Sunday, May 22, 2011

Feeling sorry for myself....

I'm going to whine a little bit.

Not that I'm really in any position to whine at all.

I'm healthy. I have a great husband, friends and family. I have wonderful cats, a job I enjoy and am pretty good at and no financial stress.

We've had super bad weather here, including a tornado that took a life, and here I am....

So I'm probably going to just sound like a big whiny baby as I reveal the reason for my rant below:

I can't figure out why, after all these years of training and working out, I still as as slow as molasses, and I feel like stamping my little feet and just screaming about it!

Why whine/rant NOW??? Well, it was kind of a big weekend for races. Fargo events, Gear West Duathlon, Superior Trail races, something called the Triple T, etc.

I ran the Fargo 1/2 and got through it "okay".

"Okay" means that I finished, but didn't PR. To be honest, this was expected. I have been plagued by nagging injuries, -- one right after each other -- ever since last fall. I ran 10 miles on April 3rd and that was it for long training runs prepping for Fargo.

My Achilles flared up, taking me out of the running game for a couple of weeks and then limiting my miles when I started back up, so actually finishing 13 was in question.

But I did.... I ran the first 7.35 almost straight though and then had to stop for a potty break. The line was long and people were dawdling in the porta potties. My mile splits went from a pretty consistent pace to adding almost six minutes to mile 8. Then I really slowed down.... took more walk breaks; got in to that very dark spot again (Hello, IM WI memories.....), but was able to get out of that mindset pretty quickly -- which certainly is a good think.

So, the good news is that I finished and feel pretty good today.

The whine starts as I start to compare myself to other friends. I looked up the results from the Gear West Duathlon and most of every one I know is at the top of the list of finishers. Many took podium places in their age groups. No one is near the bottom. Not ever close to near to the bottom.

I train with a lot of these people. It is one thing to do strength training together, where we are all lunging together in the same room. Or, even doing spin training during the winter, where we are all sitting on our bikes, strapped on to stationary trainers and then running together on treadmills. That is all fun, and kum-by-ya, and we are all "equal" because we are all the same "pace", which means we are all in the same place....

Now, with warmer weather, during spin, we are still strapped to the trainers, but running is outside. Used to be running around the facility parking lot but now we head out on a 2.75 mile loop.

I don't mind the distance but I have to admit is it is very humbling and some what humiliating that I get dusted by the group before we even leave the PARKING LOT and head out on to the road!!!!

Okay, so most of these people are considerably younger than I am; Most of these folks are or seem to be naturally gifted from an athletic perspective. Yes, I can improve -- to a point. There is not really a chance in heck that I'll run an 9 minute pace as an easy does it pace. (And a 9-minute pace would still mean I get dusted in the parking lot).

Don't get me wrong: I am very proud of their accomplishments. I am in awe of their abilities. I am really glad I get to train with them and participate in lots of the same events, because they are really wonderful people to know and I'm thrilled to have them all as friends.

I just get angry at myself for not being up to the same level. Usually, this fact isn't such a big thing to me. I'm generally just happy to be participating in the event and challenging my body and doing it all just because I can.

For what ever reason, today, I just feel like whining.

So, here I sit, licking my ego, BUT still plugging along.

I'm going to Madison for a couple days next weekend to so my annual solo trip down memory lane. I'll also do one loop of the Ironman Wisconsin bike course and one loop of the run course. Maybe riding up those three torturous hills in Dane County will chase the whine right out of me.


TriGuy that likes to eat. said...

Keep your head up Amy! I was on the podium a few times last year and started bike racing this year in Cat 5 which is the "Slower" guys. Out of 5 races I think I ended up dead last twice. Coming into the tri season everyone I beat last year is faster than me right now. I guess what I'm saying is just when you think you are a fast rat along come 5 faster ones. Keep in perspective your accomplishments! Injuries have a tendancy to nag the soul!

IronSnoopy said...

I think it's OK to feel sorry for yourself every now and then. Really, I do. I think everyone gets frustrated at some point, and being injured and not getting that consistency in is a huge part of your training.

I get dusted ALL THE TIME by my buddies. I don't get *as* dusted anymore, but I'm still frequently last. Sometimes it gets to me, but most of the time I focus on me and what I can do and that makes me feel better.

Your ride and run next weekend will be awesome!

J-Wim said...

Amy my dear- keep your eye on the prize. Your IM in September is your A race. Having had a few injuries this season to deal with, you were smart and didn't push yourself to injury for the sake of a PR. Take care of yourself, keep pecking away at the training, and stay healthy- physically and mentally.
I am looking forward to seeing you across that finish line soon, friend. Keep the faith.

Beth said...

Amy, it is your infectious enthusiasm and smile that has brought you countless friends. Honestly, you have cultivated some very unusually gifted, ultra-athletic friends. It is wonderful that you all encourage and cheer for each other, but these are not a normal group of people. Learning to accept my "average" pace is the reason I named my blog "Running My Own Race". You are an inspiration to me and not because of the pace you run or your speed on the bike. It is because of your hard work, enthusiasm and smarts. Your dreams will come true- I know it!

Nat said...

I agree with all the above comments but I also have to add, you need to remember where you are. MN is one of THE MECCA's for the Tri world. (No Joke) A lot of the top triathletes at Hy-Vee and other well-known tris are yep, you guessed it, the ones we race with weekend after weekend, and train with week after week. This is where the mental game kicks in my friend. It's a challenge. Mental and physical. Try to flip it around. Instead of thinking of it as being dusted (which I might add happens to me on a regular basis as well), I have started instead to try to see what I can learn or how much I can pick up from them. It's much easier. When I was in high-school, both of my 6 foot 6 brothers and I played basketball in the driveway all the time. Each time I went for a shot, it ALWAYS got slammed back in my face. EVERY TIME. But I kept shooting. Even if I knew the end result. Just keep shooting....

IronWaddler said...

This is what makes the journey great. The times that you really have to dig deep to find the"it" that keeps you going. It will click soon and I know that mine will also.