Thursday, November 21st, 2013
My relationship with the triathlon world has been all over the place this year. When I was at my worst, I completely disconnected myself. I stopped reading triathlon blogs, avoided Twitter all together and stopped thinking about anything fitness related. The last thing I wanted to see was someone complaining about missing their marathon goal when I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to run a single step without crippling back pain.
As my back healed, I eventually came out of hiding and quit being so grumpy, irritable and was actually open to hearing about and celebrating my friend’s athletic accomplishments. But for me, I was still 100% about recovery. PT, massage, stretching, chiropractic work, strength work and repeat. That was my training schedule. My strength, flexibility and remaining pain were my main concerns, not whether I’d be able to be a competitive athlete ever again.
I celebrating the little things like wiggling my toes or being able to rake leaves in the yard, not lacing up my shoes for a run.
Now, nine months later, my progress has been great but plateaued. I’m able to step away from the strict physical recovery regimen. And along with (mostly) getting over the psychological issues that come with breaking your back, I’m able to toy with the idea of getting back to sports and competition.
But my motivation is now in a completely different place than it ever has been. In previous years, I’ve spent November contemplating qualifying for AG Nationals, new PRs and longer distances, This year, I’m more focused than ever on family, friends, fun and health – which actually makes it really hard to plan a race season. I’d much rather chill on the couch with my wife and dog than spend 4 hours on the trainer.
For now, I still don’t know for sure what 2014 will bring, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Today, I felt like taking my puppy for a 3 mile run, despite being 20 degrees outside. So I did that. Tomorrow, I’ll think about some local snowshow races this winter. After that? We’ll see.
And because I don’t like posts without pictures, here is me and my running buddy. Today was the first run we ever did together. 3.5 miles in the books before work today. Despite some pulling, she did great.
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