When so much of my life is connected to triathlon, I get a lot of questions about how my training is going and what my next race is. Right now I don’t have any answers for a lot of reasons.
Back in August I received an email from Doug MacLean, my coach of five years, that he was moving to QT2 Systems full time and could only continue coaching me if I moved to QT2 with him. That was not a move I was willing to make. I was nervous about preparing for both Beach to Battleship and Ultraman Florida so I quickly went coach shopping. I hate coach shopping — dog and pony shows are just not my thing. Ultimately I took the recommendation of Sue Aquila and went with Marilyn Chychota of Endurance Corner. Marilyn and I started working together in mid-August. When we were only a few weeks into the relationship Owen passed away and I became the worst and most un-coachable athlete ever. Ryan and I would go for walks, we’d do some totally unstructured running and we’d cry, a lot. It was so difficult to motivate myself to do anything, let alone force myself to complete a trainer ride (I had a particular aversion to the trainer as I was riding on the trainer when Ryan called me and told me about how serious Owen’s condition was). Even worse I was being horrible at communicating. Coaching is a two way street. A coach can be brilliant but without communication from the athlete, all that brilliance is for naught.
By the end of September I realized there was no way I could or should start Beach to Battleship. Could I finish? Yes. Would it be a shit show? Most likely. I pulled the plug on Beach to Battleship and made an agreement with myself — If I could get consistent with my training during the month of October, I’d do Ultraman in February. If I couldn’t, I needed to respect the massive distance and withdraw. October came and went and I may have gotten on the bike 2 or 3 times. I was good about running (mostly because Ryan would come run with me) but I was horrible about biking and swimming. I made the decision on November 1st to withdraw from Ultraman. When I sent the email letting the race director know it was both the best and worst thing I had done in a long time. I was relieved not to have this massive race hanging over my head but I was also upset and embarrassed that I wasn’t able to finish what I started. Since that decision my training and communication have both been less than stellar. I have good weeks and bad weeks and more bad weeks. I’ve sent more than one “I’m wasting your time” emails to Marilyn. Lucky for me, she’s an expert at dealing with those.
Given my withdrawal from Ultraman Florida, right now I reveling (or trying to revel) in the unknown. Other than a swim meet this weekend, a relay on Martha’s Vineyard in February and Ragnar Cape Cod, I am completely and totally uncommitted. I would like to race long in 2016 but I’m not sure it will happen. First and foremost I’m fat and out of shape and I don’t want to slog through a long race just to say I did it. If I’m going to toe the starting line, I’m going to be prepared to race my absolute best. Second there aren’t a lot of options to race 140.6. I refuse to enter an Ironman race until there are equal Kona slots for professional male and female triathletes (#50WomentoKona) so if I want to go long it looks like I’m doing Rev 3 Cedar Point (I am so bummed that Beach to Battleship is now — or soon will be — associated with Ironman). My focus for this winter is to get consistent, get my volume back up to “normal” and maybe, perhaps, somehow, get my body and hormones to cooperate and lose some weight. For now, one day at a time.