I’m (almost) BAAAAACK!


<insert obligatory “gorsh, I haven’t blogged in a while” list of excuses here>

OK, I’ll offer an explanation: I’ve been absent from my little triathlon-oriented blog here because I’ve felt absent from triathlon. TRUE, my emplumpened form is visible in both the Ironman Kona and 70.3 World Championship coverage (and that’s 3 for 3 World Champs attended and filmed!), but I don’t have much to say about being on the sidelines. I have become a fan of the sport and a perpetual Sherpa/cheerleader because I’ve been on the sidelines, not because I naturally geek out on pros’ race schedules and results. I’d much rather be racing.

There I was, again.
There I was, again.

No regrets, and life has been good through 2013! However, as I’ve described before, I reached a breaking point with all the injuries that I pushed through in 2011 and 2012 and needed to take some time to heal up. Uhmmmmeanwhile I gained a bunch of weight and, every time I thought I might be ready to train in earnest again, I suffered a mini “how badly do I want to TRY anymore” crisis. TRYING sucks. It’s way more fun to just magically be good –or the best you’ve ever been—at something. It’s extremely frustrating knowing that I’ve taken several steps backward in my performance.

The thing is that I do this stuff if and because I want to. So when I’m like “BLERG I’M RUNNING SO SLOW, THIS WON’T GET ME ANYWHERE!” I try to reflect a little: first, today’s workout is a drop in the bucket, and someday my bucket will overflow again. Second, I’ve been fat before, it just takes willpower and a plan to put an end to living in this ridiculous body (so any time now… the pounds will just melt off… aaaaaany time…). Third, there are plenty of people who I know very well who have come back from way bigger life events and/or catastrophic injuries to kick ass (hey Amanda!). As far as pros go, seeing Jordan Rapp’s scars in person or having met Jessie Thomas the day he busted his footbone at Wildflower (but a few weeks before he told anyone about it), then reading his backstory (HE BROKE HIS NECK?!?!?) drives the point home.

So “quitcherbitchin, Langer, you don’t have it so bad,” is the credo. Alternatively “you made your bed, and laid in it for like a year, which no one made you do, so now IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE BED AND KEEP MOVING IF YOU WANT ANYTHING TO GET BETTER” works. I have a feeling that for the foreseeable future this blog is going to be centered on the theme of getting out of the proverbial bed…or getting the bucket to overflow…or whatever of my mixed metaphors you prefer.

Enough expository monoblogging and capslock self-yelling. Here’s the good great news:

  • I’m on the mend! My twice-weekly sojourns in Ventura, CA for Muscle Activation Technique therapy and Resistance Training torture sessions with Blair Ferguson are paying off. It isn’t free from frustration, and sometimes I get a little down, at which point Blair reminds me that we’re “raising the set-point.” Yeah, maybe my back hurts this week or my wankle (malfunctioning foot-parts) is acting up, buuuuut… I’m also running 6 times a week, which is a nice active verb/gerund thing that I’m doing 24+ more times a month than I was last May.
Oversimplified diagram of improvement. The set-point continues up the arrow of awesomeness.
Oversimplified diagram of improvement. The set-point continues up the arrow of awesomeness.
  • Sherpaing/cheerleading has actually been really fulfilling. Really! I’ve enjoyed watching friends and teammates battle through their seasons and achieve their goals. And when this girl is out of the competition and not selfishly worrying about her own race, it feels great to be supportive, to dole out advice, or to just lend an ear to some of you truly batshit crazy athletes. Sometimes I just “like” a status here and there, other times I spend half a day writing an e-mail with all the pseudo-wisdom I’ve acquired.
  • I went back to Kona to find my motivation, and I found it! Motivation to get back on the (Dark) Horse didn’t come to me the way I expected it would; I thought I’d be overcome by the magic of the event. I thought I’d be jealous of my friends who were racing. I thought I’d tear up at the finish line at midnight (well, OK, that part did happen), and that the lure of Ironman would be too great to deny.
I cried a little.
I cried a little.

Nope, Kona was fun to spectate and stuff, but none of that nagging external yen junk got to me. I just kinda realized that although I got everything I wanted out of my first (and only?) experience there, that doesn’t mean I can’t ask for more from myself. The next challenge could be to get BACK to Kona. The challenge on top of that might be to perform to the best of my capabilities, instead of just coasting through the day. Maybe it won’t happen again, in which case at least I know I had an amazing experience. But… come on. I love racing Ironman and I wanna do it again someday! Consider it raising the set-point for myself.

So, that’s the big picture. I’ve updated my past results and my plans for 2014, if you’re interested. I’m trying to write every week again, and also resolve to make up at least three words per post. I think I’ve got four or five in here.

Stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “I’m (almost) BAAAAACK!

  1. Hello friend! Just know that I totally understand. It is hard to go from great shape to the worst shape ever. I am facing the same thing- first time out of sports completely for so long and I am starting from a kindergarten level. motivation is wayyyy easier when you are fit! I get it!!!! So, we will truck on together and it will come in time. xoxoxoxo

    1. Well, luckily for you, giving birth is live blood doping: you have hyperoxygenated blood, now, not to mention mommy power and intimate knowledge of how deep the pain cave really goes. BUT for both of us, consistency will be the key. Let’s get back at it! Love ya, Spreagle!

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