Posts tagged Biking
You may have noticed in last week’s post that there was no mention of triathlons in the list of possible races. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons.
Upon moving here I’ve found that triathlons seem few and far between. There are VERY few lakes available for open water swimming and the races I have found call for the swim portion to be done in a pool. That’s not necessarily bad but it would definitely be a different take.
I also haven’t gotten in the pool or seriously swam since early July. With our closest lake about 30-40 minutes away and lack of sufficient funds to join our local YMCA it doesn’t look like I’ll be back in the water regularly anytime soon.
(This is where the blog post makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone a bit and sharing something I’ve held secret for a few months…..but it needs to be said.)
Although those are some pretty big setbacks I know I could really pursue and persevere if I wanted to. To be honest at this very moment I don’t want to. Why, you ask? My whole experience of registering for my first Half Rev3, starting training, and then sacrificing it for our move has rocked me to the core a bit….in several ways.
Quite frankly I had no idea what I got myself into when I signed up. You see, I only have sprint triathlon experience. I knew signing up would be a HUGE undertaking, but I didn’t realize how huge it would be. From the first moments I was humbled in each training session. As you know I don’t claim to be a super athlete but I can usually hold my own. I totally underestimated the bike and have repeatedly said that I thought it would be the easiest leg and has since proven to be my hardest sport. Adding in the use of my first triathlon bike made it that much more challenging. Not only was I attempting distance on a bike but also learning the ins and outs of riding in aero position, all while attempting to clip in and out of the pedals….not too successfully.
True, I did have some successes here and there. All of which I am grateful for. No matter how small, all of our life experiences make us who we are, so I am not belittling them in any way. Training is supposed to be hard and challenging….that’s one of the reasons I do what I do. But honestly, I felt like each training session was a HUGE hurdle and I never really walked away feeling accomplished or “on top of the world” excited. Most often I felt beat down, disheartened, and wondered what I got myself into. Although I got more confident in my biking I still never seemed to break that invisible barrier or acquired any speed (kind of sounds like my running too….)
When the opportunity for us to move to Arizona came about you may understand a bit better how it was easier for me to walk away from my Rev3CP registration. In no way did I see our move as an easy out or running away from a challenge. Lord knows there was much more that went into our decision than this race. But after beating my head (and body) against a wall for months it’s safe to say I had my fill.
With that being said, passing on registration hasn’t been easy to swallow. I acquired my Rev3 visor after volunteering last year. I wore it with pride during my workouts but couldn’t help but feel like a fraud since I didn’t earn that visor. The only thing that kept me wearing it was the drive it gave me when I would put it on and knowing that I would soon earn my place among those that have gone before me. Unfortunately that’s now not the case. With the actual race this weekend I’m sure I’ll have my share of emotions coursing through my brain. (By the way I’ll be sending positive energy and thoughts to all those racing!)
As I’ve stated previously, Rev3 is a class act group of people. They are amazing in many ways and I would absolutely love to be part of their team someday (gotta get better at the sport and work on my race resume though). I have no plans on giving up on the sport of triathlon or my dream of running a Rev3 race. I do know that I’ve enjoyed mixing up my training since arriving in Arizona and that I have many more dreams to fulfill in my lifetime.
For now I think it’s best I take time to allow the dust to settle, reassess my abilities, and scale back to more attainable short term goals. Once I get that all in line I will need to realize that just like with running, if I want to run a half Rev3 I’m going to have to work my ass off harder than most normal people do.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As I’m getting deeper and deeper into my Half Rev3 Triathlon training I’ve been finding myself freaking out a bit. Specifically every time my weekly training schedule is posted I think, “How the heck am I going to do this?!” The funny thing is I always make it happen. So why freak out?!
