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mindfulness while training

I Raced (Sort of): The 2016 PT Solutions Allatoona Swim Bike Mom Race Report

This was my third year completing the PT Solutions Allatoona Sprint Triathlon.  And I had the kind of day, where I thought: I am not even writing a race report about this one.

But then I realized that I was being a brat.  (Still am, actually. But here’s the report anyway… in spite of myself).

So here goes.  (Race reports from 2014 and 2015, for your reading pleasure).

What: PT Solutions Allatoona Sprint by Georgia Multisports
When:  June 26, 2016
Where: Dallas Landing, Acworth, Georgia
Distance:  Sprint – 500 meter swim, 16 mile bike, 5k (3.1 mile) run
Me: 7th place 35-39 Age Group, Overall time: 1:39
Full Race Results Link

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One of my favorite races, the Acworth Women’s Tri (now, the Georgia Peach Women’s Triathlon), has a similar course to this race – slightly shorter and less hilly.  I have done that race several times:  2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Missed last year only due to bike crash… and I will be there this year, for sure and God willing.)

So I guess essentially, I have raced this course, more or less, seven times.

I have been cycling and swimming and running, steadily, for all of–let’s see–three weeks since my injury.  I have been active–lots of movement and weight lifting–but I have not been training for triathlon, in the traditional sense.

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My PR at this race was 1:33 – and that was last year, about 3 weeks before Ironman Lake Placid (I have done sub-1:30 on the women’s course, but it’s shorter).

So let’s just say that, last year, I went into this race in the shape to do an Ironman. [And this year, I was not anywhere near that shape.]

But in my mind–I was.

And I somehow expected to show up and PR my time from last year. I don’t know where that expectation came from.  Delusion? The fact that I have raced the course so much? I have no idea.  Maybe when you race a course many times, you sort of expect to go into it and do better each time. I don’t know.  Either way, it wasn’t a PR day… but it WAS great in many, many respects.

Pre-Race

So hot. Sweating in line for the Porta Potties.  You know it’s gonna be a good one.

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The Swim

First off, I am a swimmer, I guess.  I joked with local pro triathlete, April Gellatly, at the swim start that she better watch out, because I was going to draft off her bubbles.  Our buzzer went off, and I dolphin-dived right behind her–three times, and then I was ready to grab her bubbles.

She was gone.  Whoops.  (BTW:  April won the overall women’s race with a time of 1:15.  Yes, for the whole race).

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I had a decent swim.

I could feel the lack of open water swimming almost immediately. I wasn’t anxious–in fact this was the strongest mentally I have ever felt going into open water, and I felt great in that regard.  But my neck and shoulders were just screaming at me from sighting.

I was just thankful for all the strength training I have been doing or I would be paralyzed today from the pain.

I was fourth out of the water in my gold-capped age group (35-39).

(I’m going to go ahead and say that swim was farther than 500 meters—OR, I at least swam more than 500 meters.  But of course, it doesn’t really matter.  I wasn’t on the podium anyway. 🙂 )

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T1

I may not win the race, but I won my age group in T1.

51 seconds, baby.  

I have mastered T1 at this race. The end. 🙂

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The Bike

So the funny thing about cycling?  Really nothing can replace time in the saddle.  I guess that’s not funny – but it’s so true.  You have to ride your bike in order to survive riding your bike.

I have been strength training. I have literally been doing hundreds of lunges and squats and presses per week… but my actual bike time in the saddle? Wellll…

And it showed. A little less than 2 MPH slower average than this time last year. I dropped from 19.4 MPH to 17.7.

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Of course, I am NOT training for a hilly Ironman. And I have ridden my bike outside ONE TIME… yes, once since February.  So.  I guess I should count my lucky stars at that pace.  And 17.7 isn’t shabby.

The ride wasn’t hard, but I could feel that I didn’t have any really power behind the climbs and none of my traditional speed on the flats.  I was tired and ready to be done.

Moral of the story: one must ride in order to ride.

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T2

I didn’t win T2—- But I was second in my AG! 🙂  One minute even in T2, and out on the run.

[Winning!]

