(photo at right is from 11/2/05 - Treasure Island Tri!)
So, here it is again...tri season is set to begin in just a few short weeks. I ended last season on such a positive note, taking second in my age group at the Treasure Island Triathlon (yup, ended up doing it) and having a personal best in my run. You would think that would propel me to be completely gung-ho about the next season...which I was...
Until I got sick. I mean, sicker than I'd been in a long time. Strep throat went untreated and my body absolutely refused to be up to the task of working out at any type of intensity beyond simply 'moving.' It started in December, just after Thanksgiving, when I just woke up one day and thought "mmhmm, definitely getting a cold. I think I'll not go swimming." But by the time the hour arrived for me to start getting ready for work, I still wasn't feeling so hot. In fact, I felt even worse. So I decided to stay home and sleep. Man oh man, did I sleep. I knew I must not be doing well if I slept nearly all day. Things sort of went downhill from there, though I did get to work a couple of days that week. Forced myself to go on a bike ride over the weekend, despite waking up with a sore throat that had all the icky white stuff at the back and ached so bad that swallowing proved difficult. Yeah, that bad. So yours truly (what a DORK!) forged ahead anyway, got my arse up at the crack of dawn to meet up with Lee and Matt in Santa Rosa by 7 a.m., and rode in 32 F weather. Smart, huh? Still went to work on Monday, though.
So began a month-long battle with fatigue and generally feeling 'sick.' I couldn't seem to get up in the mornings. I began telling everybody, "I FINALLY know what it's like to not be a morning person!" Getting out of bed was a battle, and midday coffee became the norm. Workouts were always tough, and I dropped back to the 1:30 lane at the pool, where even that lane felt difficult. At one point I wondered if I had mono, but there were no lingering fevers and the fatigue wasn't THAT horrible.
About four or five weeks later, though, I woke up one day and just felt 100% again. Just like that. I bounded into the office and everybody knew I was back! My energy returned and I was so happy. The interesting thing is that right before that time, during one of our post-ride coffees, I began to cough severely. I'm talking, cough-your-lung-up-and-can't-stop type hacking. But Lee had a cough too, so I was in good company and attributed a lot to the cold air outside. However, as I began to feel better, the cough seemed to stay...and stay...and up until a few days ago, not a day went by where I didn't have at least one good coughing fit, especially if somebody gave me a good belly laugh or I exercised outside.
Knocking on wood here, but I do believe it's finally passing.
So, with all that sick, my body had a lot of time to recover from the long grueling season I endured prior. My muscles didn't feel tight all of the time. I didn't feel stressed out about missing a workout. I wasn't worrying about whether or not taking a day off would cause me to lose valuable training time. That type of thinking sounds pretty sick to me, now that I reflect on it. But that's the way you're always thinking during the season. Always wondering about how you're going to fit in some extra hours. Mad at yourself if you oversleep. Giving up time with friends to work out or go to bed early.
With that realization, why not just not do it again? Because I tasted victory. It made me so unbelievably humble and proud to WIN. To go into a race with the ambition of just doing the best I could, to rely on all of my training efforts up to that point, and then to go out and KICK SOME BUTT feels pretty damn good. I want to compete again, but perform at an even higher level and be more knowledgeable than I was before. I don't want to overtrain this time. I don't want to start workouts feeling tired. I still don't necessarily need to win, considering I've aged up and am now in the super-competitive 25-29 age group. I just want to see some improvement in my training style, I want to be a better athlete, a better cyclist, and have a healthy attitude toward working out. I want to treat my body right. I don't want my life to revolve around triathlon; I want it to continue to be a hobby, not an obsession, which it can so easily become.
So those are my season goals. Well, one addition: I want to be a more involved member with the Lombardi Tri Team. It's a great group of people that I would like to get to know even better and race with. Last season was all about me, which is great, but I am finally beginning to feel like I can share some of it with my teammates. Some. :-) Still a lot about my personal growth and development, but it is nice to have others to swim in the bay with, or do an occasional track workout with.
It feels good to write out my goals. I can go back to them when I'm having a low moment. Remind myself about what this season is about. Who knows if there will be future seasons. Right now I'm choosing to focus on the task at hand. The short-term task is to get ready for Wildflower! 7 weeks away! I've begun base training and have had a pretty full week of training. I may need to scale some of my intensity back - the key here is being able to repeat workouts. I think I may use my blog more often this season as a way to record my workouts. So, if anybody still reads this, look forward to more frequent and less lengthy entries.