My most recent freak out came this weekend. Although I’ve logged a decent amount of hours on my CycleOps bike trainer I’ve yet to really hit the open road on my new tri bike, “Sparky“. (Taking him out around downtown a few times and crashing doesn’t count.) I can swim, bike, and run, but dealing with an actual tri bike is a whole different animal and takes some getting used to. Needless to say I knew I needed to get out and ride Sparky…for real. But thinking about hitting the open road (with cars!), without crashing (hopefully), and for close to 2.5 hours, I could just feel my heart rate increase. What the heck?
As you can see I had some definite anxiety going on. But with a little compromise to make this feel more attainable, singing Florence + The Machine, “It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back…just shake it out!” to myself (over and over), and lots of positive self-talk I got through it.
What?! Yes, that would be a buffalo. I came across them midway through my ride and just had to stop to take a photo. Sadly these buffalo are being raised for slaughter which just tore my heart to pieces but this guy came up to me by the fence and we had some conversation. I also took advantage of the few seconds I stopped to down a Chocolate Agave #9 gel. Although I’m getting the hang of drinking and riding, fueling is another thing I have to master while riding Sparky. Next time!
Something else I need to improve on? Sunscreen application…or at least increasing my arm reach. I applied sunscreen by myself since I was alone and obviously couldn’t reach that far on my back. Hence, the splotches. On the right side of my back you can actually see finger marks where I stretched to reach as far as I could. Nice.
I didn’t come in contact with that many cars while riding and for the most part it was just me and the road. I felt free and calm. I loved it. I want more. All of my anxiety for nothing. When will I learn?
So there you have it. 2.5 hours on my bike, out on the open road, followed by a mile run right off the bike. Another obstacle tackled. Now, it’s time to stay calm and realize, “I’ve got this!”
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I spent this past weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival sponsored by GNC, representing FitFluential. I hope to recap the fun weekend later this week.
I’m into my 6th week of half marathon training. As I posted before, I’m using a revised version of a Hal Higdon plan.
Thanks to Deva Glucosamine, Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap, and Tommie Copper sleeve, my “bad” knee hasn’t given me horrible issues. However, after longer runs it starts to act up. I’ve also found that I only compound the pain by following it the next day with an 1+ hr long ride on the bike trainer.
I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised but I’ve been taken back by my strengths and weaknesses. I expected the bike to be easiest, followed by the swim, and then run being the hardest. On the contrary, so far I’ve found my swim to be easiest, then run, and biking to be hardest. Now, mind you, I have yet to hit the road with my bike…I’ve only had trainer rides. Per many people riding the trainer is much more challenging than open road riding. We shall see, but I won’t be surprised if it continues as it’s been going.
The sport of triathlon…always humbling.
Now, debating I’m if I should change up my training schedule so my long runs/trainer rides aren’t back to back. Thoughts?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As you know, this past week I posted about doing a Team Sparkle Run. I invited anyone and everyone to wear their Team Sparkle skirts out to run, cycle, etc. It didn’t matter if it was a typical training day or if you had a race. The point: putting the fun back into running. I’m grateful that some people joined in. Some even joined in if they didn’t have Team Sparkle skirts by wearing bright flashy clothing. Fantastic!
I had 6 miles on tap for my half marathon training schedule. It was in the high 30′s to low 40′s, partly cloudy, and 16 mph winds. I decided to wear my turquoise skirt and going with the loud colors = happy theme. I must admit that my non-matching running motif is actually my normal thing. Although I have OCD-like tendencies this doesn’t seem to translate to my running gear. Most days I look like Rainbow Brite when I head out. I took a few pre-run photos. It was quite interesting trying to get a decent shot since I was using the timer function. Let’s just say I worked up a sweat running back and forth to the camera. Ha!
