Nothing to see here - just working through some issues. I think best when I type, so this is just going to be me thinking out loud. Writing is my therapy; if all else fails I can just go for a run!
Picking up from where we left off last week... it's pouring again (thanks, brick Tuesdays) AND I slept clean through my alarm, so here we are instead of playing outside.
Last night I hit a new milestone. On a day when absolutely nothing went right, my crowning accomplishment was...falling off my bike trainer! I know, I'm a genius.
How does one fall off a bike trainer, you ask. ('Did you hit a stationary vehicle?' my friend asked...har har.) I hadn't checked the setup in a while, and the back spoke worked itself loose five minutes after I started riding and the whole thing slid sideways. Fortunately my couch is next to the trainer and I simply slid off onto the couch. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.
I was very tempted to just stay on the couch in a heap, but eventually I scraped myself up and rode for another 50 minutes. (Pro-tip: stick veggies in pan. Put pan in oven. Leave to roast for duration of bike ride. Bike ride done = dinner done. Ta-da! 'Why don't we cook dinner like this more often?' my husband said. 'It's so painless.')
Input != output
If not for the swim training, I'd be quitting my tri training group now. Yesterday one of the coaches posted a message congratulating everyone from the group who podiumed at this weekend's Singapore Triathlon events. Everyone else who raced...roundly ignored. What's sad is that a lot of the mid/back-of-the-pack age-groupers who commented ('Yay!' 'I'm inspired!') are the ones who are most enthusiastic, who work just as hard, who put in just as much time and effort. (Not me - I haven't, in all honesty, been training that hard.) I'd like to think that the equation is hard work in, outcomes out. But life is also not a level playing field and some of us start with our ankles tied together. And we need people to believe in us, too. I'd like to find a training group that believes in us.
I think part of the frustration is the nagging feeling that I've stalled out, progress-wise. This irrational feeling makes absolutely no sense considering that this is only my 4th triathlon and first OD. But I suppose I'm comparing it with running, where my optimism is directly proportional to the potential progress I *feel* like I can make. With local running the field is enormous and over the past few years I've drifted up through the field, which is a satisfying gauge of some sort of progress. Also, I've been thoroughly spoilt by the massive progress (outcome-wise) I saw shortly after picking up interval training, and have to remind myself...it's not every day you get to PR in a marathon by over an hour!
If I'm going to be honest with myself? I haven't been training that hard. I swim a paltry distance twice a week, cycle a couple of times a week, and cannot live without my long run.
BUT. The sprint triathlons of the past couple of years were done on basically no cycling (for the last one, I literally cycled ONCE before the tri.) No cycling for those versus cycling two to three times a week for this one? I'm comparing me now to me then and I expect results. And I think somewhere deep down I'm scared of putting in the training and then not producing any results. (Editor's note: aha, now we are getting to the root of the matter.)
Hard work in, outcomes out, ankles tied together?
But it's just stupid to be running scared, or pissed off because no one (even you) believes in you - it makes no one happy, least of all yourself. I don't know what the solution is but I feel better already after writing all this down.
Things I'm irrationally scared of
Coming in dead last in my AG
Coming in dead last in my AG despite actually having cycled this time
Things I ought to remember
New distance = automatic PR!
IT ISN'T A GOAL RACE, YOU DUMBASS, CHILL OUT.
With triathlons, just like with marathons, I'm playing a long game and every season is just more data.
In the grand scheme of things none of this matters to the state of the universe.
tl;dr - training environment doesn't help with self-doubt issues; need to learn to believe in self. how?