Wednesday, April 25, 2012

detached

I just don't feel like I have a lot to say right now.


Part of it, I'm sure, is that I'm in the last little push before I taper into my 70.3, and I'm feeling a little flattened.  I'm still reading the Mr. MAF book, and I can see that my body is following the process of HR training the way he lays it out.  At first, it's difficult to keep the HR down on the run.  When I started with Sonja last December, I had to chug along at a pretty meager pace and walk up even the slightest incline to keep it low.  I'm not sure when the switch happened, but now I'm firmly on the other side.  It is almost impossible for me to get my HR up.  It started out on the bike but has now trickled over to the run.  I think this means I have fitness now where there was very little before, but I'm not exactly sure.  The only thing that I enjoy about it is that my miles are starting with smaller numbers again, and "enjoy" is probably a strong word.  I'm pretty sure that I've finally figured out how to detach.  I don't feel a lot of triumph when I see an 8:30 mile flash by on the watch in a training run, and I don't feel all that crabby when an 11:20 goes by.  It just doesn't matter.


It's still early, but there's already a lot of chatter going on about ironman.  It's all noise, coming at me from lots of different angles.  I'm going to hopefully only say this once, but I absolutely do mean it.  I am not making time goals for ironman.  I'm spending some effort, even now, to try not to calculate what my training sessions will equal on race day.  Part of that is because I don't want to have even an ounce of disappointment at the finish line.  Part of that is because I've never raced this distance before.  And part of that is because I understand, perhaps better than some, that anything can happen on race day.  I could throw up in the water or get a bloody nose, I could flat the only way I know how: both tires at once.  I could have ridiculous nutrition problems.  So I'm not sitting around calculating my TT times into best- and worst-case scenarios.  I do know this: I'm not going to win the race.  I know that so many people going into ironman saying, "I just want to finish!" but most of them are dirty liars and have time windows and goals and secret sub-this-hour-or-that-hour finishing times in their head.  I don't want to play.  It just doesn't matter.


I did have an idea in my head last week about writing a post about recovery, and how what I do now with my coach is so different than what I did last summer when I was making up my own life.  I still might write it.  I realize now that all I was doing was hammering over and over and over, especially on the bike.  Now that I've got actual recovery rides and runs and swims in my schedule I realize how trashed I felt all the time.  I still feel tired after a few hard days in a row but it's not like last year when I had sore quads for 4 months straight.  I couldn't stand to finish a ride and have my average mph be in the 15s.  Now I don't even look at my data from recovery rides and runs most of the time.  I show HR while I'm out there to make sure I stay in the recovery zone, and then I get home, upload it, and move on.  The numbers on a recovery day don't matter.


And part of it, I'm sure, is the stress that is coming from looking for a new job, from not having one right now.  I feel a bit at loose ends.  I'm not really sure how to fill up my days, and the past day or two in particular I've just been feeling blue.  It's been hard to get out of bed - because if I don't have to work, why bother getting up early to get my run in?  I've spent lots of time applying to jobs and going through my email, and I should probably be spending a lot of time being the perfect housewife, because what else do I have to do?  But instead I'm filling my time with nothing.  Other than my workouts, I've been hiding out with my dogs on the couch.  Being motionless.  Motionless and numb.

25 comments:

  1. Hang in there Katie. Re: not filling your days, I promise you in a very short time you will wonder how you ever had time to work. But right now, it's all new. It's a process, so give yourself time to digest and adjust to each new stage. Some motionless days are warranted so that you can find your footing. Try not to be too hard on yourself!

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  2. I am sorry you are feeling blaahh. I like your "no time goal" goal for the ironman. I never set time goals for new distances. Like you said, you don't know what is going to happen or how your body is going to react at certain points in the race. Keeping your head above water and staying vertical on land is much more than any of us could do conquering that event!

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  3. sounds like you are having some really healthy thoughts about all of it-and to be honest, the time in which you finish this IM does not define anything about you so...race your race and do it YOUR way :)

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  4. That can become a self-fulfilling spiral. You be careful, look after yourself and try to keep your chin up. I have no useful advice. Just be good to each other.

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  5. Sounds like your getting double-whammied. Dealing with the stress and emotions of your job loss in while tapering has to be difficult. Hang in there, it gets better.

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  6. I can't even imagine trying to set a time goal for an ironman! I am not even setting a time goal for my sprint tri! I might have an idea for a time that I want to complete the 5k in but I have NO IDEA about the swimming or the biking so I'm going to just leave that alone. My goal will be to finish and to not come in last place.

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  7. You need to eat big huge bowl of chocolate ice cream. That usually solves everything :)

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  8. You're entitled to some motionless time on the couch. Losing a job is such a huge hit, no matter the circumstances. The transition from sitting on the couch to making your job search a fulltime job should come naturally. Go easy on yourself this week.

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  9. Hang in there, right now you're in a transition period and hopefully by the time IMCDA rolls around, you're celebrating not only a finish, but a new job. And it sounds like you have some exciting life changing thoughts with moving :)

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  10. I won't speak to any of the Ironman points, except to say they sound like the ideal mindset for heading into this.
    About the job loss, feeling blue, and lack of knowing how to fill your days- that I have too much experience on.
    You have to recognize that you are grieving and allow yourself to do so without beating up on yourself. You suffered a loss, someone else out there made a judgement call and it was against you, a little piece of you feels worthless (though you know wholeheartedly this piece is full of shit). It is so damn hard to wonder why, even when the very logical facts do in fact point to the "its not you, its them ( and lack of their money)", but at the end of the day that shit hurts your pride.
    Allow yourself to grieve but not wallow. You will most certainly pull through this, soo.ee than you think, and end up wishing you had taken more time to enjoy this break. But when there is no immediate answer or end in sight, its easy to fall into that dark place we all harbor.
    Chin up, young person. You are not only winner and inspiration, but a fecking superstar.

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  11. I love what Becca said. This, this, this! Also, Jon. Chocolate ice cream is key. From one Katie to another, I feel you. I've been dealing with some of the same things. I've found that it helps an awful lot to just get out there and get it done, and that those are the days when I feel a lot better about myself. That said, I think your Iron attitude sounds incredibly humble and healthy, and I for one random internet stranger am rooting for you. Go Katie!

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  12. Races are so emotional - and now you have an extra pile of emotion on top of you with the job thing. That's a lot of weight to carry around.

    I also struggle with recovery paces since as a newer runner, seeing an average pace on my 2012 garmin spreadsheet that is in single digits still makes me giddy. But I'd do better for myself to just move those days that aren't focused training. Will get another chance when things start to ramp up again in June.

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  13. sad face. i'm sorry you are blue and i'm sure this is a very tough thing to go through. you will get to the other side of this as well. hang in there.

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  14. I can't imagine why you might possibly feel this way.

    But I can promise you, this will pass. Promise.

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  15. I wish you lived closer, then at least we could have dog fun while you are killing time waiting to hear back about job stuff. Take that couch potato time and enjoy it as best you can, because it's a good opportunity before life gets back to a hectic pace again.

    I didn't set time goals for my 1st IM either, I had a very rough idea of what my timing *might* be - solely for the purpose of making sure I had enough calories packed for every possibility - and that was it. No matter what time I crossed that finish line, I was going to enjoy it. And BOY OH BOY does that moment of turning a corner to a screaming crowd make all those months of training worthwhile.

    You are right on with not needing to WIN every workout. IM training, from what I've experienced, is all about getting the job done and being consistent. Just do the work and move on to recover. Day in, day out. Not high drama, not always very exciting but it really does work.

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  16. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT become the perfect housewife. I wouldn't even recognize you. Nor would Thom, which might be a problem.

    Hang in there. And facetime me anytime. Or iChat. Heck, we can just use that as a way to hang out...

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  17. I have goals for this Ironman but I am keeping them close to myself to avoid the disappointment in public I guess. At the same time I know that is what motivates me. I know I can finish this race and whether or not I have those time goals if I get a bloody nose or double flat I am going to be pissed off.

    And I agree with the going hard all the time concept. I have changed that mindset quite considerably since IM training began and seeing HRs in the 130s while running 8:30 miles is crazy.

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  18. What Ironman are you doing? Anyone who finishes one is hero in my book. Truly. Or who tries their hardest and trains no matter what happens in the end.

    I saw someone running today with 3 goldens and thought of you.

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  19. no time goal for Ironman = 100% joy at the finish line. I promise.

    and its ok to hang out, and feel blue, and eats lots of ice cream while you look for your next move. I can't wait until this is over for you and you can look back and say "that is the best thing that has ever happened to me"

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  20. I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling down. I know it's hard to see it now, but like the others say, you will probably look back and say that this was for the better. For now, enjoy the time to not "have" to be anywhere!

    My friend who was recently laid off made this hilarious blog about being Funemployed - thought it might make you smile: http://funemployed4life.com/

    I definitely hear what you say about not setting time goals. I keep telling myself I just want to finish but I really do have some rough time goals that I would "like" to meet. However, I genuinely don't care if I do or not as long as I cross the finish line. That will be the proudest moment of my life!

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  21. You're entitled to some motionless and numb time. You are.
    And I think you've learned more about your body and training in the past year than many of us ever do. I continue to be amazed at the perserverance you demonstrate in ALL situations! *hugs*

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  22. I'm sorry you're going through this rough patch. It's easy for those of us on the outside to say "it will pass", but that doesn't really make things better RIGHT NOW. Do what you need to do to make it through, whether it be detach, ride your bike a ton, or hang out with only your puppies. And I also think it's smart not to have a goal time for IM - it is your first one and you are meant to enjoy every. single. last. second of it.

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  23. I once quit a job at a place that I hated without having a new one lined up. I didn't know how long it would take to find a new one, so the weeks before I quit, I made lists of "things I would do if I didn't have a job".
    I know there is a lot of emotion when you lose your job that gets tied to self-worth; whereas for me it was a choice.
    But either way, we are so defined by Job and Work, that motivation is hard. The list really helped me because it gave some focus to the time that stretched endlessly in front of me.
    There were things like "learn how to apply make-up", "take a cooking class", "organize photos", stuff I never have time to do and probably prioritize as low anyway.
    The other thing I have realized about these types of really crappy experiences is that even though they are so life defining and all encompassing as they happen, they don't last. Time continues to move forward, and things happen, things change, and something new becomes the focus. I try to remind myself to focus on the things that I will carry forward with me through life, and to not give energy to the things that will become the past.

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  24. You have come a long way in your training! I think it's going to make your Ironman a great one. You're so damn fit it's nuts.

    I could never "enjoy" not having a job either. Try to get up each day at a regular hour, do your workout, then sit at your desk and do some "job-hunting" type tasks for an hour or two to simulate your workday. Then, take the afternoon off. Might as well dust a piece of furniture each day, just because you can. Other than that, get out to a museum exhibit you ought to see. The Picasso sketches at the National Gallery right now are a must.

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  25. I know. Numb happens, and it hurts in its own way. Use this time to take care of yourself, to whatever extent possible. If that means sitting on the couch reading a book doing whatever a trophy housewife (ha) "should" do, so be it.

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