Before I go to far into the depths of my brain, first a long over-due update of the state of Scott.
I’ve knocked out a few races this season and had some inconsistent results. I had intended to race 70.3 Worlds in Mont Treblanc via qualification at Kansas 70.3, but that didn’t work out. I didn’t get a slot outright, and was unable to stay for roll-down, so that has required a change of plans. The result being that I am going to be doing Racine, even though I *hate* the roads there.
The last two and a half years for me in triathlon have been a challenging experience. I’ve written about some of my ups and downs here, and vented a lot of my frustration to people over dinner, via email, and other places . I’m actually surprised I posted about it only the one time on my blog, because I’m sure if you asked some of the targets of my venting they might possibly tell you that I am a class 1 whiney bitch. Responses have ranged from “You hold yourself to a very high standard, let loose and just have fun” to “STOP THINKING” and everywhere in between.
Let me catch you up on the general chain of events.
November 2011 – I have a great race at Ironman Arizona, I wreck my bike.
February 2012 – I get my bike replaced (finally) and everything about it seems wrong even though everything is the same.
April 2012 – Massive PR at Half marathon, become a Dad
June 2012 – Solid race at IMCDA when massively undertrained (intentionally) . I get my bike fit revisited. I still hate how I feel on the bike.
October 2012 – Life best fitness, get sick two days before Kona, still manage a good showing – triathlon depression. I still hate how I feel on the bike.
November 2012 – I race a 10k and I literally feel like I forgot how to run (Were my glutes surgically removed!????) or do any sort of physical activity with any amount of coordination.
May 2013 – Realize I’ve been bumbling around without much purpose for triathlon for several months, reach out to Mark for some advice, similar to what he lent me back in mid-2011, which helped greatly set me on a good path for the fall of 2011. We decide to work together to do some big things. I still hate how I feel on the bike and run, and even a lot of time swimming.
June 2013 – I have a superb race at IMCDA, so awesome that I forget how awful I feel when training.
January 2014 – For various reasons I go back to being self-coached. I still hate how I feel when I train.
May 2014 – I become so fed up with how I feel when training that I decide something must be physically wrong with me. Fast, slow, lots of training, almost no training, lots of sleep, no sleep, lots of eating, very little eating – and all combinations of those – I feel some combination of: uncoordinated, weak, awkward, drowning, etc.
*First* I want to interject here: depending on who you talk to about sports – there are a fair number of people that will tell you that it really doesn’t matter how you feel. You don’t need to feel good, or sometimes even fresh to go fast. I agree with those people. I proved that with IMCDA last year, and countless times throughout my athletic career.
But when I say that I feel awful, I’m talking my hip flexors are screaming after 2 or 3 minutes at threshold on the bike. Only sitting up in a road position makes it tolerable, no amount of stack height, saddle height/foreaft change make any difference. Running anything faster than 7:45 takes a force of will and feels completely out of control. Running is quad only, very little from hamstrings and glutes. My hip flexors and hamstrings are so tight, they have moved up a couple of octaves.
This awful is day-in, day-out fun sapping stuff, leading to negative thinking, questioning, searching, poor execution at races and training, inconsistent quality training.
Moving on – I meet with a PT, who proceeds to look me over and find a couple of things in my pelvis – adjusts them gives me some exercises and send me on my way. His best guess was that this was caused by a fall at some point. When I woke up the next day, it’s like a whole new world of sensations is happening, I can’t tell if it’s good or bad, but something is happening. There are some minor, but immediate improvements in the feedback loop while training. After a few weeks, those sensations actually progress to the point where I can separate the “negative” sensations back to causes and make some corrections.
Today – The good news is, with less and less frequency do I feel like I belong on this chart
In addition to that, in the days leading up to IM Kansas 70.3, I actually felt on, and ready to go – which has been a fleeting feeling the last 18 months. I did mess up on the execution, but I was prepared and firing on all cylinders.
The bad news is that for I’ve spent a long time in various states of moping, searching, not focusing about my training. The upside of that is that because I am actually enjoying how I feel when I train – this should be an easy thing to rectify – so I shall see where the path takes me.
The moral of the story is that it’s normal to feel tired and sore – even sometimes for long periods of time, but when things start to become less fun and your body is sending you various signals that make you feel that something is just not right with your body (or anything really) – take the time to investigate it and correct it. Once corrected, things suddenly become a lot more fun.