANY of that.
I just need some time away for awhile to do things that I really enjoy and have more meaning.
I love the feeling of pushing myself in master's swim, but I equally enjoy going to breakfast with my friends at Master's after Saturday morning swims.
I like the feeling of running in the cold and knowing few people are out in the elements. But I don't like having to rush everywhere because I have to get something to eat before I rush out to do my next training. I like stopping in the middle of a freezing cold day after a crazy cold run to have a chai while sitting in my car....knowing that I can just enjoy the quiet moment.
I DO want to swim, but I only want to swim a little bit. It's more of a social event for me.
I DO want to run. In fact, I want to run MORE.
I DO want to bike. I want to bike MORE.
But I also want to sleep in on Sunday mornings.
I want to climb the mountains that we were supposed to climb LAST year.
I want to have a regular yoga practice, not just squeeze it in when I can.
I want to be strong again.
Those are the little things that I want to do more of. I don't want to click off mileage on a training plan.
I want to spend more time with the people that mean the most to me. That means climbing more mountains (this year) and taking trips with my very best friends.
There's the IM Tahoe ROAD TRIP with my friend to check out the course and cheer on all those athletes.
There's RNR Las Vegas. A getaway weekend with my girlfriends, where we support each other as much as we compete against each other.
There's IMAZ.....to support several friends at the race.
As we get older there is a comfort that we find in doing what we want because we WANT to....not because we feel we have to....not because it's OUR IDENTITY...we do things that we enjoy.
It doesn't mean that I will NEVER race multi-sport again. I might not, but I doubt it. I enjoy it. I just don't want to do it this year.
At this point in my life, spending less time logging training miles, more quality exercise/activity and MORE time with my friends and with my family is the most important thing to me.
It's what I want to do.
After all, when I show up at the pearly gates, I don't think I'm going to be asked to show my race medals or state my finish times, in order to get in.