I Think I'm Doing Okay.


So it's been over a month since I last updated and as some of you noticed, I made my blog private for a little while since then. I had kind of stopped updating and wasn't sure if I really wanted to keep writing here, which is something I've gone back and forth on for a while now, but that's another story for another day. I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it anyway, and I started getting a lot of spam comments that I just didn't have the time or energy to deal with, so I just thought it would be easier to shut it down for now, at least temporarily, until I figured out what I wanted to do with it. And I'm still not sure what I ultimately want to do with it, but I have had the urge to update about my Ironman training. I've heard from a few of you wondering what was going on, and I do miss updating in this space and, to be honest, time and energy are big reasons why I haven't been updating but honestly, I just haven't really...wanted to? And the times when I have wanted to post have been sporadic and fleeting and I haven't been able to string together enough of those thoughts to actually post something. So I don't know for sure if I want to keep writing or not, and I've kind of gotten to the point where I'm not not really interested in writing about my everyday life, and I'm also not really interested in writing a hardcore fitness blog. At this point it's really just a training/race log, primarily because I like to have a record of that stuff. I think it's cool that other people read it, and I definitely read other people's, so I get that that's a thing that some people find interesting to read, so that's where I'm at right now. I don't really see that changing anytime soon, and it may just all fall away after this Ironman thing is over anyway, I don't really know. We'll see.


But yeah, I have been thinking about posting some sort of update on how Ironman stuff is going. I know that a lot of you guys followed me through Ironman North Carolina stuff last year, and even long before that, so I didn't want to just like...drop off halfway through training or anything. So, here's a start. 

I wrote a post at the beginning of training about some...observations or thoughts on this time around and I don't know, I just have so many thoughts and feelings about this training cycle versus last year's training cycle. I really try not to think about last year or to compare them since I don't think it's really constructive to do that - like does it really matter what I did last year? At the end of the day it matter what I did last year or didn't do this year or what I'm doing better or worse at or more or less of? Does that make a difference? I'm training for a completely different race on a completely different course. Okay, maybe not a completely different race since it's the same distance almost the exact same weekend as IMNC - actually sometimes I wonder if I shot myself in the foot by not really doing a completely different race, like IM Santa Rosa in July like I was previously considering, for example - since that does make it easy to fall into the comparison trap. But the course will definitely be very different and that's a pretty big thing. It's hard not to get caught up in comparing, but I think in general I've done a good job of avoiding it.

I'm excited about the change of venue this year, about doing a totally new-to-me race in a new-to-me place, but it's also a little scary and I don't know what to expect. When I was training for North Carolina, I knew that course - the terrain in general was very familiar to me since it’s a coastal town, and the course itself was familiar since I’d done at least half of it previously. So I knew what I was getting into - it’s a flat, fast course so I had a pretty good idea of what time I’d be capable of. This time I’m training for a hillier course in a place I’ve never been, so I’ve had to kind of accept that my overall time that I’m hoping to hit is probably not what it would have been, say, if I had completed the full, flat course in NC. But the point is that I have some ideas about how I want to do, but at the end of the day I’m not training for a specific time or trying to hit certain times to goals in my workouts, so it makes it a little easier because even if I have a bad day, as long as I get through it, even if it feels like it takes a million years, that’s still good enough.

I feel like a lot of the same patterns emerged in my training this time, even though I was really determined at the beginning not to let that happen and to be really hung ho about training...but honestly, once again, it took me until close halfway through to get into a groove and accept that like...this is my fate. I know that sounds bad but the thing about Ironman training that makes it so hard is that both weekend days are totally gone. Between a long run one day and then a very long bike the other day (plus I always run 30-90 minutes after my long rides), and time for eating and recovery and napping and all that (that part actually doesn't sound so bad but I just feel like a sloth for the rest of the day - mama's about to turn 30 and I just don't recover as fast as I used to). 

So that's definitely one of the hardest parts. The week has its own set of challenges given that I have this thing called work that takes up the majority of my day, but giving up weekends was a tough pill to swallow during both IM training cycles. I also travel a lot for training and racing so I'm generally on the road Friday night after work and then Sunday evening after long rides so that just makes it more difficult and adds more time and stress and it's just...a lot and it took me a little while to accept that reality. I still make plenty of mistakes, some of them over and over again, but I've learned that I do have to give myself grace. Sometimes that's hard to do and other times  I feel like I might give myself a little too much grace, but I think it's important. 

But the big point that I wanted to make about my training and about not blogging about it is that…I have realized that I just don’t…need to anymore, not like I used to. I can’t explain why, but I used to need that outlet. I don’t really know what the purpose was, I just needed to…talk about it. And it helped me feel good when things were going well, and it helped me feel better when things were not going well. I’ve talked about this before I think, but I just don’t experience the high highs and the low lows that I used to anymore. I don’t know if it’s that time has passed and I’ve been doing this for several years and training cycles now, or if this just comes with longer distances, or both, but I’ve definitely noticed that I operate more in the middle now.  When I first started getting into endurance sports or just running in general, when I would be very high or very low and over time that window has shrunk and shrunk and there's really not a lot of difference. That's not to say that I don’t have good days or bad days, just that for the most part I’m just kind of…hanging out in the middle, which is cool. It’s not a bad place to be. I used to need those high highs, and even the low lows I needed to talk about in order to get over them and feel better about them, but I just don't experience as much of that either way now, and I think that's the reason that I just don't feel this overwhelming urge to share and talk about everything. 

I also don't really have extra time right now to spend dwelling on my training when it doesn't go as planned. That's probably a good thing because I will dwell and don't need to dwell and probably dwell too much, but I’ve definitely dialed that back a lot. A few weeks ago I was having a hard time a few weeks ago - it was hard because I wasn’t getting everything done that I needed to do, and I was feeling bad about that obviously because thats how I am, but I finally realized that I just have to keep the train moving. That's my goal right now. I am not only training for an Ironman, I'm also a regular adult human with a job and a husband and pets and friends and family and I just can’t do everything. I’ve been trying to be more even-keeled, I guess, and I think I’m doing okay. That's what I realized recently, about why I haven’t talked about this stuff and I really just….I think I’m doing okay. 

I don't know what I did to get here, but I have to say, as someone who’s very emotional, especially about this stuff, it's pretty surprising to be in this place where I just feel very chill about it, and I don't really obsess about it or freak out about it. I’m not speaking in absolutes here or saying that I never do those things or that I don't do those things to some degree, but it’s not my default like it used to be. I don't know if I’m just mellowing out or what the deal is, but things are just…not as big of a deal to me anymore. So….yeah. i think I’m doing okay this time. Actually, I don’t even want to say, "this time". I just want to say now. I’m okay with everything that's happened, with how training has gone, with how I’m dealing with training with other life stuff, how I’m balancing everything, and how much fun I'm having. It's actually been kind of fun, and I'm actually kind of mostly doing okay.a

6 comments :

  1. I've been feeling similarly to you recently re: blogging, and I actually just up and deleted my blog. It was sudden and I didn't give any explanation or goodbye...I'd been thinking about doing it for a while and one day I realized I needed to just pull the trigger and move on.

    Like you said, it just doesn't feel like there's a point anymore. It was much more worthwhile when I was training for my first races, and my first big PRs, but now I'm on marathon #4 and there'e really nothing new to say. Training is just training and every week is pretty much the same story: I went out, and I ran, and sometimes it was hard, and sometimes it went well.

    I also have had a lot happen in my life this year: turning 30 (I totally hear you on needing extra recovery time!), buying a house, my job is about to go through some changes as well, and I honestly just feel like it's time for me to move on and start prioritizing other things. I'll always run, but I can no longer revolve so much of my time and energy around training, and talking about training.

    So, in sum: I totally get what you're feeling. And I'm glad for you that you're feeling more chill about things. I'm no longer training for a time goal in my marathon, and it's nice. Finishing a marathon or Ironman isn't any less of an accomplishment - or any less fun! - just because I can't run it as fast as I could last year. It's amazing how much better the whole process feels once I learn to check my ego at the door.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad to see a post from you! I was wondering how you were holding up and hoped that your blog becoming private didn't mean things had taken a turn for the worse in the training department. I have to admit, I'm jealous of your chill. I'm definitely struggling in that department this training cycle, and to say it's taking a mental toll on me would be quite the understatement. I hope the next five weeks go well for you, and I'd love to hear how the race goes if you feel up to blogging about it! But, if not, blogging is obviously a personal endeavor, and if you don't feel into it anymore, there's no reason to force yourself to do it just for the sake of keeping up appearances or maintaining some sort of arbitrary blogging streak.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I actually think this is a great place to be, and I'm proud of you. It's hard when running or training or racing is already such a time-consuming thing; it's even harder when our emotions vary with each run or race and can be so time-consuming as well. If I get back on the run I'm not sure I'll ever go back to writing about it, because I realized a while ago that I would spend half my run or race thinking about how I would write about it. I did the same with yoga. And as much as I need to write about stuff that's weighing on me, it's entirely different to keep weights ON myself because I feel a compulsory need to write about them. I know we're similar in a lot of ways and I'm not sure if this is one of them, but if so, I think stepping back from documenting every training run/bike/swim is good, especially if it's because you just don't need to meditate on it at length anymore. I think that's a much easier way to be, and it makes getting through each day and week and training cycle less emotionally taxing than it could be otherwise.

    I wonder also if you don't feel things in such extreme anymore because the last few goal races you've trained for, you've trained with a team. I know you guys train together often and chat about your weeks, so maybe you've just sort of swapped out the outlets? And then there's the argument that blogging in general just isn't as much fun in a lot of ways for a lot of people anymore -- or maybe it's after a certain amount of time spent doing it? I dunno.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to hear from you and really happy to hear you're chill about the entire thing right now. And its totally ok to not want to share every detail and even to not want to blog. For a long while I didnt blog at all for that very reason. Do what works for you and your life. I follow your progress on instagram and, I hope, I can check in for a chat on instagram DM when here and there to congratulate you on your progress. Again, do whatever make you happy friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. glad to see an update! i've been so behind on everything lately that i did not notice you'd made your blog private for a bit. sorry :-| glad you're doing okay now though, i feel like that's a really good place to be? i still like to blog but not as much as i used to. after my mum had her stroke i just felt so ridiculous talking about some of the things i talked about. not like oh i shouldn't because my mum had a stroke, but i just didn't care anymore. i still post occasionally and about stupid stuff, but it took me awhile to get there. i don't know if i'll ever get back to the point where i feel the 'need' to blog about certain things, but i don't mind that. of course, completely different to what you're going through, but i think it's interesting the phases we and our blogs go through. of course i am selfish and hope i can continue to stalk/be friends with you somehow, blog or instagram :) but you gotta do what works for you and you have a lot going on in your life, why add to your plate?
    as for your ironman, i feel like comparison is ineveitable, but glad you're trying not to anyway. if there is anything at all i can do - i know your race is next month and it's probably not helpful now - let me know! i will drive the course and take photos or videos if you want. if that will help at all. i can tell you the weather every day leading up to it. i know the weather channel can do that too, but like, i'm actually here ;) jk. but seriously. just let me know!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So glad to see you back here, miss you. Totally understand about the lack of updating and life and ewwww spam comments, ugh. And you know I don't train IM but I have a good friend here in TN that does and just listening to her training I"m like ouch, there's no time after the weekend is over. BUT, you've got a goal, are working towards it and GOOOOOOOOD FOR YOU! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and taking time to share your thoughts! If you don't hear back from me, check your settings to make sure you're not no-reply (check here http://www.venustrappedinmars.com/2013/06/google-ultimate-no-reply-blogger.html if you're unsure)!