The Run

I felt pretty good heading out on the run, until I hit the third hill.

[This is a hilly run, by the way. ]

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I realized that I had only been back running for a month.

And I could feel it.  Not in my legs.  Not in my glutes.  But in my lungs.  The expanding and contracting of my lungs was murdering me.  I had clearly kept some leg strength and run stride, but my cardio endurance was where I tanked.

Ouch.

As I passed mile 2, I said, “Eff this.” And I stopped. I walked.

Then I saw April Gellatly, and she screamed at me, “Aren’t you having fun? …Run!”

I said, “NO. No I am not.”  (And I was serious).

And she said, “Well, then we run until we have fun.”

She took off running with me, having already finished–as pros apparently have plenty more running left after races.

(I did not have any more fun running, by the way!)

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I am glad she grabbed me and eventually (around the last 0.0001 of a mile) snapped me out of it, because I would have had a miserable race time otherwise, all my walking I was about to be doing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with walking… I am famous for plenty of it, plenty of times!)

And that was that.

Finished in 1:39.

1393 MEREDITH
ATWOOD
SWIM: 11:58 PACE: 2:24 T1: 0:51 BIKE: 53:02 BIKE PACE: 17.7 T2: 1:00 RUN TIME: 33:10 RUN PACE: 10:41 OVERALL TIME: 1:39:59

Post-Race

So a few things.   I’ll admit that I was pissed during and after this race.  I told Coach Brett:  I didn’t have fun. 

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And I really didn’t.

I don’t know what it was. The race itself was fine.  Volunteers were fantastic, etc.

I don’t know what in the world I expected out of the race.  And it was all me, and in my own head. I didn’t listen to my usual advice of: be brave, be thankful.  I didn’t race with a happy heart. I was annoyed by little things out of my control at the start.  I started the race tired.

I came to the whole event with the wrong mindset. Despite all the things I have worked so hard on this year, (my attitude being one of them), I really rottened-up this event–and it was my fault.  I should have just been so glad out there running–but I was mad at myself that I wasn’t running faster. That my endurance was gone.  That I was starting over.

At the end of the day, I was a brat about the race because I am in position of starting from ground-zero.

And by God, I feel like I have started over so many times in this sport.  I am sick of it.  I am no longer a “good” swimmer or cyclist.  I am not a good runner.  (Depends who is measuring, I know).  And it’s not for lack of trying–it’s just the circumstances at present.

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I have to keep moving forward. I must keep working. I can’t give up now.

[But I don’t want to “start over” either.] Sort of in a pickle, eh?

But that’s life. Life is about two steps forward, one or two steps back. And those who never get injured or (seemingly) don’t have bad races, like ever? Guess what? It’s coming. It is. And probably when they wake up and feel the best–that’s the day it hits.  Not waiting for the shoe to drop—but it’s just life.  It’s triathlon. It happens.

Some of us just feel like it’s a predictable cycle. Which is tough when, for once maybe, we aren’t using our weight or food or alcohol or injuries as excuses–we are really working to push past them. And the monkeys in the head are all loud and mixing everything up.

Anyway.

Today, I went and looked at my time, trying to come to this from an objective place.

I was 7th in my AG, out of 17.  I finished in 1:39—less than 6 minutes slower than last year–when I was Ironman ready.  And I am coming off a 14 week hiatus from pretty much all heavy tri training.

It. Was. A. Good. Race.

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Expectations

So in that regard, a little on expectations… I don’t know if comparison is the thief of joy, or if having expectations is the real thief of joy.

If I had gone out on race day just to have fun, I might have been better off.

(And actually another TMI caveat? When I got home from the race, my pee was dark brown. That’s a [gross] sign of dehydration. Yes, it was hot outside, but we had family in town for the past few days, and I just didn’t drink nearly the water I normally do, just being busy and not wanting to use up all the ice in the ice machine 🙂  … so I think that might have been a part of it, too.  I didn’t fee super great out there.)

[Or maybe I truly am burned out with the sport entirely. I don’t know.]

