Sunday, February 06, 2011

2010 Year in Review

This year's analysis will be slightly different from previous years. No data crunching, no comparing total miles to previous years, no analyzing whether or not I've gotten faster. Sorry to disappoint. Why the change? To be honest, I just don't care. It's just not important to me. The thought of doing all that number crunching is no longer exciting. Just more busy work. Yes, I do still follow a training plan (albeit less structured), and I do keep track of my volume but becoming faster so I can move up a few slots in my age group just doesn't matter to me anymore.

I used to care about that stuff. I would say I didn't but inside I secretly craved faster times. What happened? Well, after a 6-month lay-off and serious burnout, all I care about right now is being involved in something active and healthy that I love. I still have a passion for swimming, biking, running but for me, it's more the act of doing those activities than winning a race. I still plan on racing, don't get me wrong (I just signed up for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon, btw). It's just that instead of training to race, I now race to train. I simply love the training more than racing. There's nothing better to me than a relaxed group ride through the San Diego's back country, a long, solo trail run, a swim in the ocean on a calm day when the water is smooth as glass. These experiences are what keep me going. And to top it all off, I get to blog about it afterwards!

But let's return to 2010. The year was pretty dismal. I had my heart broken and was stuck in a job I hated with a lay-off date looming in the not-so-distant future. To top it off, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find a new job (still can't, actually). All I can say is, thank God for triathlon! It got me through (as always). I did Ironman Utah (my 3rd) and had the best Ironman race of my life. In addition, I actually trained for this race less than previous years and did better. Groundbreaking. Sometimes less is actually more, especially for the chronically overtrained triathlete. (I also PR'ed at CA 70.3 so I got faster without training as much or trying as hard. Bonus!) In addition, I tried new things. I climbed Mt. Baldy (actually, Mt. San Antonio, the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains at 10,000 feet), my first experience with mountaineering. And it was amazing! I did my first ultramarathon (Oriflamme 50K), and it was fantastic! These experiences were instrumental in healing my wounds. Not only that, I can look back on 2010 and realize there were a lot of good events, hiding in the shadows of the bad ones.

Unfortunately, instead of spreading out these events over the course of a year, I did them all within a few months. The perfect storm. I crashed and burned harder than I ever have before. I learned (yet again) that I'm not Superwoman (I'm not?). After Ironman Utah, I couldn't get off the couch due to severe burnout. This is the first time I've experienced burnout, and let me tell you, it SUCKED! I think I'd rather have an injury! After working out only a handful of times in 6 months, I finally sucked it up and began the long road back to fitness.

And now, it's 2011. I'm moving forward (slowly) after my 6-month stagnation. I'm slowly and tediously climbing back onto the wagon. My fitness isn't what it was but it is coming back. After completing a VERY hilly trail half-marathon 2 weeks ago (Buffalo Run in Catalina), I finally feel like I got my mojo back. I'm doing lots of trail running and setting my sights on an ultramarathon. With my confidence building and the realization that I'm not going to train if I don't have a race big enough to scare me into it, I signed up for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon ( Who's with me?

2009 Year in Review


Christi said...

Congrats to getting your mojo back!

Diana said...

It appears to me that your last year was a very successful one. Look at all you learned about yourself!
I think your outlook on your races will make this year the most enjoyable. To do something because you like/love it is the best. I do things because I am now physically fit to do them and that sometimes takes me over board on the training because I get so excited, but then I have to pull back the reigns some and remember I have time. I have my first marathon in May and I honestly don't care if I come in last (which could very easily happen!) because I know I'm doing something that was completely out of the question just 4 years ago!
May this year bring you lots of joy and fun....and hopefully a great job!

hstryk said...

Great year in review post! I enjoyed this more than numbers, I'm terrible at math anyway ;) I'm on the same path, trying to get back into training to feel good, to have fun and honestly I don't see any races in my future. It's taken me a long time to get over thinking of racing and placing and just enjoying the swim/bike and perhaps someday the run. I wish you a more stable and steady 2011.

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I hear you on the job front. I just graduated in December with my masters, and still no job!!! I feel like a lump on a log!! I hate it. Oh well, here is to us both finding a job this year!!

Rae said...

Great post!! I think 2010 was a rough year in terms of burnout too...Im trying to be more in the "have fun with it" mentality in 2011. Here's to a great year!!