Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Better Excuse

I've been completely bummed out all day about my fitness situation, which I will explain further below, and shortly before getting ready to write about it, I was struck with a realization: having a young child to care for and focus on (amid all of the other responsibilities I have such as holding down a full time job, running a business, running a household, wanting to have some semblance of a social life, hobbies, etc., and everything else that goes along with modern family life) is NOT the source of my not being able to do/be everything I want to do/be. It's just a better excuse. In my cloud of feeling sorry for myself thoughts, I went through the only too typical thought process: "if only I had freedom from such taxing responsibilities, I could have ____, or I would be so much more ____, or I would have time for ____." You know what I'm talking about. And it doesn't have to be parenthood that is the excuse- fill in your own blanks. What is keeping you from having the perfect life- is it stressful job with long hours? Horrifying commute? Too many obligations? Not enough money? Health problems? Relationship challenges? I literally was in the process of telling myself that I would have been further along in my fitness if I wasn't so busy being a mom and everything else. But then it dawned on me that it's not like I was uber fabulous before, I've always struggled with living up to my own expectations and aspirations.

My sprint triathlon is 2 weeks from today. Friday evening, I FINALLY broke my spell and gave the swim a try. Back a few years ago, I had trained for an Olympic distance tri, which consists of a mile swim. In practice I used to swim a mile in about an hour, under event adrenaline I did it in about 50 min. SO, I was guessing that a quarter of a mile wouldn't be so tough, even after such time away, and I was expecting that I could swim it in about 15 minutes. Good and bad news there. The bad news is, even though I seem to remember a lot of the proper technique, it is still more tiring than I had hoped. Obviously I should have been swimming regularly much sooner. In addition, I'm wearing a shortie wetsuit, and it makes it ever so slightly tougher to breathe when tired and gasping for air. The good news? It went by fast, I did my quarter mile in only 10 minutes, and I seemed to recover from the gasping fairly quickly. I began to feel a sense of cautious confidence that I really would be able to do this thing without too much agony, despite my training shortcomings!

Saturday was the bike route again. I had my friend Chuck with me again, the weather was warm but with a comfortable breeze (which at times became a frustrating headwind.) I figured hammering out this hilly route repeatedly would make it get progressively easier. However, I've had an on again, off again nagging sore hip for the last several weeks, and combined with the leadlike legs I seem to be left with every Saturday following my earlier in the week pole dance class, the first second on the bike felt like a drag. And although he looked like it was getting easier each time for him, Chuck was not able to drag my ass up that last hill. As they say in the world of marathon training, I "bonked". With no plans to even consider quitting my legs just pulled themselves out of the pedals and I jumped off. After some Gatorade and arguing with myself I got back on, ground out a couple of more strokes (this being the steepest part of the steepest hill), and involuntarily jumped off again. I walked it to the top, and bailed on the last long gradual hill. What a disappointment.

Sunday I went out in the morning before it got hot for a run, to preview the course. One block of just walking and my hip was aching me badly enough not to be able to run at all, and although I walked for about 45 minutes I probably shouldn't have. Feeling dejected, I made a plan for the next two weeks to get to and through the tri: wear no heels (they seem to flare it up), keep workouts spaced out and minimal, do my dance class barefoot this week and not at all next week (make it up later), don't climb the pole, as I think that's what is putting so much pressure/torque on the hip in the first place, and hope like hell that the hip feels better enough at the beginning of the tri to make a go of it. Even though I feel I have failed myself in my plans for training and weight loss to make this race a more pleasant experience, doing it and finishing it will still be rewarding. I just have a better excuse now than I did. Sigh...

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