Monday, July 30, 2012

Chicken or Egg?

I've recently been wondering if my weight gain, lack of desire for training, generally sub par performance, medical issues and declining fitness level is the result of not enjoying my training or is it that because I am not enjoying my training, all of these other things are happening. In other words, a classic chicken and egg quandary. There could be some debate on the medical side of the house but could it have been that my iron fitness masked these issues but now that my fitness has declined these issues that have always been there are now more impactful?

My wife has mentioned it is obvious that I am not enjoying training. It seem more that I am "having" to do versus "getting" to do it. Since I "have" to do it, I can't remember the last time I was proud of a training session. My power numbers are low. My endurance is low. Since all this training does, in fact, have an impact on my family's life, there is a cost associated with this. If I don't enjoy it, could that cost be reinvested elsewhere with more return?

I recently went on vacation now with my extended family. We go to the same place in the north end of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. I brought my bike since the riding in the mountains, although hard, I typically consider fun. I also brought running clothes even though running is rarely considered fun for me. The weather was not cooperating with thunder and lightening storms for the past few days. I was woken up by thunder at about 5:30am Sunday morning. I tried to sleep in but couldn't. Since breakfast started at 8AM I decided to go out on the porch, read a book, and watch the storm until pancake time. This was about 7AM and the storm, while not as hard as earlier, was still going on.

I saw a runner running towards me on the road alone. In the rain. Drenched. With thunder rumbling. She wasn't running very fast but she was getting it done. Then I realized it was my sister. She was completing her 3 mile morning run to get it done before breakfast. I was sitting in a chair reading a paperback.

After breakfast, my daughter appeared in her running clothes and said she wanted to go run. While the sky was still very dark, the rain was slowing. I asked if she wanted me to rescue her if the storm really kicked up a but. She said no. I think she was running more to clear her mind more than anything else and since she runs much faster than I do, I let her go without me. I kept reading my book.

I would be a much better story if I then said the hell with it and went for a run. There was a time where I would have been that one running in the rain. The one that everyone said was crazy. I might have complained about it the whole time but deep down I probably would be enjoying it, at least a little. At the end, I would have been glad I did it. But that isn't me now. I thought more about why that is (or is not) and realized a few things.

I'm not ready to give up on this. I know what I've lost. I want it back. I need to do something different.

There needs to be some changes in the blog. I find that the happier I am, the more I blog. Chicken or egg? I don't know but let's see.

There needs to be some changes in my training. I need to change the focus because what I doing now is not working.

There will be some changes in my eating habits. That is the biggest issue I have in more ways than one. I've found that my food choices are now about as bad as possible.

There needs to be some changes in my goals. Defining success clearly is a better way to know if I met it or not. There are two corollaries here: 1) Better being the enemy of good enough; and 2) I don't need to boil the ocean. My Iron man quest took years. Maybe I need a hairy big assed goal to keep me focused.

I am treating this as almost a restart from the beginning. Consider it an egg. Or maybe a chicken. I don't think that anything one thing in particular will fix this but it will be a series of small adjustments. Over time, though, minor adjustments can have a huge impact. Either way, the journey is taking a different route. It won't be a short cut but I'm thinking it will get me to a better place.


Unknown said...

I understand what you mean about not enjoying training. I have been there but for different reasons.

This year I am ONLY doing things that I found fun in the past or that seem like they might be fun to try. Makes a huge difference in my motivation, but it also means that my training looks much different than it has in years past.

Good luck finding the happy place. :-)

TriMOEngr said...

Amazing that we are in very similar head spaces right now. Though my issues vary somewhat from yours, there is an apathy for the sport that I can't really explain. But it ebbs and flows and I am still trying to figure out my exact course of action too. I'm interested to hear more about how you find your way as I look for my path.

You've always been very encouraging of others. Is there anything we can do to help? Whether it be a kick in the ass or a friendly pat on the back?

Ransick said...

At least you are recognizing there isn't a silver bullet when you are in a funk. Start taking baby steps and they will add up to some noticeable changes. Do you log your workouts on daily mile or beginner triathlete (or somewhere else)?

Scott said...

I am going through almost exactly the same thing right now. Making very bad food choices and not wanting to train. I have started mountain biking again because I do find that fun. However, I find that my weight gain makes everything less fun because I am obviously not at a level I want to be at. I am also choosing family time over training. Hopefully you get things figured out..I'll let you know if I do. Good luck!

Unknown said...

I think it is difficult to stay charged up indefinitely. However, it is still depressing not be able to kick it in gear. So I am sure it is the down time that is giving you that funky feeling.

Big Clyde said...

Great honest post that didn't lead to pat answers. I'm trying to get off that porch too (before I break the chair!).

I'm following you. Go, Rock, go.