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If I had raced my time last year? I would have placed 2nd. And I’m in this weird place of comparing myself to my pre-Ironman self… and that’s stupid beyond belief.  So maybe it is comparison, and I have written about how dumb that is before. I didn’t realize it would be Me versus Me, in this scenario…

And I couldn’t wait to run yesterday, even after the race. I was ready to run again.

But swim? No.  Bike?  Not really…

“When it stops being fun, you should stop.”  People will say about triathlon.

I don’t know if that’s true, or if I agree.

Because lots of things stop being fun – arguably EVERYTHING at some point, for some period of time isn’t fun – marriage, jobs, life… but you don’t just check out of life and marriage because it’s waaaaaaaa, “not fun.”

But I do think you have to find the “why” and the purpose behind it all.

I used to do triathlon because it gave me some “me” time and it made me feel strong, despite being a bigger girl.  I don’t have those same needs, six years later, I guess.

Triathlon is a different “why” now.

So I am asking myself, I guess, if my current”why” is enough to keep going? Where does “Swim Bike Mom” continue to be in this whole triathlon journey?

I just don’t know…  but for now, gonna #justkeepmovingforward.

Photo courtesy of Luis Fabian Prato @lfabian0326

Photo courtesy of Luis Fabian Prato @lfabian0326

43 Comments

  • Kate

    June 27, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    “When it stops being fun, you should stop.” People will say about triathlon.

    Everything gets hard at some point and you want to quit, but just because its not fun right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push though. Last year I was really sick of swim team practices. I generally love to swim, so I made myself stick it out for one more month before decideing to take a break from swim team. I got over it and I’m glad I stuck it out.

    I also think you aren’t starting over 100%. Your strong, you eat well, and things will come back faster then they have in the past. I suspect you have already heard that from others around you.

    Reply
  • Kimberly W

    June 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    We ebb and flow….peaks and valleys…..interests change and we grow into new things. If I had to guess, I’d say, you are still a triathlete in every sense of the word. In your heart, you could not hang it up forever. However, I think your new passion, which has in some ways come full circle for you, is lifting weights. This is where your roots are and this is where you see the most change in your body for a lot less time than training for endurance events. It allows you to do other things that you enjoy and perhaps you will find new “goals” for this endeavor. There is NOTHING wrong with living your life in new ways. You’ll always be Swim Bike Mom. But you can also be other things. This is not a script that repeats itself for a specific “ROLE” actress for the rest of her life. You will get to a place where you grow weary of lifting weights and by that time, it could turn into hiking, or rock climbing or ANYTHING that your little ones want to explore. Eventually, you will come full circle again, and look forward to crushing PR’s on the Tri courses. In your words, BE KIND to yourself. You’re still such an inspiration to this army, no matter if you decide to take up under water basket weaving as a sport! You’re stuck with us KID! Now, go “Be Brave, Be Thankful.” Just write about it. 🙂

    Reply
  • Stephanie

    June 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hmmm… I took an entire season off a couple of years ago (a “fun” triathlon aside. There were no times or awards for that one) I went back to just doing what I FELT like doing which is where I discovered my love for REALLY long rides (I was averaging around 130 miles a week on the bike with no specific training in mind) I had just come off of being beaten down over and over and over with LIFE and needed to find space to just be. I was disappointed and discouraged by everything. EVERYTHING had stopped being fun.

    When I came back from that a year later, I actually found I MISSED competing and doing triathlon. It really set me on the journey towards IM. I dunno. Sometimes taking a step back doesn’t mean you are DONE it means taking time and space to find your love again. The next tri I did I was genuinely enthusiastic about. I had reclaimed my love of the sport.

    Reply
  • Carla

    June 27, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    You are so full of yourself!!!! The “oh I’m not in Ironman shape like last year…..but hey I will tell you how I placed every two seconds in this race report.”

    You are the master at stroke and punch. Man and I have met my share, including plenty of attorneys but man you take the cake. Seriously, look at every line. It’s either stroking your ego or punching it….back and forth…

    It’s like watching a metronome.

    The saddest part about all of this, you for some unknown reason, just love to be at extremes. The purple hair , the weight training is making me so strong but not treally because I suck at a sprint, look how many meters I swam since I can’t run but oh my body wasn’t ready because of lack of sighting. Really!?! Do you ever stop and just read what you write?

