Friday, January 10, 2014

It's not always smooth sailing

This morning I had a time trial at the pool and the results were not as I had hoped. While it was just to establish an early season baseline, and I had no illusions of being in peak shape, it was significantly off what I expected. I was not happy.

Frankly, it's been a rough go lately.

I started back running on the 1st with mixed results. My early run/walks and treadmill runs went fine but then yesterday my old friend, the quad problem, resurfaced when I hit the hilly roads.

On top of it all, energy levels are low for me, and gone is the second wind I usually get after dinner. 

Times like this, I remind myself "triathlon is a lifestyle." I know that means it is for better and for worse. Triathlon is not always about feeling awesome, firing on all cylinders, and kicking butt. Sometime it's about learning to persevere when things are rough. The bottom line, we are still swimming and/or biking and/or running and they are all positive things for minds and bodies.

It's still frustrating sometimes.

What is most important to me about the sport is to be in this for the long haul. To do that requires weathering the frustrating parts, like now. They are part of it. Andy Holgate of Can't Swim Can't Ride Can't Run, Sheila Plemich of Mind and Body of Iron, even Leanda Cave attest to that through their writing about the ups and downs.

I am sharing this because I post a lot about all the upsides of the sport, when things are all clicking. But it isn't always that way. The archives reveal that I have had a number of challenges along the way - IT band issues, two broken fibulas, posterior tibial tendonitis, shoulder impingement, drop foot - but this quad issue is setting the record for hanging in there.

I will persevere, and focus on all that I can do. That includes addressing muscle firing patterns, balance, and core at the gym. That means dialing in my nutrition and bumping up my D3 to get through the winter. That means getting needed rest. That means getting back on the Vasa Swim Ergometer and restoring lost swim power. That means enjoying what I can do in the water, on the bike, and on my feet.

Just the process of writing this has been helpful to restore the perspective that was temporarily lost as I looked at the clock from my swim lane, and was flooded with feelings of disappointment.

I will be tougher than my frustration.

I wonder how much of this is just winter itself? Ugh. I almost titled this post "Winter Sucks"!! (Except I still want ONE good snowstorm.)

If you are feeling some winter frustration along with me, hang in there. Let's do what we can do.


  1. Amen, well written, and hang in there. I will attest to the fact that attention to core strength and flexibility are key success factors - I started with a trainer and yoga instructor a few months ago to address the imbalances and limitations within myself and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. Granted, in my case, my sandbox will never be as big as it once was for me to play within; but, I still at least have a sandbox. Plus, I've found new toys with which I can focus upon. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks, Ariel. I am learning that "core strength" means teaching the core to be on-duty more or less all the time. Tricky. And yes good reminder to be grateful for any sandbox, right?!

  2. The nice thing is that yes, you can look back at your archives and see where you have come from and what you have overcome. That doesn't make the "stinking thinking" days any easier but just knowing that they are temporary is some consolation. You got this!

    1. Thanks, Patti! Without the downs there would be no ups I guess.

  3. This is just a little bump. A little snag.
    Perseverance and focus: People can't achieve what you have in your sport without it. You've got it, baby!

    1. Thanks,'ve got it in spades!!!