Sometimes life is about stepping outside of comfort zones. Reward often comes from feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Other times, it’s about having a do-over. This post is about the do-overs.
I’m big on intention-setting and work with my clients to set intentions at the start of every year. Last December, I created a list of my own. In May, at the halfway point, I reviewed my list, checking off what I had already accomplished (call it the Type-A in me, but I also love making lists and crossing items off as I complete them) and considering what was still left to do.
Then I saw this:
Somewhere along the line I had added a sprint — short-distance — triathlon to the list. A triathlon is a sporting event that consists of swimming, biking and running (in that order). A sprint distance triathlon includes a 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run.
For a brief moment, I considered crossing it off the list and moving on like it never happened. I had recently taken a running hiatus and I wasn’t sure that a Tri was in my future as much as they had been in my past. But I realized there was something I really missed about the times in my life when race training — triathlon and marathon — was front and center.
As I’ve built my health coaching practice and focused on building a brand and a business, my workouts had become monotonous (hence the running hiatus). That feeling of setting a fitness goal, working really hard for it then crossing the finish line — a way of life that for many years defined and shaped me as a person — slowly dwindled from my exercise routine. I was setting new goals and running a different kind of marathon called entrepreneurship.
The first year or so I spent not training felt freeing in a way. Finally I could stay up late on weekend nights and enjoy one too many cocktails if I wanted to or skip a workout if I liked. But something always seemed amiss and whether I was conscious of it or not, giving up what was once such a major part of my life had been difficult to reconcile.
As fate would have it, I received an email from the Danskin Triathlon Series offering me a race entry for their triathlon. The Sandy Hook Danskin Sprint Triathlon was the first multi-sport race I had ever competed in and I have fond memories of it. As a Tri newbie in 2005, I loved that it was an all-female race and the location in Sandy Hook, NJ (they have 7 others throughout the country) was convenient to the city and made for a nice weekend getaway.
I thought about it for a few days, meditated on it.
Did I want to race again?
Are endurance sports a thing of my past?
Will they be a part of my future?
I didn’t have the answers but I knew I wanted to revive the part of me that loves to train — if even for just one race.
Sometimes I want to have all the answers right away. But the reality is I don’t have to know everything at the outset. Now that I’m older (and wiser) my motivation is to do this race differently than I did it the first time– the way I wish I could have done it the first time.
My goals will be different this time:
1. I’ll improve my time: I’m so much stronger now (physically and mentally) than I was then. I finished the race in 1:22:55 — not bad for a first-timer but I know I can do it faster so I’ll work to shave some minutes off my time.
2. I’ll fuel properly: Had I known half of what I know now about proper fueling for endurance sports I would have been better off. I am excited to train for a race and this time know how to fuel for it.
3. I’ll maintain balance: As a perfectionist, I never let myself miss a training workout — at the expense of pushing through pain, exhaustion and burnout. For example, today I felt under the weather with a cold. There was a time when I would have exercised anyway. Now I know I’m better off taking a rest day.
4. I’ll go into it with confidence: Every time I tried a new race distance I questioned whether or not I could physically do it. I already know I can so this time there will be no self doubt. Envisioning myself crossing the finish line will be easier than ever before because I already have.
My 8-week training program will look like this:
|1||Strength||Run 30 min||Bike 45 Strength||Swim 20 Run 25||Rest||Run 30 min||Swim 30 Run 30|
|2||Strength||Bike 30 Run 15||Swim 15 Run 30||Run 30 Strength||Rest||Run 35 min||Swim 30 Bike 30|
|3||Strength||Run 35 min||Bike 50 Strength||Swim 30 Run 20||Rest||Run 40 min||Swim 30 Run 45|
|4||Strength||Bike 40 Run 10||Swim 30 Run 15||Run 30 Strength||Rest||Run 45 min||All 3 90 Min|
|5||Strength||Run 40 min||Bike 30 Strength||Swim 30 Run 25||Rest||Run 50 min||Swim 30 Run 45|
|6||Strength||Bike 40 Run 15||Swim 15 Run 40||Run 40 Strength||Rest||Run 55 min||Swim 30 Bike 60|
|7||Strength||Run 45 min||Bike 40 Strength||Swim 30 Run 30||Rest||Run 60 min||Swim 30 Run 60|
|8||Strength||Bike 30 Run 30||Swim 30 Run 30||Run 30||Rest||Rest||Triathlon|
I’ll be posting semi-regularly about my training (provided it’s not too boring), so make sure to sign up to receive updates.
And make sure you tell me in the comments about a time when you had a do-over or if you could have a do-over what would you do and why?