    At this point you are doing the sport of triathlon a disservice. You are never happy. Period. You are uncap able of just being happy. Period.

    You can’t be that egotistical to think you can just show up at a sprint. But to then try and flip flop back and forth between, no you can’t just show up, but hey I was only 6 mins from last year….

    You should quit the sport. I agree. Move on sister.

    I get you’ve made it a brand, but addressing your mental health issues should come first.

    Reply
      • Courtney

        June 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm

        More like [[[[insert middle finger ??]]]] “Carla Naomi Linda” needs to get herself a new hobby and stop being a troll.

        Reply
          • Linda

            June 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

            Good luck with finding any other comments. Since opinions are lie assholes’ everyone has one. If you are going to use the term troll you may want to know the definition.

            “Application of the term troll is subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. Like any pejorative term, it can be used as an ad hominem attack, suggesting a negative motivation.”

            Nothing in my statement is attacking. It’s my opinion and guess what? Shocking I can have one.

            Think what you want, I actually used to like Meredith. She is the one that got me into the sport.

            just because you don’t like someone’s opinion doesn’t mean it’s trolling. She puts it out there and I have a right to comment under my own name, someone body else’s, frodo. Whatever. Why? Because Meredith decided to post a blog I follow and I will comment my opinion. She can censor all she wants as she is doing, hence the number of comments for each blog post keeps going down and down. Hard to filter out all the “trolls” huh?

            Maybe if she had less ” you’re great, awesome, so fantastic” people around her and more, hey, try not to be so damn negative all the time, don’t go to extremes, you don’t have to be flying high one moment or crashing the next…..go to a sprint, don’t worry about the times.

            Perhaps she might be in a better place.

            Post this!

            Reply
            • Swim Bike Mom

              June 28, 2016 at 11:59 am

              Oh, hi Linda. Look it’s still you. Same as Carla. In real life, Naomi. You are ONE crazy ass, jealous person who posts under a million names, even though I know exactly who you are. I’ll never filter your stuff, because it’s too funny how obsessed you are. Normal people, when they don’t like someone, just stop reading. Or say “I hate you” and move on. You? You keep me going… As long as you are here, I will NEVER quit this sport. SO keep it up. I welcome it, and I am thrilled that I irritate the shit of out of you. If I had gum and you were sitting next to me on a plane, I would chew it so damn loud, you’d open the exit door. Keep on commenting, Naomi. I’ll keep on writing.

            • CB

              June 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm

              Linda… “Like” not “lie”. I mean… You are perfect and all…. Pfft

              And you’re just like an opinion.

    • CB

      June 28, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      No. The saddest part is that you, (insert your real name here), have issues. You apparently make yourself feel better by attacking people. You get your rocks off by insulting other people.

      What if you used this energy in a more positive manner like volunteering? That would change things for so many people rather than putting down one person. What’s the sense of that?

      Or better yet, just get an effing life. I feel bad for you that your life is so dull that you have to find happiness by putting down other people. I hope you have no children or are a a teacher because you’re a sad example to be set for them.

      And I find it most intriguing that you know so much about her and continue reading the blog. The person that needs to get over it is you. Let it go. Move on with your life.

      You are a one of kind….

      Reply
  • Jamie

    June 27, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    I did this race in 2014 and 2015. It is fun. I love ending in the town. Been reading your “am I burned out” saga. I started tries in 2005. Major midlife crisis mode. Several Olympic distances (they don’t even call them that now. Ha. ) and sprints and races in between. Then I got burned out. And life drama. In August 2013, I did Tri to beat Cancer in Athens. It was fun again. So for the last two summers I did lots of sprints and just had fun. This summer is the summer of yoga and other pursuits. Will walk/run the Peachtree next Monday. I’ve learned that each year is different. We aren’t machines. I think it’s great you raced with no training and finished with a smile. Don’t listen to anyone but yourself. Take a break. Try something new. You can always race on your terms when you feel like it might be fun again.

    Reply
  • M.

