Training Episode VI: Return of the Bec-i

May 04

Training Episode VI: Return of the Bec-i

I’m writing this post from hot, humid, and sunny (well, not right now — it’s pouring rain) St. Croix, nursing a mild sunburn and a round belly (don’t worry, it’s just the food baby) on the eve of Ironman St. Croix 70.3. I had grand plans to run a marathon before kicking off my triathlon season by tackling the Beast, but the marathon never happened and neither will the race tomorrow (for me, anyway).

Truthfully, the months after Ironman Canada have been tough for me mentally as well as physically. After my crashtacular finish, I took some extra time to recover and focus on work. Unfortunately, that focus made me realize how unhappy I was at my new job, and that realization caused a lot of stress and headaches through fall and winter. I’ve noticed this in past seasons: my happiness levels in my personal life greatly affect my success in training and races. Whenever there’s a big imbalance, my motivation suffers and my training swiftly circles down the shitter.

So this past fall and winter have been somewhat difficult for me as I struggled to keep it together professionally and drove Jason crazy with typical Quarter Life Crisis freak out laments:

Me: “All of our friends our age have ‘grown up’ but us! We should be grownups!”

Jason: “What the hell does that mean?”

Me: “I don’t know, we should travel more! Or buy a house! We should get married soon! When should we have kids?!”

Jason: “So, to be clear, you think we should buy a house but still travel the world, but we should get married first and crap out a few kids? Before the house and travel stuff or after?”

Me: “I DON’T KNOWWWW HOW DO GROWN UPS DO THIS?! I need a better job! One that makes me happy! Should I open a Roth-IRA? What the hell is a Roth-IRA? I need to train for a marathon! Everyone on our team is getting faster and having an awesome season and I’m getting fatter and slower by the day! Can we get a dog? I really want a dog! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M SAYINNNGGGGGG!!!!”

I was depressed. I isolated myself from my friends and training buddies because I wasn’t in a good mental place and because my heart wasn’t into exercising or being social. While Jason has been enjoying trail racing and is successfully training for an upcoming 50 mile ultramarathon, I was drowning in despair, ignoring workouts and replacing anything remotely active with eating and sleeping.

It got bad enough to the point where Jason and I discussed whether I should seek out professional help and talk to a therapist about some of the things I had been struggling with lately. We both agreed that something needed to change — I had not been myself for several months, and every aspect of my life was being negatively affected. Jason missed his stubborn yet goofy and fun girlfriend, and I missed me, too.

But much like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, I endured a mile of shit and darkness and finally emerged into the light. I found a new job, which I’ll officially start on the 15th, and I was able to head into my vacation in St. Croix less stressed out and feeling optimistic and excited for the first time in months. My new gig brings me back to my startup roots, an environment I really enjoy and thrive in, and has me working with smart, passionate people. Plus, one of my bosses has done several Ironman races, so he understands my kooky hobby enough not to raise an eyebrow when I ask for the occasional day off so I can subject myself to ridiculous feats of endurance.

Speaking of St. Croix, packing for the trip resulted in some mixed emotions. I wasn’t thrilled to play the “Let’s see what summer clothes Fat Rebecca fits into” game (the answer: Not Much), and there have been a few moments where I felt a twinge of regret and depression over not racing alongside my friends and boyfriend. But being able to recharge this week and enjoy the warm (hot) weather and pretty ocean views combined with doing some fun runs with my coach and good friend, Teresa (I’ve forgotten how much I love “rabbing” [run-gabbing] with her), and tracking/rooting for my teammates who spent the day racing at Wildflower and Ironman St. George 70.3 has gotten me really excited to return to Seattle and truly focus on getting healthy and fit again.

