Saturday, October 26, 2013

Commitment Issues are BAD

I was re-reading SwimBikeMom's book yesterday and she mentioned a magnet she had on her fridge that says:
This is an interesting question and I have been thinking about it a lot as I plan for my 2014 races.  On one hand, I am overwhelmed at the two I've already committed to - a full marathon (really, Lisa?) and a half Ironman (almost comical).  I think I've got a training plan that will prepare me, but I have already been lax on getting back to training for the upcoming half marathon in TWO WEEKS.  My problem seems to not be in creating goals or even attempting them, my problem seem to be in consistent effort to work towards the event.  Am I not consistent because I am inherently flaky?  Am I not consistent because IF I fail, that will be a good excuse?  Do I not want to commit 100% to something because I have (well-documented - just ask my ex) commitment issues?

I don't know the answer.  But it is something I need to figure out before I am successful at anything in life, let alone these races that REQUIRE that level of commitment before the event.

I watch this new show called Boundless on the Esquire Channel.  It is about two endurance athletes attempting different races all across the world.  I love it because on race day, they seem as unprepared as I have been for races.  By that I mean, they have trained for the event (sort-of) but they aren't real, real serious or safe about it.  They never trained in open ocean water for an 8hr ocean paddle board race.  They hadn't been biking in years before a grueling mountain bike race.  Junk like that.  DUMB.  I look at them attempting things they think they can not fail and all I can think is: BUT YOU HAVEN'T TRAINED FOR THIS!!  Even if they succeed, how much easier would it have been if they were better prepared?

And that is my own problem.  I don't worry about failure too much - I am pretty convinced I can do anything I set my mind to.  But at what commitment level is my mind set to to do the work to reach that goal beforehand?

I think my body is amazing in that it can keep chugging along no matter the pain or fatigue it's experiencing.  I think my mind is strong because I don't give up when I know I have a goal.  So what is holding me back from committing to full time, full-court-press training?  Why is it so easy to skip the training sessions I KNOW I need to do in order to be the most successful?
If I figure this out for training, can I use it to change my whole life?!?
In looking at 2014, I'd like to do at least one race event per month, with the possible exception of March when I'll be pretty busy with World Balloon Convention, where I'll be teaching.  (Maybe a sprint tri for that month.)  I'd like to do another Oly before the half Iron but a lot of smaller races aren't scheduled yet.  I'll probably have to wait until closer to the time to see what is available within my reasonable travel distance.  I definitely want to do the Outer Banks Tri in September again to see how much I can improve on my Olympic time there with an extra year of training.  The two other major races I was considering are the Rock N Roll Full Marathon in Raleigh on my birthday (April 13th), and the Beach2Battleship in Wilmington (the half-Iron distance - I want my first full Iron to be Ironman branded).
Big goals.  Now I need to see if I've got the commitment to follow through on them...


  1. These are very important things to explore when planning a race season like you are looking at in 2014! And while you can do anything, and push through anything, it hurts and makes a pretty big hit to your mental confidence. You wait for weeks after a race to get back to training because you are hurt and those negative voices start creeping their way into your head. You figure, "I don't need to get to the gym at 5AM today... I can do it tomorrow..." and the next thing you know you are only getting 1 or 2 workouts in a week. Worst thing is the race is coming, you are commited, you've put down your money and told all of your friends (in an effort not to back out, but to have the peer pressure help get you through your training) and you are not ready. Yes, this sounds like what you have been going through, but trust me, we've all done it! I have been there and standing on that start line, knowing you aren't ready, puts your confidence struggles run on overdrive.

    Although you can, you really don't want to go into these races not prepared. I know you have multi-week/month training plans you have looked up, and that is a great start, but at the start of each of those weeks... on Sunday before each new week, look at your training plan for the week and commit to it. Look at your work schedule, kids' schedule... plan when you are going to fit in the grocery shopping and the cleaning and anything else that you must accomplish that could get in the way of your training. Then commit to your training! You've said it before... your training is for YOU... and YOU deserve the time for your training! Your training IS one of the things that you must accomplish during the week, so give it as much importance as making dinner and getting the kids to practice... and you will show up on that start line... still freaking out about sharks and tri-suits and blubery finish lines... but you will have a fun race that will help you jump right back out of bed the next morning to start training for your next race... with a smile! :-)

    1. Awesome advice, Tracey! I think I will start taking it in smaller chunks. You are right - multi-month training schedules are harder to commit to than just looking at it week by week! I am going to dedicate a mile of my upcoming half to you since you've been such a help and an inspiration! THANK YOU!!

    2. WOOOO HOOOOO! :-) You've got this!