Let’s look at reality… really.

Mountain Road
Image by Chris Denbow via Flickr

It seems my crisis of confidence may have passed for the moment. Although I was not satisfied with my result on Saturday, it was actually better than I expected. I’m now relatively sure that I can keep the bonk in check if I pay closer attention to my nutrition. I am pretty sure, however, that I am doing this triathlon thing all wrong.

My LOOOOONNNNG, SLOOOOWWWWWW (43 minutes for the mile) swim gave me plenty of time to think about triathlons in general. I do enjoy the longer distances… I guess. But I think I am, realistically, still a sprint triathlete. I think I will continue to be a sprint triathlete until such time as I lose 30 pounds. From a health standpoint, I’m concerned that doing anything more than that at my current weight may actually hurt me again, as it did when I ran the marathon. Although I am disappointed in my progress this year and I still want to do a half ironman someday, I really need to shift priorities. The rest of this year (all one race of it) I will just focus on what I am doing now. Doing the workouts and trying to get better. But if I ever want to get to longer distances or go any faster, I have to drop 30 pounds. This really has got to be my focus.

To the point that I may even see if I can find a doctor to help, since what I am doing seems to be ineffective. When you work out as much as I do, at least SOME weight loss should be normal for someone as overweight as I am. I have actually GAINED 5 pounds in the last two months. And, no, my pants don’t fit looser so you can’t say I’m gaining muscle but trimming fat. My body is just not letting go of the fat and I don’t know what else to do. I don’t eat THAT bad. In fact, I eat relatively well. But I could eat a cracker, starve the rest of the week and work out twice a day and STILL not lose weight. I just don’t know what else I can do. If anybody knows a good weight loss doc or dietitian… I’m listening.

This fall and winter are going to be focused on weight loss and toning. I have pretty much given up on this season already. It will be what it will be. My immediate and ongoing concern (until it is gone) has to be my weight. If I can get the weight off, then I will look at longer races. Until then I think they might be dangerous. If you don’t think so, strap thirty pounds on your body and then go out for a 10 mile run and tell me how you feel. Then think about doing a half ironman like that. Dangerous…

So until then (after NeMo) I will just compete in sprints and train like I’m going to do something longer. When the scale tips 160, I’ll celebrate with a Half Ironman somewhere. My Ironman battle is clearly going to be within myself to find a way to lose the weight. It’s just going to take longer (and be much harder) than I had hoped. I think that is more the source of my frustration and disappointment than poor performance. At my weight I can’t realistically expect much more. And that isn’t me feeling sorry for myself. I’m past all that crap. It’s just reality. And I know I have to take care of it before anything else.

I don’t think “more training” is the answer. I think better training or, moreover, complete training, is the answer. I have spent the last year and a half just trying to learn the workouts and the routine. I have a system of training for the physical part that works for me now. The next step is fueling the engine properly and losing ballast. And even though it’s the dead of summer, I need to get on making a plan for the offseason now.

I want to try new things this offseason as well. Rowing, pilates, lifting, trail running, hiking, mountain biking and maybe even distance speed skating again (if I can find a place to do it) are all on my list. I love triathlons like I have never loved anything (sports related) before. I’m completely addicted. But I don’t want it to get old and I don’t want to be this frustrated next year. Changing things up in the offseason will give me a break from the swimbikerunswimbikerun that is triathlon reality. I’m hoping it will also give me a chance to really work on my nutrition and weight. I need to fix this. Now.

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