Tri Me: Putting It Out There

Posted Jan 12 2013, 6:29 pm in , , , , , , , , , ,

In the past I’ve been pretty open on this blog about my workout/training goals. Even if nobody read about them, it was good for me because I’ve always been goal oriented in this regard. And if I put it out there that I’m going to do something…I do it. Or die trying. Okay, maybe not die…but you get my point.

A few years ago, I was in a very different place when it comes to physical activity. It felt like I was always moving. Always training for something. I did a big bike ride, a handful of half marathons and some smaller distance runs and then since I clearly was insane, I threw in a couple triathlons. And then a strange thing happened. (Okay, it’s not really very strange when you stop to think about it for half a second.) I burnt out. I was just…done.

I didn’t want to do anything. Not really. I forced myself to run a few races and of course train for them. But my training was half assed and I could tell. The races were hard. I felt bad doing them. They weren’t all that fun. So why was I doing it at all? Hell if I knew. And then this past spring, even with a much lighter training schedule then I’d had in years, I threw in the towel. I quit doing everything. I was only going to do things I loved to do. Turns out, I didn’t do anything. Shocking, I know.

The fact that I only ran a few times, didn’t swim and only got on my bike once or twice over a three month period was a HUGE wake up call for me. These were all things I enjoyed doing. All of those activities were part of my self identity. I considered myself a runner, cyclist, swimmer… But could I call myself those things when I wasn’tΒ  doing it? And WHY wasn’t I doing any of those things? What was wrong?

Again, hell if I knew.

My shoes were getting dusty...

My shoes were getting dusty…

But I had a theory. I needed it all to be fun again. AND I needed a goal. Something that I could sign up for and commit myself to. But before I could do that, I had to ask myself one really important question. “Do you even want to do those things again? And if yes, WHY?”

I battled with this for awhile. Did I want to subject myself to long runs in the snow and ice? Did I want to get on my bike for hours at a time, building up the ‘callous’? Did I really want to drag my butt to the pool three times a week? REALLY?

The answer was and is…yes. Even with all the work, sweat and occasional tears that go into it, I still wanted to. Like, REALLY wanted to. But why?

For so many reasons. But I finally narrowed it down to a few.

-I feel physically better when I’m training for something.
-My clothes, while they never seem to fall off me, will fit better.
-I thrive on the feeling of self accomplishment. There is NO better high then crossing a finish line (any finish line) and being able to say, “I did that. I DID that!”

Once that important question was answered, I took the next step. I registered for a triathlon training club/group. There. Committed. And since October, I’ve been training. Sort of quietly. I only recently started telling people what I was doing. As if I could just quit if no one knew. Kind of a safety net, an escape hatch if you will.

Well, now everyone knows. At least those that read this. So…maybe not everyone. But I’m okay with everyone knowing because I’ve decided that this ‘triathlon thing’ is a priority for me right now. I’m not going to worry about the number on the scale (okay, not much anyway) but what I am going to worry about is having fun, feeling good and kicking some ass on those triathlons this summer.

And there you have it, I’ve put it out there. So now all that’s left is doing it. And I’m so excited about it! A blogging/writing friend of mine inadvertently gave me the final push to go public. Amber wrote a very brave post about her own dedication to getting healthy. Go read it, she’s awesome.

As well as the regular stuff, I’m going to blogging a little bit more about the Tri training experience and my own journey back to feeling good with all of this. I hope you’ll still come hang out with me. And please, leave a comment to say hi.

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11 responses to “Tri Me: Putting It Out There”

  1. Awesome! And I admire you for setting your goals. I think there is a goal between runners and competitive peeps and writers who produce. I really do. Lots of writers are also runners. I read Amber’s post earlier today. She is fabulous. And so are you.

    I don’t know what my problem is.

    I’m a yoga girl.

    I don’t compete. I just do my best practice.

    So maybe I’ll never finish my book. Maybe I’ll always be trying. I don’t know. But I sure would like to finish.

    Le sigh.

  2. Elena Aitken says:

    Renee, You’ll finish. Because you do it.
    And if you’re doing your best practice, and you want it (which you do) you’ll get it.
    I compete…against myself. But it works for me.
    You’re doing what works for you.
    Thanks, darlin’!!

  3. Amber West says:

    Yay! I’m so glad that you are doing this! And I am in awe (and not just of your running shoe collection).

    And if it’s any comfort Renee, I don’t run. Unless someone is chasing me. With a sharp object.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Amber, that’s an awesome reason to run. In fact…probably one of the best. Also..I think this new dedication to triathlons means that I need a new pair of shoes…

  4. I fell off the fitness bandwagon in the last year… I’ve jumped back on it this year, though. I’ve committed to run one of those themed runs with a friend (it’ll be a first for me as I actually hate to run, but sort of need to do it for discipline purposes). My first 5K is set for February. Good luck with your training club! Having other people working with you on the same goal does tend to lend itself to keeping things fresh and fun… πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Elena! I just ran across your facebook post and thought I’d pop in to say “Hi!” Yet, I do have to say how much I admire your goals and putting it out there does seem to give us a reason to go for it. Sometimes we all need to hit the restart button in our life when it looks like we’ve malfunctioned and stalled out. Who knows why. It just happens. We pick ourselves back up and gain a fresh start and it feels great. I wish you all the best. πŸ™‚

  6. I think it’s important to take breaks from things. Every time I take a writing break the urge to write overwhelms me. But those breaks are what keep it fun. πŸ™‚

  7. ruadhgubrath says:

    I love that there are similar minded women out there. I went through a similar stretch and what it took was realizing I did have a goal in mind. Once I verbalized it to others, my mindset and training commitment changed overnight. I look forward to hearing about your journey and hopefully, swimming, cycling, and running alongside you sometime this summer πŸ™‚

  8. Good for you on making the commitment and following through with your goals!

    I have had a forced “rest” from injury for the past four months and can’t wait to get back into my own groove – whatever that will look like. I was starting to worry that I am really a lazy person hiding inside of a seemingly active person’s body but now I think I just need to get back into taking care of me again..

    I’m looking forward to hearing more as your journey goes on…. πŸ™‚

  9. way to go, girlfriend. i’m in awe of your plans

  10. […] Tri training is in full swing and for the most part it’s going well and I’m enjoying it. And that’s always the ideal thing to say, right? When someone asks you how it’s going, you’re not going to say, “Terrible. It sucks. I hate every minute of it.” Because quite honestly, if you hate it that much…you shouldn’t be doing it. […]

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