Sunday, August 06, 2006

Houston, We Have a Problem

If you like reading funny, happy Mojo stories, this post isn't for you. I'm feeling a little in the pity party mode right now. I'm going to write it down because I want to remember these days too. Maybe I will learn something from your comments, whether they be positive or negative.

I'm afraid about my upcoming race on Saturday because I won't place. Today, before my run, I actually thought about backing out of it. When I first decided to do triathlon in January, I did have a goal. I wanted to finish the White Lake Half to test myself. I wanted to find out if I was okay. I wanted to know my body hadn't failed me.

Before I even got to that race, I did two sprints. I placed 2nd and 1st novice and I liked winning. It made me feel special, alright? It made my friends and family proud. I got to have my "moments of glory". I finished the White Lake Half and felt great. I didn't feel like it had killed me, I was bopping around until after 11pm that night. I placed 1st novice all the following races. I surprised myself by not only reaching my goal but succeeding more than I had ever imagined.

I decided to switch to age group for Bandit's and Pinehurst. To push myself and to face reality. I don't like what I see as the race nears. I'm going to be honest about why. Because I will not place. Because I'm doubting myself. Because I don't know if I have the ability to ever place again. Some people are naturally gifted, like the people that run 5-6 minute miles. I truly feel like it will be impossible for me to ever run that fast. My legs and cardiovascular system just isn't built for that quick business.

What bothers me the most about it is that I train and push myself hard. This is the hardest I have worked my entire life. I will not quit a workout, I'm crazy like that. Like today, when I thought about pulling out of this race, I still did my 1:45 minute run. If I didn't do it, I knew I would feel even worse. Someone that doesn't complete workouts doesn't deserve to win. It's a pill to swallow, trying hard but not winning.

I know, I know. I sound very ungrateful for life right now, sorry. (I promise to post something funny tomorrow) I should be happy just to be doing triathlon. I'm healthy and in the best shape of my life. We're able to pay the entry fees, travel to races and I have support. What more could I ask for, right? I'm just struggling with the entire "winning, placing" issue. As sad as it sounds, if I place, I feel good enough.

And maybe this is part of the reason I haven't been posting about triathlon lately. I didn't want to admit to these thoughts.


At 7:16 PM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

Oh man, Mojo - I feel your pain. Sort of. I never placed. I never expect to place. I pretty much suck as an athlete but I do it. I get out there and do my thang even though I'm the slowest person in the pool for masters, I sucked at my marathon, and my friends had to ride ahead without me today because I couldn't keep up.

I don't know what to say except I hope you let yourself off the hook for placing first, second or third and just go out and there see what you've got as an age group competitor. Maybe once you give that a try (tri?) you can set a new goal for time or something.

You trained - no sense in not doing your race and doing it as well as you can. Wil is forever egging herself on with "if you don't do this you will give up a year and a half of you life" which frankly is a little dramatic for me but it works for her*. Find something that works for you.

I know it's hard not to be disappointed when you don't reach a goal but trust me when I tell you everyone will say "You did it! I couldn't do that! You are amazing! You are a survivor and a thriver" etc. and so forth and you will want to say "yes but I didn't it do it the way I wanted to" and they will say "Girl - you did it!" and you will finally give it up and and say, "okay - I did it". Or something.

So do a Nike, Mojo - just do it! Do it without expectations and see what you've got. I think you will be surprised.

*of course if it weren't a little dramatic for me and I actually used that technique I might have run a little harder. Hard to say.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

oh crap - I practically wrote a whole blog post - sorry 'bout that!

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Hey Mojo, Just go do it and have fun. (1) YOu may surprise yourself. (2) If not, at the end of this season or next season, put yourself in some smaller races, stay in AG and maybe you'll place. Keep working for PR's to motivate yourself. And remember: If you keep at this crazy, wildly fun & addictive sport, you WILL be placing again in the 51-54 AG later on! :-) (Earlier age groups, I AM SURE!)

