I’ve been through this triathlon season cycle enough times to know that there will be times when the highs are really high and the lows can get low. And it seems like there is a period during the season when we all experience some mid-season blues. They aren’t to be confused with the post-season funk, pre-season anxiety, or the injury sulk. Based on the amount of whining (well warranted for some, in my opinion…) on social media, I’m not the only one. Some people get down when they are overwhelmed with training, but I find I struggle the most when I’m just past post-race and a little out of shape. And I noticed this happened in past years, as well. I’ve been a bit grumpy for a while, and I definitely saw it yesterday with certain frustrations.
Frustrations from work, frustrations from family, frustrations from the boyfriend, girlfriends, body aches, frustrations from not having a long, awesome bike ride in over a month, frustrations from a choppy swim that morning and gross lettuce in my Trader Joe’s salad – you name it, I had it! Normal Cathleen would look at this list and realize I have a good job, parents, although not entirely healthy, complete present, a boyfriend I love, wonderful girlfriends, outdoor yoga that evening to give me a good stretch, long rides coming up next month, glassy swims on other days, and snacks to enjoy the rest of the day. But I wasn’t being normal. I was being irrational and sulking in my mid-season blues and pondering my life’s trajectory and hoping for a sign that my life is ticking along at a steady progression instead of waiting for the next best thing or something that will catch me up to others my same age. (Not that I want to be married with kids right now or anything, but ya know sometimes those little rug rats are pretty cute. And I just start to wonder who said it was okay to start having kids now that we’re in our 30s…typical stuff).
I understand that sometimes in sports you need to get a little out of shape to come back stronger. And when your friends have different racing schedules, they are going to have fuller weeks during certain times of the year. There’s no need for workout envy; training goes in cycles. And even though it’s summer and you’re healthy and you feel like you should be living life to the fullest, sometimes the fullest you can muster on a Saturday morning is a lake swim, the Oiselle sample sale, washing your car, and a three hour nap (my last Saturday – for the record, I ran an 8k that night and came in 7th!). My fitness will come back when it’s time to start building again and I can take solace in knowing I’m not digging myself into a training hole with my three hour naps. But this routine, or lack of routine, is so unlike me that it sometimes gets me a little down.
So, I wanted to use this tiny space on the Internet to tell myself (and my handful of readers) that:
Before I turn this post into a Mike Reilly tagline talking about how the one thing I can control is my attitude while "Teenage Wasteland" fades out (Ironman athletes, you know what I'm talking about) I’m packing up the car and heading up to Penticton, British Columbia. My best friend Sydnie and I are crewing for two of our teammates racing Ultraman. I’m determined to get out of this rut and a long weekend away feels like the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Granted, this trip has been planned for weeks, but in a way I feel like I’m adjusting my sails and doing something different. I hope that any of you struggling with some of the season’s lows are able to acknowledge it, figure out what you need to do to resolve it, and sail on.
Loads of Heart,