Friday, May 9, 2014

Limitations

As a triathlete, I see a tendency for athletes to ignore their limitations. They see "things" as weaknesses instead of "life".


  • Working too many hours? I'm SUPERMAN! I can work 60 hours a week and keep training!
  • Injured? That's for pansies! I can still hit up my +15 hours of training.
  • Family time? No problem! That's why the gym is open 24 hours!
It's like if you can't get it all done, you're a failure.

I've never believed in that way of thinking. When work is too much, I back down my training and change my goals. (My mental and physical health is more important than looking tough). I will always choose more sleep over getting up early for a training session. I've never done triathlon to impress people with my training volumes. Oh, I did that for about a year, in the early days. I learned very quickly that if I was training 18 hours, someone else was training 20. It could quickly spiral into a "keeping up with the Joneses".

When the boys had activities and sports and things, I quit long distance to be able to spend time with them. (We have only one opportunity to raise our kids).

Now that I'm injured, (for those of you stalkers who don't regularly read my blog. The story is here in a somewhat condensed and explicit version), I can really appreciate what it means to be patient and taking recovery one day at time and doing only what I can do.

None of this means that I'm giving up on my goals. It means that there are times where other things are more important.

This week, I've been looking at my most recent months of training. From the looks of it, when I throw in work issues or injury or family issues (the unexpected things that come up), it looks like my most successful training weeks don't exceed 12 hours per week. At up to 12 hours per week, I can absorb unexpected things pretty easily. Beyond that, I will sacrifice training.

I can't speak to what will happen in the future when Justin leaves for college (in a few months). I don't know what that part of my life will be like.

All of this is causing me to reassess my goals this year. To what? I don't know. 

I'm going to look at my race schedule, determine why a particular race is important to me and decide if it is something that I want to do or maybe shelve the idea. 

I can tell you that there were a couple of races that I look at now and think that I might have signed up for them for the wrong reasons. I just won't know for a few months.

At the same time, I can also adjust my outlook of those races. Instead of going in with time goals or really goals of any sort, I can just do them for the fun of doing them. 

There also the impact that friends have on me. That weighs in on my decisions. As one key friendship ended, the interests that we shared (primarily triathlon) doesn't have the appeal that it once did. Triathlon was always something that I enjoyed doing with other people. Even if I wasn't doing it with someone, I had my BFF to talk to about it afterward.

The people who are still friends are also looking at other interests. 

Finally, we all know that training ebbs and flows. There are weeks that we feel GREAT and weeks that we are down because we're tired....make that exhausted. It's hard to think clearly when I'm in the throws of a big training week.

All of these are factors. 

That's why it's best for me to take it one race at time.

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