Panic Mode

Ok, team.  It is officially time to FREAK OUT.   This triathlon gig is less than a month away.  As in, I’ve got, like, 3 weeks left to train for this thing and I’m in full-blown panic mode.  Whose idea WAS this, anyway?  When I started my training regiment back in April, I imagined that by the time July rolled around, I’d be confident.   Calm.  Ready to roll.

And secretly?  I also thought I’d be kind of ripped by now.  You know, more taut and sinewy and stuff?  But alas, here I sit in my writing chair feeling the same as always only now with that smug satisfaction you get when you’ve already done your workout for the day.

I’m doing the work, people.  I’m following the training plan.  Sticking with the program.  I’m even drinking water and what not, trying to stay hydrated.  You know, optimizing my performance.  But I thought that by this point I’d be absolutely flying full steam ahead.   I also thought that maybe, just maybe, I might be kind of awesome.  That I would surprise everybody with my mad skills and super speed.

But working out is hard, y’all.  I guess it takes more than 3 months to get yourself into amazing shape.  And possibly a tad less ice cream.  Whatever it is, I’m struggling.  Reality has brought me back to just hoping that I can finish the race without stopping.  Awesomeness will, unfortunately, have to wait.

I think swimming might be my favorite of the three disciplines.  I can finish the 1/2 mile swim now without stopping and I like how you can’t do anything else when you are swimming.  There’s nothing to look at, you can’t listen to music or podcasts, you can’t even check the time.  You just keep swimming and count your laps.  It’s like being in a sensory deprivation tank.  Or something like that.

I asked Jason to take a look at my form a few weeks ago, though, when we were at the community pool in Lynnwood with the boys and when I looked up at him after my lap, he was chuckling.   He said that I was bringing my head SO far out of the water when I brought it up for a breath that I was turning my whole body and weaving to and fro wildly in my lane.  He had all sorts of advice and ideas that were all fine and good but in the end, a girl just needs to BREATHE.  The breathing is still the hardest part for me and I gotta get a good gulp of air.   I’ll have to deal with my form later, I guess.  I haven’t hit my head on the wall in weeks, though, so I’m thinking that’s a good sign.

I went on a 20-mile bike ride out to the Redhook Brewery with several folks from our community group last Saturday.    I was the only woman on the ride and I was majorly intimidated but Jason promised he wouldn’t leave me in the dust.  Once I got over my jitters, I had to admit it was pretty fun riding in a group.  We were very Tour de France, the 7 of us.   Except that Jack was wearing a short-sleeve button down shirt and cargo shorts.  He mocked me with his outfit.  He looked like he was off to a luau while I was huffing and puffing on the longest ride of my life.

We totally looked like this.

And Jason, riding behind me at one point, exclaimed happily,

“Isn’t this so great, Pal?  Don’t these bikes just make it so  easy?  I mean, we’re hardly doing anything here.  I’m not even breathing hard!!”    

Ummmmm, yeah.  Thanks, Pal.   I’ll show you who’s doing all the work.  But I couldn’t  say that, of course, because I was

Again, there, the breathing.  When does that get easier?  My poor lungs.   My body isn’t actually all that sore anymore.  But I just can.not breathe.  Jason assures me that I’m still improving, that I haven’t plateaued, but it’s just so painfully slow.  I’m so painfully slow.   I finally completed a 3-mile run last week.  It took me 35 minutes.  Sigh.  At one point on a hill, I saw my shadow and I’m serious, y’all, it looked that I was standing still  I was going so slow.

And speaking of running, I must look absolutely ghastly while I’m at it.  Last week I passed a neighbor on the sidewalk and I attempted a smile but I was feeling pretty ragged.  He just looked at me, his eyes sorta wide, and said,

“Girl… you gon’ need to bring it DOWN a notch.  I don’t know what you’re about but take it easy, ‘aight?”  

To which I just gave one of those hysterical half-laughing, half-crying sounds.

Also, I stink when I work out.  Literally stink.  I used to think that my lack of sweating and stinking during a workout was my superpower.   I didn’t need to shower afterwards.  How cool is that?  I could practically wear my street clothes and then just continue on with my day.  Turns out, though, that that was only the case because I wasn’t actually working out.   Now I have to plan and organize my day around my workout because I need to shower afterwards.  It’s so inconvenient.

Well, no matter how soft or slow or stinky I am, I’m rejoicing that I can even think about doing something like this after 5 years of daily back pain; after giving up hope that I would ever be active again. It’s good to branch out and try something new even if it’s hard and blah blah, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.  Ready or not, this triathlon is happening.  I’m putting on that leotard in T-25 days, people.  Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “Panic Mode

  1. you’re going to look great in that leotard! so proud of you for going the distance. just pin your eyes on someone going at a good pace for you, and keep moving, don’t worry about anyone else. it will be over before you know it and you’ll be a triathlete!!!

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