Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PTSD - Post Triathlon Season Disorder

Well it's been an interesting few days trying to bounce back from this race, my last race of the summer. I feel as if I have been building to this moment for over a year when I first sampled the triathlon world in August of 09. Immediately after that I decided I wanted to do five races in the Virginia Triathlon series in 2010. All winter I worked on my swimming and cycling in the background with Jim while focusing on running. Then on March 1, 2010 I switched over to an integrated triathlon-specific training focus. For seven months, and with great enthusiasm, I did what was laid out before me. I cycled, ran, swam, lifted, and stretched. It resulted in a season that far exceeded anything I could have imagined. I knew after this year I would either find that I loved the sport, or would decide I had given it a shot but it was more than I bargained for. It turns out I really love it.

But even when you love something, a break now and again is warranted and that includes a break from the structure and discipline on occasion.

After the race, since about Sunday, with my personal gas tanks below empty, I had suddenly had it with anyone telling me what to do. I felt a bit like a frustrated, hormone-driven, rebellious teenager. I was in a badddd mood with Post Triathlon Season Disorder.

I've always said that one of the greatest things about strength training with Jake or triathlon training with Jim is that it's the only part of my life I don't have to figure out or manage. It is a privilege and a gift to have it all laid out allowing me to bring the energy and focus to the workouts. But right now I don't think I could handle being told what to do. And fortunately nobody is trying.

For the last few days I have needed space. And normalcy, calmness, routine, boringness. Focusing on work and the kids and all things NOT related to working out is good.

Sooo, this week I'm taking it easy. I had two full days off and a week away from the gym. I had an easy swim yesterday, an easy unmonitored run today, and will have a low key bike ride tomorrow. Speaking of digging deep mentally and physically in a race, Jim said "you can only dip into the well so many times" and he's right. Between the races and even some of the workouts, I dipped pretty deep. Now I need to let time do its thing and refill the well.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the entire experience of the last year and I wouldn't change ONE thing about how this race season went - the training, the races, nothing. I'm excited for more next year. And I realize my training volume is a fraction of what half-iron and iron-distance competitors put in. But juggling it with the family, the kids' activities, and work is a daily challenge. So forgive me if right now I am a little tired.

Starting Saturday though it's back on a training plan with Jake to get ready for the Richmond Marathon on November 13. After that I'll take some down time with less structure through the holidays so I can come back stronger next year.