    June 28, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Have you thought about venturing into other types of multisport, like obstacle races and adventure racing? I have started doing tris for fun, but I’m also doing other types of races to keep myself challenged and to prevent my training from becoming monotonous. Doing other types of races won’t make you any less of a triathlete. You will always be an Ironman finisher, even if you branch out. Maybe doing something like a Spartan race will help you find your joy in training again.

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      June 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      As clumsy as I am, I don’t know if Spartan racing would be something for me… but I am thinking of some other things. I am really liking running now, so I am thinking of more running races on the books. What kinds of racing do you like?

      Reply
      • M

        June 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm

        I was a chubby teen and always hated running, but now that I’ve slimmed down I finally find joy in running. It still doesn’t come naturally easy to me (and I have a mild exercise induced asthma which means the first mile is usually a bit miserable) but I am slowly increasing my mileage over time. I am doing some running only races over the next year; 6km trail race next week, 10km race in the autumn, and *fingers crossed* a half marathon in the spring. I prefer being on my bike, though. Mostly I just like being outside, so I would love to do some navigation-based adventure races when I have gotten better at navigating (I have recently joined the local orienteering club and I’m really struggling with the maps!!). I hear you on the clumsiness; my husband will tell you that I am the clumsiest person he’s ever met, but I am aiming to do Spartan and Tough Mudder races in the future. Don’t get too upset over the criticism… Some people will always have an issue with what you do. If you are tired of tris, you shouldn’t feel bad about trying something different. I think most people would feel burned out after several years of intense Ironman focus. It doesn’t make you a bad athlete. It’s just a sign that it’s time to change up the routine 🙂

        Reply
        • Swim Bike Mom

          June 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm

          Good perspective. I definitely find more joy in running after taking off 20 pounds—it makes it much more fun. Maybe that’s all my body is telling me – to explore more the run, since i have spent so much time in the pool and bike over these 6 years. I have been injured where I couldn’t run, but i haven’t taken much of a break from the swim and bike. Good perspective. 🙂 Oh, and criticism? Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. #ThickSkinElasticHeart <3 Thanks for reading

          Reply
  • Dawn C

    June 28, 2016 at 10:48 am

    “At this point you are doing the sport of triathlon a disservice. You are never happy. Period. You are uncap able of just being happy. Period. ”

    This…troll, or whoever it is, has my sympathy. What an empty he or she must lead. My swim coach always says “Life begins outside of our comfort zones.” Truer word were never spoken. This implies that there is a discomfort, an itch to be scratched, something that is causing a sort of unhappiness for which we are hardwired to seek relief. Some people choose substances, others activities or relationships, so “just being happy” is just another way to say “settle” or “live in the comfort zone”.

    Thus saith the woman who might not be able to participate in the sport she found too late in life that brings her a joy she has never known, especially not in athletics…despite the discomfort, the pain, the failures…because part of it is about relationships and finding myself in the hearts and souls of others.

    I love you, my friend, and hope to have you in my corner, evn if both of us no longer participate in trithalon for whatever the reason.

    Reply
  • cherie

    June 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Congratulations! Don’t you love doing the same course over and over again? I’ve done a 1:12 for a sprint distance (with an 800 swim, but the bike was 12) while training for an IM. So yeah there is some carry over from long to short distances. I don’t like how you mentioned “old slow ladies” though on your FB site….two women in 60-64 AG beat your time. There are really fast older ladies out there….

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      June 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Well, hold on there. I quoted that in response to another comment. Of course I don’t feel that way.

      COMMENT: “I was there too. Just moving to ATL-no bike in 5 weeks; have gotten in some swims and runs. I had the swim long too-700 yds. I was with the old, slow ladies wearing my TriFe paisley kit.”

      MY RESPONSE: “I saw you!!!!! Not with the “old slow ladies” – but I saw the Tri*Fe kit! :)”

      I was just mirroring the comment – hence the quotes.

      Reply
  • Susan

    June 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Of course you would Meredith. The problem with your airplane analogy, you are in your own world, like usual. In MY world, I would just ring the call button, let the flight attendant know my seat mate must surely be having a medical condition that requires loud chewing and perhaps the other seat mates would like to accommodate you.

