How do you avoid triathlon burnout?
Get knocked up.
I think this is great advice. I was thinking about it the other day, and I really haven't stopped moving in a while. 2004 saw a bunch of triathlons, a Masters degree, and a marriage. 2005 brought me another marathon, some olympic and sprint tris, and my first half ironman. 2006 brought me another half ironman, 2 half marathons, a few shorter tris, and an Ironman. I did a half marathon in late November, 2006.
I didn't stop.
Until February rolled around. When my body gave me the proverbial middle finger and sort of FORCED me to stop.
I kicked and screamed. I tried to keep going...and mostly failed. I slept. A lot. In short, I really didn't know what to do with myself. If I'm not moving, then who am I?
I think that's a good question for all triathletes out there to ask themselves.
Because this thing can be taken away from you at a moment's notice. And not always for good, exciting reasons.
You really, really need to know who you are when you're not moving.
I'm getting to know her...and maybe starting to like her a bit. I'm realizing how much of a dreamer she is--that she can't stop thinking about the future. She thinks about school...will she really be able to handle an AP class and a bunch of honors kids? She hasn't really had the honors kids...ever. Far from it. Especially not with a new (or at least MUCH more detailed) subject and when 9 months pregnant.
Then, she remembers...yeah. Cum laude, Miami University. Armonk Scholar. James Madison Scholar. 3.9 GPA in MA program.
She can do it somehow. She'll make it work.
She thinks about the fall. How the room that used to be an office is now starting to fill up with blue, yellow, and green things. How she can't deny what's about to happen when she feels a strong kick to the rib cage. How sometimes it's all so overwhelming it brings tears of frustration to her eyes...this thing is so much bigger than anything she's ever done. It's so damn scary.
But she's never let herself down before. She remembers that...at mile 5 of the bike course last year, she knew if she was going to make it that day she was going to have to adapt to the situation and throw all prior goals out the window. It was going to be all about surviving.
So she knows she'll somehow do that, too.
She dreams about next year. Of how happy she'll be to get on her bike for the first time, after watching so many rain-less, brisk mornings go by this summer. Of how she can't wait to run...to really, really run again. To do a track workout. To gasp for air again. To see a "7" on her watch--at the front--after running a mile. To feel her heart pounding.
Of how good it will feel to be at a starting line next year.
Any starting line. And how good it will feel to finish.
But for now, she's forcing herself to be in the present, because she has to. The kicks remind her. Snap out of it. Think about now.
She's packed away all her trophies and age group awards, and really wasn't sad to see them move to the attic after mostly gathering dust in the old office. She's starting to realize that's not what this is really about. That she'll never, ever be in the top 3 at an Ironman, a marathon, or for that matter, probably at a half-ironman. But she knows that those races are where she needs to be.
She's getting as ready as she can...because you never will be ready. You can wait your whole life to be "ready," and still not be there. She's figured that part out, at least.
But sooner or later, she knows she's going to have to trust herself and her abilities.
And that's who I am when I am not moving.