And, here this (you get the scoop, as I haven't posted this yet). I did an Oly tri with a team mate who did the bike & run since I am not doing EITHER. STILL. In fact, I haven;t been posting about tris lately either -- b/c my injury is preventing me from doing one! (So, BTW that is the only reason I'm going to give you a "Geesh Mojo, just get out there & race & have fun!") Anyway, I did my first Oly swim. TODAY. And, I psyched myself up TO BE OK with coming in last. I just didn't want to be last by 3+ minutes! HAHA! (BTW, I wasn't last. I think 2nd to, tho'!!!)

Go race and have fun girl. BTW: I also took a pic just for you at IMLP a couple weeks ago. I need to see if I still have your email address to send to you!!!!! Or else, I'll post it! Keep a look out!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Meg said...

Your inner critic needs to be canned.... and quick.

You are freaking amazing and when you doubt anything, re read your freaking blg.

You are an inspiration. Fire that voice you are hearing. Quick.

By the way- any advice for an almost 1st time tri-er on what to wear?


At 10:39 PM, Blogger tarheeltri said...

It's a small field. You're in the 25-29 age group right? I think last year there were like 6 non-elites who broke three hours. I'm sure you will break 3:00. Like all races, it all depends on who shows up that day and what game they bring.

I'll be there as well!

At 7:58 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

hey there is nothing wrong with those feelings. I did great on Saturday but was bummed because my friend who I normally beat "crushed" me by 3 minutes. In the scheme of things it doesn't matter, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I would have finished with her, or have been the one 3 minutes ahead.

You are drawn to triathlon because you are competitive, and being competetive and not winning is a hard pill to swallow. But guess what it is going to make you tougher and it is going to make you work harder!

You have a great bod and I have no doubt you can go just as fast as you ever would want to. You just have to keep working hard like your doing now and follow a good training program!

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Try not to worry about placing. I'm sure you will do much better in your age group than you think you will. Besides, you might get to hang out with me and the Tri-Daddy. What more could you ask for? :)

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory"

We love you and think your great. Go have fun!

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Chris said...

It'll certainly be a different feeling from being on the podium to placing somewhere in the middle of the age group pack, but it's not all bad. Coming from someone that's never podium finished at a tri, I can assure you of that. :)

I hope that you still decide to do the race.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger Jessica A. Freas "Freeze" said...

I think everyone else said what you need to hear so I am here to say "DITTO"!

My 1st year of racing I raced age group (20-24) and then the next year I aged up and realized what my competition was and I had to ask myself several questions. I realized that I could stay in AG and get creamed by all the 25-29 year old women that I didn't even come close to. To me, that wasn't even competing to me. These women ageraged over 10 mins. (or more) faster than me at most races and I just felt that there would be something that I was missing. For me that was the competition.

So I went to Athena and have been there since. This group fits me b/c I am 5'11" and 200lbs! No matter how much I trained, I knew and thought very realistically that I could never COMPETE at that AG level and what the Athena Div. has done for me is given me a since of confidence that "bigger" people can do these things too! We may not look as pretty coming across the finish line, but the bottom line for me is: THAT I FINISH and that is what I what to leave with you.

You are an amazing triathlete and you have mastered this sport at it's highest ability with your "newby" knowledge coming in! Damn! Hell! I wish I was as good as you when I first started racing.

Yeah, it's nice to win. I have done that with "some" training. But at the same time, being in this division keeps it fun for me. I don't take it too seriously and I always remember to HAVE FUN. Once I have lost the fun, then I lose interest and I wouldn't want a certain div. to take that away from me. I feel that the AG Div. for me would do that.

You have concquered the Novice Div. and now here is your new challenge. You may surprise yourself, but not matter if you place or not, I (AND EVERYONE ELSE AROUND YOU) WILL BE SO PROUD OF YOU!

Good luck this weekend. I will be thinking of you!

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