Why am I so slow? How did I race a Half Ironman only 3 months ago?!
Before I started endurance sports I thought that the people that did marathons and triathlons were just always in perfect shape. Always conditioned to go out there and finish a race. Little did I know that two months off to heal from an injury would feel like I was starting all over again!
Really? Didn’t I JUST do this??
I had two big misconceptions about endurance athletes (not that I consider myself an athlete, but I’m told I have to after racing 70.3 miles).
1. You can eat whatever you want when training.
So not fair!!!! How am I burning over 1,000 calories a day sometimes and NOT able to have beer, steak, and ice cream ALL the time?? Well, the more I look into being an endurance athlete, I found out you actually have to watch what you eat! (Or at least I do because I gain weight by looking at someone eating a burger.) The most annoying thing is not only am I hungry ALL THE TIME, but I eat very well (clean, organic, and tons of vegetables). I just tend to eat a lot. It is just wrong that I have to pay attention to that. Period. By the way, I gained 5 pounds since I started training again. What?!! (And no, it’s not muscle.)
2. You only build on your speed and endurance and you don’t lose what you’ve already worked hard for.
Of course it’s not like I’m starting from where I was 3 years ago (when I ran my first mile) but I’m also not starting from where I was last fall (when I ran a 24:24 5K. My Personal Record or PR). It is extremely frustrating not to be able to run a single mile at my previous 5K race pace but unfortunately it’s not just running. I can’t believe that I biked 56 miles! Although I am confident I can go faster once I’m towards the end of my training, I just expected to be able to start training with a pretty solid lead.
How do I keep from getting discouraged?
There is one answer– an incredible group of women. Training with Tri With Skye allows me to train with women that encourage and inspire me. There are moms that are starting their journey to become a triathlete, moms training along side me for their 70.3 races, and we even have someone training for a Full Ironman 140.6! We’re all different ages, sizes, and athletic levels, coming together to work toward a goal.
There is even a little twist… My coach is going to be racing Miami 70.3 too! Of course I won’t see her because she’ll be so far ahead of me 😉 But how can I complain when she’s doing my training along with me plus her own much more intense training schedule? She is nothing but encouraging and inspiring and when you have someone like that it’s impossible to give up on yourself.
What is my goal for Miami?
If you race, you know that you always have a goal. And usually it is three-fold. For example, my first goal for Florida 70.3 in April was to finish around 7 hours 30 min. My second goal was to finish. My third goal was not to finish last. Now that my injury is healed and I have a time to beat, 6:51, I am pushing myself to knock off at least half an hour from my overall time. What’s my three-fold goal? 1. Finish in 6 hours. 2. Finish in 6 hours 10 min. 3. Finish at 6 hours 20 min. I have to beat my Florida 70.3 time. I’ll be happy if I reach goal #3, I’ll feel like a rock star if I reach goal #2, and I’ll feel like I never have to race again if I reach goal #1! (Just so you know, goal #1 is AVERAGE finish time for a Half Ironman 70.3!)
Writing a goal like this down is hard enough, but sharing it in black and white… You’ll keep me accountable, right?
Follow my journey on Instagram, MomComplicated.