Given I live along the shores of Lake Erie it’s no surprise that almost every running route I take goes past the lake. Sometimes I get to enjoy the view but oftentimes the wind whips off the lake. This run was no different. Thankfully I made it the beginning part of the run so I wouldn’t have to deal with it so much later on in the run. For some reason I couldn’t get a handle on the direction of the wind. And for some reason at mile 2 it really hit me. Simultaneously LMFAO’s “Sexy and I know it” came on my iPod. I couldn’t help but chuckle and think to myself, “Oh yes, I bet I look so sexy right now. Rainbow Brite fighting the whipping wind gusts.” Alas, it ended and the rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I’ll admit my bum and thighs were pretty chafed due to already dry skin and the cold. One of the downsides of northern winters. Even with that it felt excellent to get out there and to ENJOY it. Yes, enjoy.
I shot this video immediately after my run. I tried out Vega Sport Hydrator for the first time. I’m not sure about it yet. It’s not that I don’t necessarily like it, it’s just that I think I prefer non-flavored drinks while working out. i.e. water. I have another sample so I’m going to give that a try. My Instant Boost Chocolate Balls also arrived from my fellow FitFluential Ambassador Nicole Culver. She recently started her own business called Pure Bliss Eats. I love the concept. I love the balls. More to come on that =)
I went ahead and continued the fun, sparkly, crazy colored energy today while taking to my bike trainer for an hour ride. I got 13+ miles in and felt pretty darn good. I really need to work on my endurance with the bike. I thought the bike would be the “easiest” for me when it comes to the triathlon. Needless to say I think it may be the hardest. But that’s something to discuss in another post. Either way, I was able to get a few shots of myself riding today in my Team Sparkle skirt. (Believe it or not these are the first ever photos I’ve had taken while “riding”. I’m taking note of some things I need to work on….Please, no harsh criticisms on my form. Remember, I’m still new to my bike and really cycling in general.)
This concludes Week 3 in my half marathon training. I’m glad I chose to mix things up by adding in my Team Sparkle skirt and think I’ll do it more often. I hope others joined in and found the same thing. I feel good heading into Week 4. Things may get interesting in Week 5 since I’ll be heading down to Columbus to meetup with other FitFluential Ambassadors for the Arnold Sports Festival. (Beyond psyched for this!!) But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Today was to be my Run For Sherry. I say WAS, because Mother Nature had different plans. We have had the most mildest weather I can ever remember. We’ve been dealing with temperatures ranging in the 30-40s, with a few days even in the 50s. And NO snow. What?! Today was the day Mother Nature decided winter would arrive. I shouldn’t be surprised. Most every “large” race I’ve done Mother Nature has reared her ugly head. First half marathon – cold 40ish degrees and pouring down rain at the start. First triathlon-wicked water conditions to the point of making the race director changing the swim course, not allowing anyone to swim the full olympic distance, and allowing all triathlon athletes to switch to duathlon if interested. For those that register for the same races as me. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
When Heather and Kimi brought up the idea of having an organized Run For Sherry I knew I’d have to arrange my schedule, but I was all for it. I was able to go into work last night, got done at 12:30a, grab a few hours sleep, and then wake up at 5:30a. Very little sleep, but it’s nothing new as I’ve done this for races and I knew this was an even greater cause than a race. I also knew there was a decent chance of snow, so I also prepared myself for the possibility of shoveling. When I woke up I found ankle to calf deep snow drifts. Not to mention the snow was coming hard and heavy….and the winds, howling. Meh. I ate my Coach’s Oats, bundled up, and started shoveling. I was determined to Run For Sherry.
I spent 30 minutes on shoveling with the wind blowing it right back into my face. Don’t you just love that? When I got out on the roads I found them to be not too bad. They were snowed upon but I can handle that. Actually, I LOVE driving in the snow. My Chevy Aveo handles conditions perfectly. It’s never let me down…but that’s a whole different blog post in itself. (Hmmm, blog post idea?)
The entire time I was thinking, “I’m grateful we have this run today because if we didn’t I’d have a hard time fulfilling my training schedule today. Yikes!” I was about halfway to our meeting location when I received a call from Kimi saying they canceled the run. Bummer. But no biggie. I knew there was a chance of that and totally understood the reasoning.
