Today marks the first day of my Oceanside 70.3 training. I was supposed to start two weeks ago with my trusty “Super Simple Half Ironman” plan from Competitor.com, but the busy holiday season made it next to impossible to get into the training mode. So, I found a 14 week plan on Training Peaks.
Today was an hour on the bike. I spent maybe an hour trying to determine the perfect accompaniment to my ride. Carol? Room? Watch old episodes of Felicity? I decided on Little Women—a movie that passed the holiday movie Bechdel test. It’s such a great movie. I was team Winona back in the day—and Christian Bale (AKA Batman) was so dreamy. Though at one point as I was spinning my legs I started crying at an especially sentimental Beth part. Maybe crying and cycling can be the new Soul Cycle?
And as I struggled to unclip form my pedals after completing my ride, I realized something.
I am not strong.
2016 has been a blah year for a few reasons, and one of them includes my total lack of motivation to race. I have walked more races than ran them. I bailed on the swim part of the Oakland triathlon. I tried using Pokemon Go as an incentive to run. This is the first year in 10 years that I have not completed a half marathon. I have lost my fire.
And no, this isn’t a pity party. It’s a reality that I am acknowledging. I recently started listening to the audio book “The Subtle Art of not Giving a (expletive)” by Mark Manson. From the book’s Amazon page: “Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.”
I am a couple chapters in. It’s pretty good.
Back to strength. I am not strong. Right now. And that is ok. I have been strong before. I have been fast before. But chasing after the me that I was, and thinking that is the key to happiness is just…unrealistic. And dumb. Maybe I am not a triathlete any more. Maybe 10 years (my first race was in July of 2007) is enough. Who knows.
But, I am making this commitment to myself to try and tri. The Oceanside race is on April 1st—and today it seems so very daunting. But, I turn 40 five days after the race, and what a kick a$* way to give my 30s a proper send off. I am going to do my workouts on Training Peaks. I am going to ride my bike outside. I am going to get myself in the pool even though winter training is the worst.
I am not going to make unrealistic expectations that this race will change me. I won’t bemoan myself for being slow…or squishy, or not as hardcore as other people. That is all just stupid noise that will get me in the way of what needs to be done—training.
So, here we are. Day 1 done.
I may not be strong today, but I am stronger than I was yesterday.
Also, things that are making my tri training fun: a new medal rack and obnoxiously pink bike shoes.