I know, I know, I’ve been threatening to get back on the horse a lot this season, but I mean it this time, I swear! I’m in a much better place mentally and personally, so I really think I’ll be able to make this “training” crap stick this time. In fact, I’ve got a multi-tiered plan I’ll soon be enacting once I touch back down in the Emerald City:

  1. First on my agenda is finally picking a damn marathon and registering for it. I’ve got two in mind, both of which are early September, giving me plenty of time to run my sort-of-big-now ass off.
  2. Second is getting back on the healthy eating bandwagon. Not only will my clothes start to fit again, my running will improve since I’ll be hauling less lard around. Plus, I’ll feel better about myself, so yaay for that.
  3. Third is starting up strength training again. I’ve lost a decent amount of fitness and want to strengthen up some areas again. Since I work a desk job and gaze at a computer all day, I tend to have some hunched shoulders and weak back issues, so if I don’t incorporate some semi-regular strength workouts, my body definitely suffers.
  4. Fourth is going to the doctor to see what the eff is wrong with my elbow. Ever since my epic Von Tripp at Von Trapps, my left elbow has been hurting. The World’s Most Embarrassing Elbow Injury Ever has hindered the very little swimming I’ve done and it could impact my strength training, so I’ve got to get that sumbitch checked out.
  5. Finally, I’m excited to take a look at my 2014 race options and see what interests me. I’m starting to build up my base now so I can hopefully take next season back behind the middle school and get it pregnant. I’m thinking another full Ironman is in the cards — maybe Wisconsin, but we’ll see.

So there you go, that’s what’s kind of being going on inside the head of this Mediocre Athlete. It’s been a somewhat ugly end of 2012/beginning of 2013, but hey, you can’t rise above and beyond if you don’t start out at the bottom. I’m feeling really optimistic and positive about the rest of my season, and I’m looking forward to starting my new job and taking on my new training with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

7 comments

  1. Teresa /

    Thanks for defining “rabbing” for me to spare another google search 🙂 There is no one else on earth that could make running in the sweat infested heat, showering at golf tees, and gulping refreshing water at any chance we could be SO MUCH FUN! Glad to have my buddy back, although I love you any way, shape or form….your never getting rid of me…sorry 🙂

    xoxo

  2. Steve /

    Glad to hear you’re coming back strong. Looking forward to training with you again. Also, thanks for the public share on this stuff, makes the rest of us that suffer silently from time to time, due to stress or life or whatever, feel a little more normal. Not that any of us is really normal. We are talking about Ironman and Marathon training here.

  3. Jenny /

    Ahhhh….I’ve had this feeling….the “I Should be Training” blues.
    They suck.
    Especially when you identify as an athlete but aren’t doing anything particularly athletic or happen to even look athletic (extra 15 pounds I’m looking at you).

    Happy to hear you’ve recharged and found your mojo….good luck this season!

  4. LL Cool K /

    Run Skagit Flats, you want to, hmm??? is my jedi mind trick working?

  5. Bri /

    I echo Steve! I feel like you were in my head! Maybe now that you are “nursing a food baby” I could keep up with you, let me know if you ever need a training bud!

  6. Jill /

    I feel like you just voiced all my fears and anxieties in this post. I freaked out last year on the “I’m supposed to be a grown up but I have an unstable job and I will never be able to afford to live in more than one room in New York and I should be married and have at least one kid by now right?!” front. It resulted in convincing Ad to move to Pittsburgh, buying a house, and getting engaged. Now I’m in the “but I want to travel or maybe do the Peace Corps or at least live in another city or country before I get knocked up/get a pet/buy any more shit for this house I want to sell” boat. Ad thinks I’m fucking nuts. I am. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT EXCEPT THAT I WANT IT ALL. Maybe getting a job that doesn’t make me want to die is the answer…

  7. Diesel /

    Thanks for sharing it helps inspire and motivate. I look forward to the return of the smart @ss and funny stuff you posted…this is not to say i didn’t like you being real too.

    Shout out to Jason for being cool while you worked through the “mile of shit”.

    Peace, love, and cheeseburgers..

    D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *