Trek Women
January 15, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

There are many times that I wished I lived in Australia, or really anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere for that matter.  Us Northern Hemisphere occupants have ourselves completely backward.  We choose to have January 1st and all its perceived new year hoopla occur when most of the country is at its coldest, grayest and least inspiring of words like "fresh start" and "new goals."    So while I've been struggling mightily with motivation, I'm feeling especially bad for all those "resolution makers" occupying all the spaces at the gym right now - Could it possibly be any harder to motivate yourself to get to the gym?  Side-note: Forecast for Melbourne, Australia today - 70 degrees and mostly sunny (not that I'm bitter - cold, that is).

My new year tends to coincide with the start of school in September and/or to find that feeling come the beginning of April when the weather gets warm and I can relish in the beauty of all outdoor training again (without layering).  In November, I knew that if I waited for April to have that fresh start feeling to my tri season it would essentially be too late.  Race companies are increasingly opening up registration for even local races in November or December forcing athletes to commit to race schedules months in advance (tough for the cancer survivor amateur athlete who relies a lot on the "wait and see" attitude, but I guess we're a small slice of the racing population). 

For the past two years, my race season hasn't kicked off until mid July.  For the past two years I've also had to bail on anything involving off-season training.  This year I didn't have anything blocking my path to earlier training.  So, I made a bold move - I signed up to race the Memphis in May triathlon (isn't it cool that all the information you need is right there in the title of the race?) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training Program (TNT).  This will be my first "destination" tri but luckily the great TNT tri coordinator gets to be the one who worries about getting my bike from point A to point B (a big plus in my book). 

So, on January 1st, with a committed race less than 20 weeks away I had to start training.  What was I thinking?  It is cold.  It is gray.  Motivation is low.  My rear hurts from sitting on my bike trainer.  I have to dress like the Michelin man just to get to the gym to swim.  I stink at treadmill running. I turned my ankle on January 2nd just trying to go upstairs (I should have taken this as a sign). Seriously. What. Was. I. Thinking?  I don't need a destination tri - I need some destination training.  But, at least having the race out there on the calendar is forcing me to push forward.  My training volume isn't where it should be on my training plan but the running had to be sidelined last week to let my ankle heal. 

So, there you have it - 17 weeks until my first big race of the season.  I have some specific goals for the race but let's see where we are in March before I share those. . . .

Back to the bike trainer. . .

-Jen

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Comments

I'm glad other people are struggling with motivation right now. I know I am. I'm 6 weeks pregnant, hungry enough to eat a house and I'm really having to push myself to work out. Maybe we can motivate eachother! Good luck with your race! I'm sure you'll set some PR. Kristina

Posted by: everhark | Jan 15, 2009 4:32:32 PM

Kristina,
I feel so touched that you would share your pregnancy with us in the WWR blog world. You win the prize for first pregnancy on my blog! Congratulations!!! Motivation is what I think the blogs are best for - I look to all of you out there for motivation and to hear about all the great things you are doing.
Jen
PS. You never shared how your bike race went. . .

Posted by: Jen | Jan 16, 2009 2:44:27 PM

Unfortunately, the bike race didn't happen b/c both my husband and son got sick in the middle of the night and I was the last man standing so to speak. It was a bummer. Oh well, there's always next year. I did read an article that talked about riding your bike while pregnant. They interviewed one woman who rode her bike the 10 miles to the hospital to give birth. WOW. I don't think I'll have to many excuses not to keep riding and stay motivated!

Posted by: everhark | Jan 19, 2009 12:36:27 PM

Okay, I'm thinking that I wouldn't recommend riding your bike to the hospital to give birth but I hope that you are still riding right now. You're in TX right? How is the weather there right now. Cold and icy here so the only outdoors I'm seeing is the view from my trainer out the window into the backyard. . . .

You like mountain biking better than road riding, right? What kind of stuff would you recommend to the beginner (me) mountain biker? How do you find beginner mountain biking areas? Just ask around?

Jen

Posted by: Jen | Jan 20, 2009 6:53:12 AM

You definitely need a good mt bike to start with. I have a Gary Fisher; which I love! Also, we keep our tires at a different level than road bikes. I'm a little tired so I'm struggling to remember but I believe road bikes are around 60 pounds and mt bikes are 40. There are several ways to find trails:
1st - look at the State Parks in your area. Alot of them have bike trails. Alot of the trails will mark how easy or hard they are. Where I ride the most, there are about 5-6 trails and they go from Blue to red. Blue being the easiest, red being the hardest.
2nd - do a web search for local mt biking groups in your area. I searched Dallas mountain biking and came up with www.dorba.org. They list all of the trail in our area and how easy or hard they are. They also have a women's only offshoot. On dorba they have beginner classes where you can learn to jump logs and other various skills, etc. It's a super handy group.
3rd - there is www.IMBA.org which is the international counterpart. They have a regional section which might be able to link you to your area rep. http://www.imba.com/nmbp/regions.html
4th - I found that I learned best by going out by myself. When I went with other people, even other women, they would push me to try things I just didn't feel ready for. So when I went by myself I could take things as fast or as slow as I wanted. If I didn't feel ready for something the first try I would walk it and then try it when I got up more nerve later.

5th- your local bike shop may know of a local group. Mine all new about Dorba.

Good luck! I love mt biking and I know you will also!

Posted by: everhark | Jan 21, 2009 12:08:55 PM

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