I still decided to continue on as I was already determined to hit up Earth Fare Supermarket for some items. When I got to Earth Fare the winds kept kicking. I was hoping that by the time I got home the winds would die down and I could get my 5 miles in. At that point I realized I didn’t think it was going to happen and made this video.
I shopped and then headed back home. The roads were about the same with the exception of more cars being out and about. Unfortunately when I got home the roads were no better. Having only had about 4 hours of sleep I took a quick nap and then hopped on the bike trainer. I figured I’d just flip flop my Saturday and Sunday training days this week. I will admit it wasn’t my best or strongest ride, but I got it in.
Due to my fatigue to begin I with, I planned on riding for 30 minutes, then once I reached that goal I made a new goal of 45 minutes. Once I reached that, I knew I could make it 15 more minutes. They have/are suffering more than I will ever imagine. Why couldn’t I push my fatigue and get my usual hour ride in?? I pushed hard, then harder, then even harder. I thought of Sherry and my ailing grandfather the entire time. Even with my fatigue I got it in. 13.15 miles for Sherry and my grandfather.
Sweaty Post Trainer Pic
I’m hoping the weather will cooperate a bit more tomorrow and I’ll be able to get out for a run. Fingers crossed. If I’m able to get out those miles will be dedicated to Sherry and my grandfather also.
I woke up today (Sunday) to find the weather slightly better, but not much. However, I was able to get my 5 miles in. I always wear wicking clothes as my core layer, but when it’s real cold out all bets are off for my outer layers.
Treading in the snow is rough. It’s even more rough given my bum knee and my piriformis that randomly flares up. At 3.25 miles with each stride my piriformis was screaming at me. I kept on. To say this was an emotional run hardly explains it. I will always remember it.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I addressed this a tiny bit a few posts ago…I’m new to the cross-training world. You might be thinking, “huh?” Let me explain. When I started running, I ran. Period. I mixed in some leg lifts and crunches every so often, but that was my limit. It’s not that I didn’t want to cross-train, I just didn’t. Now that I’m in the triathlon world it’s been easier to cross-train, mostly because I “have to”.
Having joined the YMCA this is my first year I’ve had access to a pool, which has been terrific. I am in love with the pool. I’ve missed feeling like a fish in water and now that it’s back I find great joy in swimming laps. I know, it sounds crazy. In addition to the pool, having an indoor bike trainer has helped mix things up too.
With that being said, this off-season has me going in circles a bit. I don’t have anything definitive that I’m training for, so I really have no direction per se. (I plan on starting my half marathon training schedule that last week of January.) I’m still experiencing the excitement of the newness of biking and swimming during the winter (something I’ve never done before) and find myself deferring to them instead of heading out for runs. It’s easy to say to myself, “It’s cold outside, I’ll just stay in and ride the trainer.” With nothing “threatening” me (i.e. race) it’s real easy to do this. I admit, this laid back approach is nice. However, as you well know, I like structure and have had a few anxious moments with my choices. It’s no surprise that I will also admit that I look forward to having a set schedule that will hold me accountable to a specific sport everyday.
So, what do you do when you’re not training for a race? Do you still stick with a strict schedule or are you more lenient and mix it up a bit?
As you read in a previous post I recently ordered a 1BandID. You haven’t heard of them? Well, they’re new. 1BandID is different than other ID bracelets or dog tags that you wear in addition to your watch, GPS or HR monitor. Unlike those other products, 1BandID is the first and only athlete ID that securely attaches to and displays critical contact and medical information on your watch, GPS or Heart Rate Monitor band.
I first “met” the creator/owner, Joe, on Twitter. I stumbled upon the 1BandID site and I finally realized that Joe was the brains behind the product. After seeing his idea I wanted to get my hand on one of those bad boys. It’s such a great idea. Through a contest on 1BandID’s Facebook page I was named a winner of a free 1BandID. Woot! It arrived this week!