    Problem solved.

    Because proving me wrong and the sport is more important than being happy, injury free, or SHOCKING, enjoying what you are actually doing! Glad I can be that motivation!?! I guess. Again, rebel away. Doesn’t impact my life.

    Thank you for the privilege of posting on your blog and not moderating my comments, I’m eternally grateful for this little thing we call freedom of speech.

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      June 28, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Wow. (still Linda, Still Naomi.) You are so smart. I stand in awe. Freedom of speech? Good one. Your comments also don’t impact my life. So comment away, you freedom of speecher, you rebel, you. With all your names.

      Reply
  • Ethan

    June 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Over the winter I lost three elderly pups over the course of four months. Spiraled into grief, eating went to hell, fell off the alcohol wagon big time, stopped working out. Went from my peak lifetime fitness in Fall of 2015 with a first ever 70.3 and a marathon, to putting on 40 lbs and zero fitness in 6 months. The point of all this is that I fully understand what it feels like to compare my current self against what/who I was not even one year ago. I’m just now getting back into positive behaviors and my endurance, speed, strength, [insert fitness metric] are completely gone. But I am returning to a love for movement, sweat, sobriety, clean eating, being outside. Mentally loving it because I am pushing my current limits, not my limits of the past.

    Reading your post, I pick up lots of competitive energy. Competing against your previous times, competing against other age group members, competing against transition times, competing against your personal records, competing against your own expectations. Maybe that’s why it feels like a drag.

    If that spirit of competition is key to making the sport work for you (when it is working for you), then you’ll just need to find an outlet for competition that is working for you right now. OR, might provide more enjoyment if you can let go of the competition and just focus getting out there and moving. Accept that you can have a hugely successful race with a clock that does not come anywhere near your own PR or the others in your age group or whatever.

    Your past teachings of “Forward is a speed” have carried me through many tough workouts and races. The only thing that mantra competes with is my desire to quit and I love it. I, and maybe you also, would benefit from that version of “swim bike mom” to come back!

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      June 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Yep. Totally get what you are saying. However, after almost 6 years of “just forward” as my default speed, I guess it’s obvious that I want real speed, too… forward AND fast. But I haven’t put in the work to justify the reward of real speed —-YET. And only because of the injury – December to stress fracture, I made massive, massive gains and it made me happy. THAT was happy. SO yes, I get it…. i need to find happy in the pace I am, but the honest thing? That’s not where I am…. and I am sorry that my posts are a drag to some, but it’s always been about being honest about exactly what is rattling in my head. Oh, and I also talk about my times in the race report, because it’s a sprint… where I think times and the Zone 5 “race” feel is interesting – much more so than the longer races. That’s really all my thought process in these reports for the sprints. In a half or full iron, it’s not as interesting to say I took 8 minutes in transition. But 51 seconds? I think that’s fun. 🙂 thanks for reading and your perspective as well. Lots of love to ya.

      Reply
  • Jenny

    June 28, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    You know what really gets me from reading the negative comments? This is YOUR blog! Why do people feel they are entitled to tell you how YOU SHOULD ACT and FEEL?! I have been following you for several years and what I think is most important is that you keep doing your thing. Type out what you are feeling a certain day, and if you feel differently about it the next day…then guess what? You feel different the next day! No one should judge you for putting yourself out there and being honest with your journey and insight. It’s EXACLT WHY you have followers! It doesn’t matter to me if you quit triathlon tomorrow. Or if you say you are going to quit tri forever but decide next week to do an Ironman. I will still read your blog because you are REAL and HONEST in your writing. I relate to this post especially because the last race I did was not fun. And halfway through it I remember telling myself THIS IS NOT FUN and I am not enjoying it…so I currently I am taking a break and finding other ways to have fun exercising and “gasp” competing. IMO, without comparison or competition (whether it’s against other people or yourself) you can’t really gauge your personal growth success. You relate to so many women in a positive way. Your SBM army is stronger than any hater you will ever have. You inspire me.

