FTD (Frustrated Triathlete Disorder)

I’m looking for a term to describe my current mental state (no trolls please) because it, logically, has me completely baffled.  I am hitting my mileages, workout frequency (for the most part), intensity and duration.  The only thing that is not going 100 percent as I had planned is my weight loss is painfully slow.  However, everything else is actually ahead of where I need to be.  But in general I am frustrated and irritated with the whole process.  I don’t like any workout I do, I’m hypercritical about everything and feel like even if I work out 10 times a day, it’s not enough.  And no.  By nature or clinical definition I am NOT OCD, ADD or any other D you can think of.

Rather than drool on and on (yes, I said “Drool”) about why I’m feeling this way, over the last week I have started to come up with ways to break the cycle.  I have several theories and ideas that may help anyone who is feeling that same “nothing is good enough” feeling.

  1. Break it up- The problem with triathlons is that your life becomes this… “swimbikerunswimbike/runbike/runswim/eat/sleep…repeat.  While, for me, this is far more appealing than the runrunruneatrunrunrunnaprunrunsleep life of a marathoner, it still gets old.  I was happiest this spring when I had a wide variety of workouts to choose from.  besides swim/bike/run I was also lifting weights, trail running, mountain biking, hiking and so on.  Just enjoying the movement.  The last month and a half have been pretty dedicated to just triathlon.  This is fine because that is what I like, but I need to be honest.  I really enjoy the workouts more than the competitions anyway.  And honestly, I can’t afford too many triathlons.  Especially the longer ones.  They are just too expensive.  So I’m looking to break things up.  I’ve been thinking about adding a trail hill repeat in on a nice long hill at Rhett’s run.  I have a pair of 5 wheel speed skates that I used to love to exercise on I just need to find a circuit someplace with relatively smooth roads.  Distance skating is an AMAZING leg workout.  It’s not like these different workouts won’t help my fitness and they will certainly help my mental state.
  2. Leave the watch at home- I’m finding myself falling into that data trap again.  Being frustrated when I don’t do better on the same course each time.  I have to remind myself I’m not a professional or even a competitive athlete.  My numbers mean nothing.  Who gives a crap?  I still have to go to work on Monday because I’m not getting paid for it.  I choose to do this to myself so I at least need to have FUN with it.  Sometimes I lose sight of the the most important reason for doing all of this.  Fitness.  My health.  I have witnessed first hand the inverse relationship between running a mile and running a mile as fast as you can.  The possibility you are going to get frustrated or hurt greatly increases as you try to push yourself to go faster.  And I have serious doubts that my fitness level is THAT much worse because I run a 7:30 mile instead of a 7:00 minute mile.  It’s a helluva lot better than if I was NOT running because I got hurt or frustrated and gave up.  Leaving the watch at home and just running or riding by feel teaches me to listen to my body.  Why do I need to record my mileage on a route I have run or ridden 20 times?  But seeing that I went 3 seconds slower this time than I did last time is frustration that I don’t need.
  3. Focus on nutrition- I think I have my workouts planned.  I’m good with that.  Now I need a nutrition plan.  I’ve been reading a lot about the whole “You lose inches at the gym and pounds in the kitchen” philosophy and I tend to agree with it.  Perhaps not to the obsessive level of some, but I know I need to eat better.  And I know for sure that I don’t take in enough fluids.  Both when working out AND in general.  So now that the season is really underway and I have plenty of workout options, I need to start making menus.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.
  4. Finalize my plans- I have everything set… in my mind… for the season.  But I still haven’t signed up for the rest of my races.  I need to sign up for Quartermax, a race in July, Kirksville and then the Half Iron distance at Redman (and the Sprint).  It think if I get those races on the schedule so they are real, it will help me focus.  I also need to go into each race with a plan.  Not just show up and do them.

Sounds pretty simple.  Oh… and don’t forget to keep the lawn mowed…

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One Response to FTD (Frustrated Triathlete Disorder)

  1. Bob Grone says:

    Bob, I have had great success losing weight using myfitnesspal.com. if you track your exercise and calories the pounds just fall off. Yes you will have to put in the amount of calories for beer as well. It sucks, but you can’t lie to yourself then wonder why the weight isn’t coming off.

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