I hate to compare two products, such as the already existing RoadID, which I’ve had for several years. However, I’m going to do so, because it’s what I’ve experienced, what I can compare to, and what most people will want to know (is one better than the other?).
Most people will put the 1BandID on the strap where the holes are for putting on your watch. Anyone with a smaller wrist will have to put the product on the opposite strap (clasp side). As you can see, I removed the little piece of rubber that holds down the excess strap and instead put the 1BandID in its place. The 1BandID will now do the “job” of that little rubber piece I removed.
To be honest my Garmin is already pretty bulky, which I’ve gotten used to. This little piece of fabric/metal made no difference whatsoever. Even with a smaller watch I don’t think I’d give notice to the 1BandID. It’s light and flexible. Here’s a before and after shot of my wrist. As you can see, there’s no big difference.
Drawbacks: I wish I could place it on the strap it was intended for (strap with the holes), so it’d be easier to look down and see my mantra. Alas, this is not the product’s fault. My wrist is just small. And I can easier flip my wrist around and see it just as easy.
My other issue is my Garmin’s not waterproof, so if I go swimming I will still need my RoadID. Once again, that’s not the product’s fault. I hope to upgrade my Garmin in the future to something that’s waterproof, which will void out this issue.
Final thoughts: This is an excellent idea and a fantastic product. I was thrilled with 1BandID’s customer service and speed and would highly recommend this product.
Joe is such a great guy that not only did I get a complimentary 1BandID, but he wants to pass on some savings to you too! When ordering, use the code heidi64284 upon checkout and you’ll receive 10% off. Very cool!
With Christmas right around the corner I wanted to share with you my “Favorite Things”. I’ve tried to include all of my basics that I depend on for every workout. I’m not a label whore, so name brands aren’t a must have. I’ve gone through many styles, brands, trial and error to find what works for me, and find that my favorites change as new items are produced or with new products I try….but these are my current favs. So, without further ado….
My hat of choice is the Nike Thermal Running Skullcap. It fits my head perfectly and has the sloping design that helps fully cover my ears. It’s not bulky, but keeps the wind out. In addition, it has a small opening in the back for your ear bud wires to enter. I’ve never used this feature, but it seems pretty smart to me. Unfortunately I’ve had this for a few years and I haven’t found anything to replace it when the time comes. Still looking….
For warmer weather runs I take to the Bondi Band. It’s basically a hip sweatband. They have all different patterns, fabrics, and styles. It definitely helps to keep my hair and sweat out of my eyes. A must have for sure.
For rainy weather runs I absolutely love my Rev3Tri visor from HeadSweats. I never thought I’d like running in a visor, but it’s perfect when you don’t want rain falling into your eyes. I’m surprised how much I like it and am taking to it more and more.
My running tanks are so variable that it’s hard to mark down what I absolutely love. However, I have definitely found a pullover for winter that rocks. It’s the C9 by Champion® Long-Sleeve Fleece Athletic Top at Target. I’m telling you, Target has some awesome active wear. I have multiple items from there and they all rank VERY high on my items I wear while working out. I’d highly recommend checking out their selection. And then when you can catch them on sale, that’s even better!
Alright guys, you better skip this one, but I’m sure the ladies will appreciate it. Having a right fitting bra is number 1 when it comes to my wardrobe. That’s no different when it comes to workout gear. I searched high and low for a bra that would work and the Nike Pro Bra. Bras are always an issue for me. Although some may be surprised, I am a larger chested girl. Not only that, I’m also small around, which makes it that much more difficult to find bras that fit/work. In addition I have a condition where I absolutely need good support. The “experts: say I should wear an encapsulated sports bra, but one in my size doesn’t exist and doesn’t provide the support I need. This is where the Nike bra comes in. I went with the XS, which personally I think is crazy. Looking at it off of my body, it looks like it should be a kids bra. It’s an interesting feat to get into and out of. I’m now used to it, but the first few times I put it on it literally took the wind out of me. Those suckers aren’t moving. The bottom line, and I’m not joking, if it weren’t for this bra I wouldn’t be able run. When deciding what to where for triathlons I’ve also decided to go with this as my “swimsuit” too.
