Midway through my Sunday morning bike ride with my fellow Ironman Coeur d'Alene finisher Richard, I realized something pretty important: Two hours of road cycling is plenty! In my first outdoor ride since IMCDA, the biggest thing I noticed was how happy I was to enjoy the rest of my day AFTER my ride. No bricks. No pre-ride swims. Just a nice bike ride, no Garmins attached. Done by 1 p.m., not 5.
What does that mean? Am I burnt out? Do I need more rest? Was it a bad idea to buy that Computrainer after all?
The answers: Maybe a little, I don't know, and I hope not!
The way I felt after my ride has started affecting my desire level to train more actively. I'm starting to feel the onset of a rather satisfying laziness. I've accomplished what I set out to do. I hit my goals. In the process, I've deprived myself of my favorite foods, favorite drinks, sleep, time with friends and family.
I want a break! I want more balance. And I've been taking it, eating literally whatever I want, drinking some beers and generally becoming rather sloth-like while hanging out more with my crew.
At the same time, I hate how I feel! I'm feeling my fitness melt away daily. That sense of guilt is making it very hard to relax during what's supposed to be a recovery period. It's almost like being on a treadmill at an uncomfortably high pace, yet unable to hit the "Stop" button to get off.
There's a fine line between a lifestyle and an obsession. Sometimes I can't tell which is which. One person who does know the difference is pro triathlete Marino Vanhoenacker -- who recently broke the 14-year-old world record for fastest Ironman result with a 7:45:52 before Andreas Raelert beat that mark one week later by an astonishing four minutes. While I won't go into details since I'm saving them for my upcoming Lava Magazine column, I will note that he believes age groupers have lost sight of how to enjoy the sport of triathlon -- instead focusing too much on attaining PRs.
I can't really argue with that.
In fact, for the rest of this week, I'm going to focus on WHY I'm continuing with triathlon. What am I enjoying about this sport? Why do I want to consider Ironman Canada next August? Why am I going to keep pushing myself to my physical and mental limit?
This is a worthy challenge. One I'm up for though. Have you done the same lately?
I will write soon to let you know what I find out.