in which I am full of shit

You'll remember, because I'm going to remind you, that I wrote a post about my 2012 races back in December and set a few rules for myself.  They were actually rules for the first half of 2012, and I decided that I'd deal with the second half of 2012 after IMCdA came and went.  So just like bloggers learn how to do when they are small, let's check in on how that is going.  

Race schedule ingredient #1: I will run no 5Ks in 2012.
I almost broke this one Saturday night by racing the Twilighter 5K, which I've done every year (I think) since it started, but then the poet convinced me to cook him a delicious dinner with lots of iron instead.  But when I think about it, I've broken it twice - once in Rumpass when I ran a 5K at ironman heart rate off the bike.  And the other 5K I did only sort of breaks this rule because it was a swim, not a run.  
The poet has almost managed to convince me to break this rule again with him next weekend, and I'm actually a little curious about what my 5K fitness looks like right now.  So race ingredient rule #1 is in the garbage.

Race schedule ingredient #2: I will run less (or no) races as training runs in 2012.
That went out the window with the first race on my schedule, or more accurately, when I tore my calf four weeks before my half marathon and begged to still run it.  
That one was essentially a big training day (MAF test), along with the 10-miler, the century ride, and the 5K swim.  I did taper for Knoxville (and then puked the whole run) and Coeur d'Alene, and I haven't run a bunch of short road races for no reason, but I still think we can officially declare this one broken as well.

Race schedule ingredient #3: I will be smart about choosing a 70.3 and I will not let it eat me alive.
Despite the fact that I still think Knoxville was a better prep race than Monticelloman would have been, the weather differences alone between the two races made me kick myself a little for switching.  It was balls hot and rudely hilly at Knoxville....and everyone racing Monticelloman enjoyed cool and cloudy temps and a short bike course.  
I think it's fair to say Knoxville ate me alive.

Race schedule ingredient #4: I will race the balls off a 10 miler.
I did run one, finally, but it was the day after a 5-ish hour brick in the middle of a build and I was instructed to run it as a MAF test.  I couldn't find enough clear space to get my heart rate up to MAF, forget about balls hard, so this one is a big fail on two accounts.  It's also the race that made me give my CW-X shorts to Liz so I can stop looking at race pictures like this one.
My last race schedule ingredient wasn't really an ingredient but a rule, and I broke it almost as soon as I made it: don't sign up for anything after CdA until CdA has come and gone.

As I built my race schedule for the second half of the year, I tried to consider that I'm not very good about following my own rules.  I've also had plenty of time to sit and think about what I love.  I do this sport because I love it.  I fell in love with running a long time ago, but that doesn't even come close to the joy I get from being a triathlete.  
But it's also not my job.  It's just a hobby - a hobby that I work hard at, but a hobby nonetheless.  I am never going to become a professional triathlete.  I know some professional triathletes, I know some athletes who are rock star enough to go pro, and I know plenty of people for whom this is just a hobby, like it is for me.  And I have to say, the group of people that fusses and bitches and points fingers and makes the biggest deal out of things that are, in the long run, completely meaningless is the group of hobby athletes.  I'm not sure I've ever read a blog post from a professional triathlete that complains about a crowded pool or whines about training sessions being ruined by stupid shit, but my blog reader is filled to the brim with that kind of crap from age groupers like myself.  I'm attempting to refine what goes in my head just like I'm attempting to refine what goes into my body (now that my bender is over) because it doesn't do anyone any good.  It just doesn't matter.  You know what matters, in the scope of your life?  That you fill your life with people that love you and friends that will be there for you when your dog is dying and a tree fell on your house and that you make every attempt to be joyful in all things.  

That's what I thought about, when I considered what I wanted to do with the rest of my year.  I don't need to build a schedule like a pro, I need to build a schedule around distances and places that I love.  I thought back to what were the greatest days I've had in this sport, and I think it's easy to see that Coeur d'Alene was at the very top.  I didn't race the balls off the distance, I didn't win the race, I don't even know where I landed in my age group other than to guess it was somewhere in the middle.  And I don't care.  I'm not in this sport for the win, I'm in it for the joy, and there is no rule anywhere that says I need to wait until next year to do it all over again.  
So that's what I'm doing with the second half of my year (please note that I signed up on January 5th, not recently).  I've also picked out another 70.3 which I hope will finally be the fantastic race at that distance I've been hoping for, but it also might be another comedy of errors like the last three.  But it's okay.  The 70.3 doesn't have to be my distance.  If I have one more race that is full of fail, I can just retire from it and focus on other distances.  Especially now, when my heart is here.
(In a very long side note: I'm putting together an ironman Q&A post from a mid-packer [me].  I've gotten lots of awesome questions already, but please feel free to send me questions about anything and everything you'd like to know about training, the race, the aftermath, how many times I almost got divorced during peak week, all of it.  Drop me a comment or send me an email at runthisamazingday at gmail dot com and I'm going to post this one later in the week.)


  1. Exciting stuff for you!!!! I had to glance back at my blog to be sure I didn't complain too hard about anything lately LOL I think you've got a great perspective on thing and it will carry you far. Can't wait to watch you leap back into training again (aka have someone to commiserate with hahaha).

  2. It's ok to change your mind and break your own rules - like you said we do this for a hobby and it's supposed to be fun. So whatever race at whatever distance that you want to do you should do!


    "I'm not in this sport for the win, I'm in it for the joy"


    Amen and now I want to come and do B2B too. If only they could cut the distance in like a quarter!

  4. HAHAHAHAHA! I was right all along! B2B Baby!

  5. So you're racing another IM in October? Did I read that correctly?

    Also, for your Q&A, I'd love to know what your training schedule looked like during some of your peak weeks and about how many hours a week you spent training.

  6. Sounds like you have a lot more training coming up! So excited for the rest of your year!!
    and wait, did a tree fall on your house?! Did I miss something?

  7. Yay, another IM! I also am right there with you on the philosophy -- I know a lot of folks who never say anything good about their training. It's always about how badly they really didn't want to run that day and how horrible the run was. Me, I'd give anything to be racking up miles again after dealing with an ongoing injury for over 6 months!

    Which leads me to my question for your Q&A (with a long preamble): I know you've dealt with persistent injuries over the years, some of the same ones I have -- IT bands and hip flexors are my personal kryptonite. Lately I have been unable to run more than half a mile without walking, and unable to string together more than 3 miles of walk-run, and unable to run more than 2x a week without more flare ups. I've just re-started PT with a new person and I'm hopeful we can get it figured out. That said, I'm worried I won't ever have the same confidence again. I used to always feel that if I just trusted my training plan, I could accomplish any new distance or goal. Lately, I don't know. I'm afraid to try to build back up again because I don't want to get another injury-based setback. How did you get your mojo back after your injuries? When you signed up for your 70.3s and your IM, were you still afraid the injuries would plague you again, or did you know you'd survive the training?

    (Sorry for the superlong comment. Apparently I have a lot of feelings.)

  8. I always love all your look SO happy. I just started reading your blog when you completed your first IM. I am excited to read about this one as you start training.
    Couldn't agree with this more: "I'm not in this sport for the win, I'm in it for the joy"

  9. Woah Buddy! Another one = 100% Awesome.

    I look forward to hearing all about it!

  10. Woo joy!

    I feel like hobbyjoggers/hobby-tri-ers complain about stupid shit because we don't always have the perspective to know that it's stupid shit. To rephrase that as a question: Do you feel like IM training gave you better perspective on what is stupid shit and what's actually worth caring about? From reading your blog these past few months, it seems like the answer's yes, but I'm curious about how it happened. Just the scale of the thing? A conscious choice on your part? Coaching?

  11. Lotta good shit here.

    I actually laughed at the mention of people complaining about sharing a lane at the pool because I recently had to deal with someone complaining about having to occasionally split a lane (like maybe once a week). Buck up, you don't get the lake to yourself on race day. haha

    Good luck recovering from your bender.

    Onward to NC!

  12. That is pretty awesome. It makes me tired (ha) but inspired as well. As long as your heart is in it...go for it!

  13. Oh, we're total whiners. I say we b/c I totally whine on occasion. I have been trying not to whine on my rides lately and actually got a compliment about it from a fellow rider. It's a great call out. And anyone who's ever been injured knows how awesome it is to just move again. No real reason to whine when you've got a healthy body.

    I'm excited about your B2B. I can't wait to read how your training will change or stay the same. Also please do the 5K! I also want to see that Ironman fitness is action!!!

    Amen on the love of the sport. It's what prevents me from crapping my pants and stopping to use the porta potty cause lord knows I ain't winning. LOL!

    Cuddles to the pups for me! Muah!

  14. I did B2B last year! I live in Raleigh but go to Wilmington all the time. In fact I'll be there this week for work and I stay in a hotel just off the run course (which means I get to run parts of the course for fun this week :) ) Feel free to email me if you have questions about the race. I was a little overwhelmed about setting my stuff up the night before and the logistics of two different transition areas.

  15. Rules, schmules. Are you having as much fun as that great big smile implies? Then go for it!

    Hmm, B2B...I've only heard amazing things about this race!

  16. I've heard great things about B2B, weeeee!

    I would have commented quicker but I had to make up my workout from earlier today, some jerk was swimming in my lane at the pool so I went home.

    Come do Boulder HIM next year:-) I"ll take you out for some post-race bender-ing.

  17. LOVE that picture of you on the bike.

  18. You had me loling at "So just like bloggers learn how to do when they are small, let's check in on how that is going"

    Anyways good for you and it seems like everything is working out really well anyways!

  19. Good for you! Thanks for reminding us to keep the joy and yes, none of us is going pro. Well none of us 46 yo's:) LOL

  20. Should I change into running shorts? That's my big Q.

  21. Interesting about the 70.3 distance not being for you. I had a conversation with a few friends over the past few days and not that it is breaking news but the 140.6 is my favorite distance. I can't see myself doing a sprint ever again, because it is a 1 hour race and I can train for that time and longer without paying for it and down here in Dallas the sprints are somewhere in the $65 neighborhood which is just absurd.

    Give me the 3-4-5 hour training days and I am in heaven. I love sweating and pushing my boundaries. I love the strategy of the distance when it comes to nutrition and hydration. I love the idea of planning a heart rate zone to work with. The whole concept of the 140.6 distance works for me and I plan on doing 2/year for as long as I possibly can.

  22. Awesome! Happy training for B2B - I hear this is a very great race. Enjoy it :)

    Iron-distance triathlon rocks!!! Your picture says it all :)

  23. Excellent. 'in perspective' article. Very true about some age group hobbyist triathletes getting it completely out of balance. Note to self - make sure I be careful about complaining on my blog.


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