After signing up for my first triathlon my next purchase was a wetsuit. Unsure if doing a triathlon was a one-time deal I didn’t want to break the bank. An Xterra Vortex Wetsuit fit the bill. It was affordable and worked perfectly for what I needed.
No big surprise here, but the Garmin Forerunner 205 ranks high on my list. D calls it my crutch. Unfortunately it does tend to be. At the same time though, it helps me keep my pace and know how I’m doing in my run/ride and how far I’ve gone. It keeps everything organized, which is perfect for my OCD. In the future I hope to upgrade to something that also provides a heart monitor.
If you run outside, especially by yourself, then you need the identification. Currently I use a Road ID however, I just ordered a 1BandID. It will fit onto my Garmin band and is one less thing to worry about putting on. (Review coming later). Having identification is kind of like insurance, it seems pointless until you need it. I hope that it never has to be used, but it’s there and gives me peace of mind.
On short runs I often don’t use hydration, but when I go out for the long haul I make sure I take something along. When I started training for the half marathon I kept my options open. I finally decided on the Nathan Quickdraw Plus. It holds just the right amount of water I need and has a pouch that I often use for my iPod on long training runs.
For all of my other crap that I take out on long runs/rides (cell phone, keys, etc.) I use the SPIBelt. Just like the Bondi Band is a hip sweatband, the SPIBelt is a hip fanny pack. It’s so tiny, but being made out of spandex allows it to stretch to your needs, which doesn’t feel bulky. In addition, it stays put instead of bouncing up and down like a typically fanny pack. It’s crazy how much stuff you can put in it.
I absolutely love Nike’s Tempo Track Running Short I love them so much that I have 5+ pair. After many tries with different brands and styles this is what I have settled on. They have the typically running brief inside, but don’t ride up your crack. And they come in a ton of colors. It’s as though they are constantly introducing new colors. I’m still experimenting with tri/bike shorts, so I’ll let you know when I find my match.
The Adidas Astro Pant are my pant of choice. They’re not as tight as tights, which I also have. Not being too tight allows me to use these to wear over my shorts when heading to the gym. Or I can put on another layer under them during cold weather. At the same time, they aren’t super loose either. The legs taper but have the back zippers allowing for a slight flair when you’re not running. Out of all my pants I find myself wearing these most and grabbing for them first.
Some individuals may not understand the need for Body Glide. Body Glide is an anti-chafing product. You place it in any place where you chafe and you’re good to go. Originally I did not like the first time I used it. It made me sticky, which was totally the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Needless to say it found itself in the junk drawer. However, I have found that it is a must-have when I’m running in the gym. I’ve tried to explain the use of this product to several women and they kind of look at me like I’m crazy. Having my target area for Body Glide be my inner thighs, they look at me and say, “I don’t have that problem.” I have some pretty big thighs, something I absolutely hate, and attribute to being a bigger kid and riding horses. At the same time I never thought I’d be in the minority for having this “problem.” Heck, maybe I’m not but everyone I talk to about rubbing thighs doesn’t seem to have the problem. That aside, this product rocks and not so wet as Vaseline. But it all honesty, when you’re chafing you’ll take anything that relieves it, including straight up Vaseline.
