Never Gonna Give You Up

July was a tough one for me and Racing. We did not get along at all. We fought, we didn’t communicate well, we stopped speaking. Ugh. I said some things I didn’t mean, Racing got very snippy with me. It was just awful. I even thought about breaking up with Racing and it’s partner, Training forever once they brought their friend Failure to the party.  I felt ganged up on and just wanted to be done. And not only done with Racing and Training, but I didn’t even want to see anyone remotely associated with them (which is about 90% of my social group these days).

So what happened? Well, injury, overtraining, not training enough, mental breakdown, excessive whining. At some point or another, all of the above and occasionally all at once. I headed into July feeling pretty good overall. I was clocking longer (though not very fast) distances on my bike and in the water. The run was still vexing me as it does. But even that was as good as it had ever been. I had been having some lower back issues that I just couldn’t shake for a few weeks. I didn’t tell anybody how badly it was bothering me and just continued on with my training. I was signed up for the Mack Cycle Trilogy July race and (against my coach’s wishes) decided to give it a try (try/tri, ha!). Why Tri? Cause race weekend is fun! I wanted to get away, with friends, and just laugh and have fun. And racing is fun. Especially when it goes well. I went into this one with zero expectations. Was just going to see how things went. No pressure. I wasn’t even necessarily doing it to finish. I promised my coach that I wouldn’t push it too much and I’d stop if I was in serious pain (other than the usual everything that hurts during a race that you ignore). Swim went well, hopped on the bike, up the steep bridge, dropped my chain. Felt a tweak in my lower back. Whatevs. Put my chain back on and went down the other side of the bridge. Quick turnaround and back up the steep bridge. And didn’t feel right at all. Back was killing me so when I got back towards transition, I turned in and called it quits. Hung out, watched my two friends come in like the bad ass women they are and then we went and ate and drank and laughed all the way home. Race fail? Not at all. It was an intense training session that told me where I stood with my back.

Two weeks later it was time for Boston Tri. My first Olympic. It had been my focus for months. I’m sure to a nauseating degree to my friends. I was a ready as I could be with my back issues. In the two weeks leading up for it I spent oodles of money on massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, cupping, stretching, creams, etc. I did everything but sacrifice a virgin (couldn’t find one). I went in with a pretty good, realistic attitude. I knew I could swim a (slow) mile, I knew I could bike the 21 miles and as far as the run? it wasn’t ideal, but I knew I could walk it when I needed to. My back had been bothering me at the beginning of the swim and when I got off the bike. I could deal. I was pretty excited to race and headed home with visions of shiny finishers medals dancing in my head.

Race day dawned pretty cold and rainy. And yada yada yada cold water, couldn’t breathe, ouch my back, finished swim, took too long, DQ (not Dairy Queen, sadly). Ugh. Most expensive swim ever. 2 days of mourning, then the sun came out and I continued on vacationing it up!

I’ve started this post like a dozen times (ok, twice) and just, ugh. I’m sick of myself!! I wrote the above paragraphs last night and blech! Can’t imagine you’re enjoying this boring ass wrap up. I tried to do my first Olympic Distance and couldn’t. I spent 2 and 1/2 weeks all depressed and whiny about it. Very dramatic “don’t know if I’ll ever race or train again” moments. Me, wearing my tri kit and wading into the ocean holding a cinder block while a slow, sad like Nine Inch Nails  version of “we are the Champions” plays. I mean, really. Just STTAAAHHHHPPP!

So I did. Suddenly starting getting the itch to train. I kept my exercise streak going (236 days as of today) even in the darkest mental moments which was either OCD or knowing deep down that I couldn’t really give Tri up.  Watching the Olympics really inspired me as has keeping in eye on what my fellow Key West Triathletes and Athena Badasses are doing. I’ve run a couple of times in the past few days, got on my trainer, have made obsessive training and food lists. And am officially back! Going to do Escape from Miami (whoops, its actually “to Miami” but none of us understands that) as a Sprint and I’m gunning for TriKW as my Olympic.

Hell, July wasn’t even all bad. 4th of July, my birthday, I jumped out of a freaking plane! Didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but boo freakin hoo, so what?

Time to put the Whiny Pants away and get back on the horse that threw me. Or something like that. Thanks to all that have inspired me to get out out there again!


now THAT was fun!

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17 Responses to Never Gonna Give You Up

  1. Rosie says:

    You are amazing! Just discovered your blog after my first Tri, and I absolutely love it. I think every newbie triathlete feels like a wannabe imposter compared to all Iron Men/Women/Gazelles that have been doing it for years, but I also love that once you getting chatting to people at the event (or reading this blog!) you realise we’re all just diving in head first, sh*tting ourselves, but giving it our best shot anyway! True definition of a triathlete!

  2. fathlete says:

    50k?! That’s amazing! I’d need like 3 month of recovery after that! go get it!

  3. Great read!

    I went into my only complete tri this year over-trained. I was feeling it the last week of training, but I went out and had a great race. But it took me a couple of weeks to recover, and this was just a sprint.

    I have the hardest time not signing up for every race within a reasonable driving distance. It’s nuts. I think I’ve figured out that I need the down time and lengthy training periods. Sure, I could do more, but to what end? Still the itch is always there!

    • fathlete says:

      It’s definitely a tough balance! I need races to keep me motivated and on track but there is a definite danger of filling up that calendar too much!!

      • Me, too! I am not one to workout for the sake of working out. I enjoy training, but if there’s not a race on the calendar, my motivation sags. I kind of shot myself in my 50-year-old foot this year: I’d finish one race, and the training plan for the next race would start the next day. The only “down time” I had was between a half-marathon and a 12K, but I put a 5K and a 10K on the calendar during those two months. (I didn’t really train for those, or the 12K, assuming that having just run a half-marathon was enough.)

        I’m planning to do a 50K trail run next spring, and I’m already planning two weeks of down time after it. The 12K is about a month later, and I figure I’ll just walk it with The Hubs instead of trying to run it.

  4. You still Tri’d (see what I did there?!) 😉 at Boston. And to be honest, you didn’t miss much with the bike course, lots of tight turns. People passing you on the turns in a no passing zone.Part of the run was on a grassy field.. If you ever come back home to do another OLY, can you think about doing the Cranberry Tri Festival?? It’s got a great support water stop on the run (my tri team does it) and it’s a very well run event! It’s only a thought…maybe I can drum up some additional #Pathetic support too!

    • fathlete says:

      Thanks! yeah, I saw people bleeding all over that bike course! I’ll think about the Cranberry Tri. Usually that’s around the time when we have our Special Olympics Area Games so we’ll see!

  5. rhoni4 says:

    I’m still proud of you and your inspiring story. It keeps me training for my triathlons no matter how slow I am.

  6. gilmour16 says:

    Proud of you as always

  7. Betsy Langan says:

    Filled with raw honesty and humor, as always, Kathy. I love that you share about the highs and the lows, the expectations that are sometimes realized and sometimes smashed. You feel like you whine, but really you process with wit and introspection. Onward!! You are coming for that Oly distance!

  8. fathlete says:

    Thanks Cheryl! yeah, it’s hard not to get caught up in the pity party for sure! But the Pity Party is usually a party of one cause who wants to join it?! 🙂

  9. Cheryl says:

    You amaze me, cause in the end you just keep trucking!! The pity Party has been in my life lately too, I feel your pain, and glad to know getting back to the training Train is possible!! Keep on keeping on!!

  10. bonnev659 says:

    Sad about your dnf at Boston

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