Tag: performance dynamics

Stubborn Goals

Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methodsOk, here it is, as clearly as I can say it…
Nationals is in 2 weeks and I’m not going. I committed to a goal back in October, when I registered for the 2014 USA Triathlon National Championships – Olympic Distance. – and I’m not going. Ugh.

I delayed and languished over this decision for weeks and finally made it about a month ago. I just haven’t been able to declare it, clearly enough for anyone to know.

I’ve been very busy torturing myself with doubt and second guessing.   “Am I just scared?” “Would I ever go?” “Should I just suck it up and go?” “Who did I think I was sharing this crazy goal?” “Am I wimping out?” “Why did I ever share this with anyone?” Ugh. “What was I thinking?” “This is why I never share my real goals out loud.” (This feels an awful lot like failure.)

Trying to avoid going back on my goal and feeling all this, I reconsider sucking it up, going, and making the best of it. I could do that. But that feels worse. I want to stay close to home now. The stress of going is definitely bigger than the stress of accepting a decision to withdraw. I know it’s the right decision for me. and my triathalife.  Again, ugh.

Nationals is in 2 weeks and I’m not going…..this year…

I’m actually still very attached to my goal of competing in Nationals and wearing a Team USA uniform to World’s. I’m no less passionate about this vision than I was the first day I saw a picture of my coach in her Team USA kit, competing in London. This is a real, stubborn goal and I’m not letting go of it. I’m only letting go of my timeline.

My training over the past year has been an excellent investment.  I’ve learned a ton. I ave a ton still to learn. (This is possibly the most exciting part of triathlon for me, btw.) I’m an age-grouper and I do this for fun. How I arrive at nationals, whenever that may be, is just as important to me as getting there. I want to be free of worry, fully present, and able to enjoy the experience – even more than I want the Team USA kit.

I still feel disappointed that I’m not going this year. I hope I can qualify for next year. If I don’t, I know I’ll get there someday . If nothing else I’m persistent. Some might say stubborn.

Letting Go of the Perfect Workout

inTent on VacationWhat’s wrong with this picture? It’s a beautiful day. No rain, no snow, mild temperatures in the mid-70s…and I’m on a fluid trainer. While I spin away at least ten other “riders” cycle past me…on my fluid trainer.

As they pass, I think about how I “should” be on the road today. I try to rework the day’s schedule in my head. I should’ve gotten up earlier so I could’ve done both my swim and my ride. I should’ve done the ride in the early morning and then squeezed the pool into the afternoon plans, somehow. I sure Kelsey would be on the road today.  Ugh, if I was really as committed to my training…

What you can’t see in this picture are my kids, but they’re there. They’re on the other side of the screen door, mostly getting along nicely. In addition to training, I have the secondary task of refereeing. Will bonked Hannah on the head. Hannah’s not letting Will see the screen and he can’t see the video. Will’s turn is longer than Hannah’s.

The whining and peace-keeping adds an interesting dimension to intervals. For sure it isn’t perfect.  It is damn good, though.

So why do I do this to myself? I was in the pool at 6:00am and had a great workout. I’m here on my trainer, working hard and focusing on my goal to improve my cycling strength. And I’m beating myself up by comparing myself to stories that I’m making up about other people. Contrary to some competitive thinking – this isn’t motivating me to dig in and train harder. I’m just feeling badly about the good work that I’m doing, right now.

No one likes feeling this way. I don’t want to ruin the workout. It’s time to “cough up that hairball” of crappy thinking and refocus.

 1. I’m an amateur athlete. I compete against other amateur athletes. We all have lives and responsibilities outside of triathlon. I like this about my fellow tri peeps.
2. I have other options. I could add more childcare, but I really don’t want to. I choose to mash-up my training with my family life. It makes me happy.
3. It’s called a PR. Personal Record. It’s not a record for training in someone else’s life or anyone else’s body. It’s doing my best with my own life, my own training, my own ability, and my own circumstances.

Hairball gone, I focus on pushing through the burning in my legs. I enjoy the view of the salt marshes across the road and the occasional cyclist and runner passing. I smile at the complaints about the slow internet and stalled videos as they sail through the screen door.  I take extra special pleasure in my 10 year old daughter’s warning that people are going look at me funny in the driveway. I’m letting go of perfect, and it’s damn good.

As a sports performance coach, I know this stuff. As a human being, I forget, I’m human.