    Reply
    • Ethan

      June 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      I can’t really tell from the way the website indents comments whether Jenny’s remark was in response to mine or from ones up above or the post in general, but hopefully she isn’t referring to my post as “negative” or me as a “hater”. Meredith described feeling burnout and not really having fun, I offered some ideas related to how I personally connect to that. For me it is pressure of competition sometimes takes joy away, so I look for non-competitive ways to engage and stay active. It helps me, it may or may not help other people.

      Reply
        • Jenny

          July 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

          Ethan, sorry if it came across that I was referring to your comment. I was talking about the woman with multiple names Carla Linda Naomi commenter. I think she should settle on the name Negative Nancy though! 😉

          Reply
  • Diana

    June 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I do think you’re being very hard on yourself here. There’s no real reason for it. You’re recovering from an injury, and that takes time. You’ve only recently quit drinking, and that’s a recovery that also takes time; addiction absolutely changes your brain chemistry and (IMHO) your biochemistry.

    So rather than asking yourself “should I quit triathlon?” it’s my opinion that you should ask yourself “what gives me pleasure right now?” Your brain is seeking rewards and not finding them. Your recent post about your kids’ triathlon event was a joy to read; perhaps it’s time to spend more time helping them find pleasure in movement and sports? Are there mother/kid events? If not, why not? There should be! (Wait, you actually have a triathlon relay team in your family! There you go.)

    I love running, both alone and in races, and am experimenting with triathlons because I enjoy the training… but I’m honestly not sure about a sport that times how long it takes you to put on your shoes after you get out of the pool.

    Reply
  • Beth

    June 28, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I did my first tri three years ago because I needed a goal, and the RunDisney 10K was sold out. Some friends did it as a family and I figured if an 11 year old could do it, so could I (this is faulty reasoning, but it got me in the pool). I conned a friend into doing it with me and so began training year 1, where my one goal was to not die on the course. It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved it, because it was such a positive experience, the course was gorgeous and I got to do it with friends. Year two, I was hurt for much of the fall, and training was pretty much non-existent. I wasn’t going to do it, but had good friends who basically said “man-up”. Significantly less pretty results, but again a positive experience. This year could go either way, but I am doing it no matter what.

    The point to all of this? Its one race. I may be “training” but am really just exercising, moving and getting better. I don’t think I could handle constant competitions. It would take the “fun” out of it for me. I would constantly be competing (even if just against myself) and that’s not a recipe for happy in my day-to-day life. I get that maintaining the enthusiasm for all of this 24/7 would just be too hard and while it might have made you push yourself in the beginning could now be too much (self-imposed) pressure.

    Maybe take a step back from focusing on you (not a criticism, just to clear your head), and feature some other Swim Bike Moms–there is inspiration in the community. Maybe talk about some other things–TV shows you love, movies you hated, books read–allow yourself to be something more than SBM. One of my favorite blogs that does this is the Fat Cyclist blog, Eldon makes cycling interesting for a non-cyclist and shares just enough of his life/frustrations/issues that you know he is just like you, and not some weird training-bot.

    Blog burnout it real and may also be a contributing factor to your race dissatisfaction. But like Dorie says, just keep swimming/biking/running! Do it because its fun, not because you feel like you have to.

    Reply
  • Elaine - Nottingham, UK

    June 30, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Dear Meredith. I’m just writing to say a huge “Thank You”. For sharing your stories, for your inspiration and overall awesomeness. I’ve just finished reading “Triathlon For the Every Women”. I finished the last chapter about 2 minutes ago, and I cried because I feel like I’ve been on this huge journey with you over the past 2 weeks. What I love so much about your story is that you are so honest, and tell it like it is, without sugar coating it. Life is hard, but you just keep going. I am only just starting out on the Triathlon journey. Last year, my partner was diagnosed with breast cancer, so the past year has been a blur of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. When she was given the all clear in April, she announced “I’m going to do a triathlon”. I was completely shocked, because she had never mentioned it before. Keen to support her, I agreed to train with her for a sprint Triathlon in September. So we really are both “Newbies”. Once again – Thank you! From the bottom of my heart! You are truly amazing xxx

    Reply
  • Lisa

    June 30, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I feel the same way. I just don’t feel like riding my bike and swimming like I did just last year. I’m making the move over to more long distance trail running. I found myself keeping up with Western States 100 last weekend and feeling the same way I’ve felt watching Kona in the past.