On to socks! After Asics recently changed the design of their sock I loved I had to search for something new. By process of elimination, my new favorite running sock is Under Armour Grippy II. I think they are so awesome. Just the right thickness, enough heel coverage to prevent chafing but still considered no-show. I was a bit worried about the grippy part on the bottom of the sock, thinking it might irritate my feet, but this wasn’t found to be the case. I’ve tried other brands and they just don’t do it for me. They keep my feet too hot. Some are too thin. Some too thick. I dig these Under Armour socks.I’ll end with my shoes, Mizuno Wave Riders. I started out running in trail shoes. Looking back I have no idea how I did it. They were flat, hard, and heavy. I remember walking in and getting fit for my first official pair of running shoes. They looked at me like I was crazy for previously using trail shoes to run in. They were surprised to see that I hadn’t killed myself yet in them. Heck, I didn’t know any different. And as with everything else, shoes aren’t the easiest for me to buy. My feet are long but narrow. Nothing seems to fit just right. But when I slid my first pair of Mizunos on I knew they were the shoe. They fit like a glove. Every time I place my feet in those shoes I find why I love them all over again. I’m on my fifth paid of Mizunos and love them just as much as my first.
Do you have any favorites that I should try??
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
Over the long holiday weekend I received notice that I was named a FitFluential Ambassador. So what is a FitFluential Ambassador? In a nutshell I will have the opportunity to be partnered with FitFluential brand partners. For instance, I may deal with product launches or social media campaigns. Basically I will be given the opportunity to link the brand/product to other fitness enthusiasts.
It’s pretty cool and I am thrilled to finally be able to link my passions together. I’ve already started to meet other FitFluential Ambassadors and must say everyone is so energetic and welcoming. I’m very excited for this opportunity and am looking forward to an exciting 2012.
Awhile back I had posted they I had gotten back into tweeting on Twitter. The amount of awesome individuals I’ve met on Twitter is incredible. It’s like having your own support group and another family. Do I dare say that I often feel more encouraged and supported by people I’ve never met than those I have that I am “friends” with on Facebook? I guess it’s no surprise.
Although there is a ton o’ good that has come from Twitter, I had a hiccup in in my self-confidence recently. I tend to follow people who have the same basic aspirations of me. However, there are many that I follow that are on the next level (or two) above me. Faster runners, people able to do longer workouts on a daily basis, professional athletes, etc. I think it’s also safe to say that it’s quite humbling. As I was seeing these athletes kick ass I couldn’t help but feel like my athletic ability wasn’t adequate enough to be in there “presence”. I wanted to post my accomplishments, and did, but felt I needed to state something on the lines of “I know this may not see fast to some, but I ran….” or “Longest ride to date. I know, measly to some….” or “I placed, but it was a small field.” You get the idea. I’m sure it may have looked like I was looking for reassurance. Believe me, I wasn’t, I just felt I needed a disclaimer, since I was surrounded by such awesomeness.
It’s no surprise that I was called out on my self-confidence slump by several tweeps. My favorite call out was from @IronCladBen who stated:
I think you compare yourself to others too much. Just track your improvement vs your past self, much more fun that way
He’s right on several counts.
It’s true, I compare myself to others…and too much. Who doesn’t? I blame it on being the youngest sibling in my family. Never did my parents push me to follow the same steps as my siblings, but I couldn’t help but feel, while growing up, that I not only had to live up to what they attained, but surpass their achievements. I can tell you with confidence that I did not attain everything they did, nor surpass every one of their achievements. Yes, I’ve done some of the same things, but thankfully chose to take my own path in many circumstances. Why should the rest of my life be any different?
The truth is, I’m not the fastest or the best athlete, but I have made leaps and bounds from where I started. I need to remember that. My mantra is “Never say never, because I can” With that being said, I won’t say never, however it’s safe to say that I’m probably not a Kona-bound athlete or someone that will miraculously become pro after a few years of training. Ultimately I run/swim/bike because I enjoy it, I see it as a challenge, it makes me a better person, and allows the chance to associate with other athletes living a healthy lifestyle. I want to better myself, and will, but if I get caught up in what everyone else does/achieves then the fun will go out the window. I’ll focus on this topic in another blog post soon…
I enjoy my Twitter family and hope to meet even more great people. I just need to remember that each person is on their own journey, and their journeys aren’t necessarily the same as mine. Seeing their workouts and race results shouldn’t discourage me, but should be seen as inspiration and make me want to go out and better myself.
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)