Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Sad Announcement

It is with a very heavy heart that I make an announcement. Because this is where I spend so much time recapping my races and weight loss struggles and successes, it seems that this is where the announcement needs to be made. I told The Colonel earlier this evening when I got home from school close to tears and I need to make it official before I change my mind.

I will not be doing an olympic triathlon this year.

Sounded much more serious than that, didn't it? Well all joking aside, it is serious to me. In my mind, I'm now a quitter. I'm a wimp. I'm giving up on my goals and soon will start giving up on all of them. This isn't the case of course but for now it's really hard for me to be rational. I am a goal setter and rarely has there ever been a goal I didn't *eventually* reach. So for me to seriously and actually "give up" is heartbreaking. I'm also abandoning my quest to lose 40 more pounds this year. It would be great if it happened, but I can't handle having that as a goal right now. For now, we'll focus on maintenance.

As you know, I started graduate school this month. What you may not know is that my background is not in anthropology and because of this, pursuing a masters degree in the field is really really difficult for me. I don't have any of the knowledge that comes with studying it during undergrad so it is extremely difficult for me to grasp concepts when the writer has made assumptions regarding what theories and scientists we already know. Long story short, I'm struggling. As of now I'm still working (though very part time) and so my typical day looks something like this:

  • Wake up and workout/study
  • Race home to shower, eat and get dressed
  • Go to work for a few hours
  • Eat and study/workout again
  • Go to class
  • Come home and eat and study/read until I fall asleep

This current schedule doesn't look like a lot but it's not giving me enough time to do all the things I need to do. I read at least 2 full books a week and am now getting into papers, presentations and teaching.

I started racing years ago because it was fun and you got a tshirt. I restarted racing because I needed a reason to be proud of myself. I needed something to be proud of. After college I felt like I had nothing. I had gotten a degree and completed the marathon and those had been my goals for the 4 previous years. Since then I've had a hard time finding purpose in my life. When I decided to do a triathlon and start racing again it gave me goals and things to be proud of. It was a way of telling myself that I was good for something. That I could do anything. And to give that up is devastating to me and my ego. But I've got to be able to work towards a greater goal again. My masters degree comes first and it just has to be that way.

An olympic tri doesn't sound like much. I had an Ironman at the pool today tell me it wasn't much and that it wasn't a big deal. But to me, even the small amount of time (relatively) that it requires to train is time I don't have to spare. Last week I learned to balance my readings while on my bike trainer and it was wonderful. I also used the elliptical and walked on the treadmill this week while reading and it was great. But if I'm going to seriously train for races, I'll need to do a lot more than an hour of walking. I can't afford the time away from my studying that I'm taking now with swimming and long runs. Regardless of how long or short the swim, I can't take my books with me. I can't read and run on a treadmill or I get dizzy and outside...well, duh. You can't run and read.

I still plan to race this year. I'm still doing the Disney Princess Half (in one month! eek!). I'm still doing the Triple Crown and the Derby Festival mini. But I will likely only race sprint tris and will "train" on a much smaller scale. I just simply can't load up my plate at this point and the last thing I want to do is have training become another thing I have to do. That's what happened with the marathon and I still haven't recovered.

I hope you all don't think less of me and I hope you'll still read *when I find time to write*. I hope you won't tell me how so and so has kids and is way busier than me and still manages to find the time. I hope you won't tell me I'm making excuses. Trust me, I'm already telling myself that. Please leave some positivity if you're feeling up to it, I could use all the help I can get right now!

Namaste.

 

7 comments:

  1. So to start with positivity, you have been talking about getting your masters even before we graduated. It's something you've always wanted and I envy you that you are currently living your dream.
    Next I'd like to reiterate that without your unknowing motivation, I never would have started working out again. And just so you know, I'm down 2 pant sizes. And every day I "just don't feel like it" I look back at previous texts and statuses that you have given me that say you didn't feel like it. But you did. And now I can. So thank you. And I'm proud of you. So roll with the punches. You inspire me every day.

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  2. You are amazingly brave for admitting this to yourself. However, sprint tris are still a huge accomplishmenr

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  3. I'm so proud of your progress! Great job! I may have been the talking head but you definitely deserve all the credit for the work YOU have done! After a little while to reflect, I need to recognize that having to postpone one goal to reach another isn't a bad thing at all. Eventually that will make 2 goals that I reach when there are unfortunate people out there who don't have the means to reach even one. First world problems huh?

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  4. You're right, I need to talk to myself like I'd talk to other people. There's nothing wrong with sprints! Plus, there are some longer ones than the one we did so it'll always be a challenge. I'm done complaining now.

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  5. I'm sorry it took me a zillion years to comment on this. I knew what I wanted to say, but never sat down to get it all out!

    1. I know how much you were looking forward to an oly. Really, it just sucks that it won't work out. But I think you are making the right choice. There is no need to get yourself in to a spot where other things are falling apart or you are getting sick due to stress.

    2. I think it is more brave and smarter to be able to change your plans and goals. And like you said before, grad school needs to come first right now. I started undergrad as an anthro major, and even in the beginner level classes all the background stuff could become overwhelming. I can't imagine how much "catch up" you are having to do!

    3. Even though you aren't doing an oly, and you aren't aiming to lose 40 lbs, I think you can and will still have a successful tri season and lose weight this year. I am a numbers and goal person too, so I get it. Some people can set a goal to lose 40lbs, then lose 25 and be happy because that is still great! But not me. If I aim to lose 40 lbs, and don't amend it, and lose 25, that isn't meeting the goal. When I first read your post, I thought you were giving up on losing weight at all. Then I realized you were basically erasing the number, right? I think that is a good idea for your sanity, even though I fully believe that you will have a strong year!

    4. I really hope no one pretends to be in your shoes. No, you don't have a house full of kids to raise or any of that, but it is not fair to basically say "Well I do X, Y, and Z so you can do it too". Although the Ironman at your gym might think an oly takes up barely any time, that is not their place to say for your life. I think you are making smart choices instead of breaking your neck to do something that might land you injured or at your breaking point. I have friends in grad school who have grad school (in their undergrad field) and a very part time job, and were still overwhelmed. Just because it works for some does not mean that it's a good idea for anyone else.

    Basically this whole rambling comment is to say that while I agree it totally sucks to have a goal pushed back, I 100% support you and I think you're doing the right thing for yourself. When you get time to surface from your text books, I can't wait to talk to you! :)

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  6. You're so sweet to always say such nice things! Me and my sister yesterday were talking about first world problems and me whining about them. Boo hoo, I can't do a triathlon because I'm too busy getting my masters degree. Sounds silly when you put it that way and I do feel dumb but I'm glad so many people understand. Thanks for your support! I need it!

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  7. [...] excuses are valid and we can’t be afraid to make them from time to time. Looking back at this post, I realize how ridiculous it was at some point. I was (and still am) obviously disappointed that I [...]

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