    Reply
  • M @readeatwriterun

    June 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Comparison and expectations, thieves of joy. With you on those. And wanting to be faster, struggling with it.

    I’m glad you’re coming back from injury, but sad you are going through this. Frustrating and emotional times. Wish I could help.

    Your posts when things are challenging (maybe especially those) have such resonance and are such a help to me and others – I thank you for your honesty.

    I feel a kinship though we have only a few things in common – or maybe more than I know. I’m having a sort of joy-sucked-out period right now, in training and life – I seize the moments/times of any pleasure, goodness, excitement, “appetite” (like “oh, I want to do that event” though I am emotional/stress eating with little physical appetite…trying to keep it in check if nothing else). My wise sis told me once during some dark days that anything (that doesn’t hurt me) that makes me feel a spark, alive, interested, I should go toward. I try to keep that in mind. (and I followed Western States too – though I’m training for, and fighting for, faster marathon times yet, as a just turned 50 year old female with some medical stuff – and maybe onset of menopause – I am thinking of moving to ultras in a while. Got a 5 year plan and have already done my first 50k. 🙂

    You strike a chord with others, say things we think and feel, shine light on dark places, and – like in the comments – let us tell you stuff as if we’re meeting a friend. I am grateful you share your journey and wish you and yours well always, whatever you do in sport and life.

    Reply
  • Priscilla

    July 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I understand the athletes mind set, so I totally get your disappointment, but I want to say that your time would be some one else’s (me) best race ever….here’s the thing about what you do on a good day or a bad day of racing, YOU are inspiring other people, mainly females, to do something brave and outside of this comfort zone to reach new goals that may not have ever even been on their radar before. You do what makes you happy, remember what inspires you, and know there are people like me who WILL complete an ironman someday because of your spirit! Spirit is, after all, your best weapon to defeat any odd thrown at you!

    Reply
    • Swim Bike Mom

      July 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you – and yes, I understand that. And thank you! 🙂 I have noticed over the years when you post race times people think: oh she’s slow, or oh, that’s faster than I will ever race… I have learned that I can’t win either way on the time reporting, so I just lay it out there as it is. 🙂 Thanks for reading xxoox

      Reply
  • Chelsea Wyatt

    July 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I am struggling (mentally) right now with training for my first (sprint) tri. The whole reason why I knew I could do it (a year ago, when I first got the word “triathlon” in my head and started doing research) was because I found your page and read your story. I am starting from nothing, and if it never progresses past this point, at least I will have completed one triathlon in my life.

    I was coming from a place where almost nobody around me even knew what a triathlon was. I felt their energy pushing me forward. And then I found out that a long-lost highschool friend has just completed a half-Ironman, and I felt my drive just drop out from underneath me — I’m not special, I’m not as good as she is, I might never be.

    So thanks for sharing your triumphs AND struggles, because I am always looking to you and thinking, “What would SBM do?” It’s important to me to know that your tri journey isn’t always sunshine and roses, ESPECIALLY for a short event like this. You have your reasons, even excuses, for why you didn’t do as well as you hoped, but it doesn’t change the fact that you went out and did it, and reported on it, and showed us your vulnerability.

    (For the record, I think your time IS great, especially compared to last time’s when you were much more “on track”. You are still healing and strengthening and soon you will be even better than before. I’m counting on you to show me the way! You’re an inspiration!)

    Reply
  • Jennifer

    July 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Meredith have you ever thought about training aerobically more often. I switched up my training and now train predominately aerobic. Under 150bpm running and under 135 cycling. It is tough to be diligent but I am barely ever sore and recover is quick. I find that it is less stressful on my body and when race day comes I am excited to go as fast as I can! The style of training prevents burn out and keeps you fresh! Just food for thought. Love the blog, keep it up and brush off the haters 🙂

    Reply

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