Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Self Assessment

In my little Tea world, I have one real binding principle. I take what I do seriously, but I don't take myself seriously.

Someone important said that. I just stole it.

It's true, though.

Last week, I had a "real" reflective week. Real meaning that I found myself in QUITE the quiet mood, thinking a lot about my season. I'd just finished my last triathlon of the year, and I had an entire week to think about the year.

(Before I get any crap about this, let me clarify. I have ONE more triathlon this year, but it doesn't count. It will hardly be race and more of a "let's see how much suffering I can put myself through before I start crying like a man with a cold")  (Oh, sorry guys with colds.) The reason for the sufferfest is that I will be doing a bike tour the day before. Granted, the 41 miles isn't's the route and the fact that combined days bike mileage will be around 66 miles or so. For me, that's a lot.

But I digress.

Back to my reflection.

Just for fun, g'head and listen to a little Delta Rae while you're reading. G'head. I won't mind.

I thought about a lot of things: racing, good, bad, personality flaws (yours not mine. KIDDING. remember the whole "don't take yourself seriously"?)

Here's what I came up with:

1.) I think I come across as a complainer. I'm not. I believe strongly in letting out emotion. I've been known to have a good cry on the bike and run. I've been known to drop F bombs on a regular basis, and I complain. But I always do the workout; unless there is a really good reason for missing it.

I'm not someone who holds back emotion. If I like you, you'll know. (You might even be a little creeped out, but you'll get used to it). If I don't like you, you will DEFINITELY know.

2.) I may very well be a wussie. Now. Now. Don't go all " are so NOT a wussy. You are SO tough and awesome and clever and beautiful and did I mention awesome? BTW, can I borrow $40?"  I'm being serious. Do I push myself hard enough? Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Am I focused?

I don't know. I guess it depends on my goals, right? Maybe I do good enough for what I do? What if I want more?

I need to go through dewussification.

3.)  Next: I talk too much to the wrong people, about training. Imma gonna reel it in a bit and use my blog more for my thinking out loud. Again, I think it sends the wrong message.

Those are the personality issues I'm going to address, just little ways we can all improve. I think I did pretty well with my list from last season. Sometimes, I don't even realize how I come across until I really "see" another person's reaction....or lack of reaction.


I had a few thoughts. These are all good because I learned a lot this year. Every year that goes by, I learn a little more about myself, what I can do, what I like, what I don't like, etc.

I'm happy to say that this year was mostly about things I like or things that I'm good at.

This year, I learned just how much I love swimming long distances. I love it. I have no desire to give up triathlon to become a marathon swimmer. But I sure do love doing those 2.4 to 5k swims. I never would have guessed it.There's just something relaxing about swimming. I love swimming with my gang. There's something to be said for training WITH people but being unable to talk or support each other verbally, you just have to know the others are there for you.

It is completely different in that regard.

As for the bike, it's a work in progress. I had some of my best races ever, on the bike. Quite honestly, I have a lot to learn. I think it would be good for me to do more (ie--a lot of bike tours next year). I don't know if Coach will go for it because we probably won't talk for a couple of months (about next year). I think it would be a good way for me to do long rides once in awhile.

On the other hand, I sure do love those threshold workouts. I love them.

But, we can't just focus on what we're good at or what we like to do, now, can we?

Running is an animal all to itself. I've always loved running. I confess, I've never been a fan of track work, but I can work around that. I still love my long runs, slow as they might be. In particular, I love winter running. I'm looking forward to those cold or snowy (hopefully) days.

But, I have a hang up. It's hard for me to push after the bike. I don't know how to fix it.

Those are the sports individually.

Then there are races. No clue what I'm going to do next year. I have plenty of time to figure it out. I just don't know if I should venture back to the oly or maybe stick with the sprint.

That 10K is really a killer for me, and....and.....I didn't enjoy it this year. I loved the swim, loved the 40k bike, but the run? It was so difficult that I've considered (for the upcoming tri) either taking a DNF after the swim and bike OR dropping down to the sprint. Although, I'd rather swim long/ride long. I don't actually have to decide on that until race day.

Remember, this race doesn't really mean anything to me. I just don't know if I want to end the season on another bad run.

This is where I feel I need to stress a point. I'm not at all upset with running. I made big strides this year. DON'T MISUNDERSTAND ME. PLEASE. I call it as I see it when the mood hits. I love running. I'm just struggling with running at the end of a tri. It's frustrating.

But improvements are NOT linear. If they were, there would be no challenge in these sports. We'd know that all we have to do is show up day in and day out, and we'd automatically get faster or go longer.

The CHALLENGE is the reason I do this. That's why I haven't given up. Sometimes, we have to take steps back to go forward. 


Now the one thing that I do think is a good idea is the Challenge Weekend concept. Find a weekend where there are two different types of races and do both.

Suz brought up the idea of the Big Shoulders swim (5k maybe) and the Chicago Half marathon the next day. Great idea, except that they are on different weekends. But, that gives you an idea of the Challenge Weekend. I'm sure one of my training partners will come up with some crazy idea that always sounds AWESOME the day you sign up. I know people who do back to back marathons, but that's not really my thing.

Now that I've completely lost my train of thought, I'm probably at a good stopping place.