Posts tagged ‘triathlon’

Weekly Photo Challenge – Endurance

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imoo

Ironman Wisconsin 2006 – 1 second before crossing the finish line

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For me, Ironman Wisconsin was the pinnacle of endurance.  Never had I ever undertaken such a task and it proved to be a true test of physical and mental gumption.  It was the longest day of my entire physical life.  The rain, the wind, unseasonable cold weather and the constant deadlines nipping at my heels.

I had one goal and ‘that’ was to finish and ‘that’ I did ~

3 minutes shy of 17 hours.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/endurance/

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September 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm 23 comments

The day off that was not!!

Two days ago was Sunday – the day after my first long run of  my half-marathon training program.   Technically  it was a day off – I went on a 40 mile bike ride and not just any 40 mile bike ride – a 40 mile bike ride full of steep hills and rollers.   Yes, I was bad but I had my reasons.

For the past almost one year, I have been spending a lot of time in Wisconsin.  I very much enjoy the area in which I have been “hanging out”.    I have always had a special spot in my heart for the Dairyland State.  Four years ago, I competed in the Ironman Wisconsin race – nicknamed IMoo.  I spent two summers riding my bike every other weekend, like all the other aspiring IMoo triathletes.  I poured a whole hell of a lot of sweat, tears and DNA on the beautiful country roads which circle  and zigzag along the cow and crop covered countryside.  So, with this past year of hanging out and watching cyclist after cyclist wizzzz by me, I have had an ‘itch’ to get back out on the carbon two-wheeler and wizzzzzzzz, as well.

I have previously touched on a few of my blogs about burnout and lack of training desire.  IMoo was the particular training in question and subsequent race that brought on the nasty spell of burnout.  After spending two very intense years of training and focusing on one race, I totally fell apart after crossing the finish line – both physically and mentally.  Please do not get me wrong, I loved the race.  It was the most difficult, incredible, inspiring and mind-blowing experience that I ever had, but when it was over, it was over.  Kind of like a balloon flying high above the trees and – poof – it gets punctured by a branch and deflate in an instant.  This was the let-down of all let-downs.  I could not get myself focused to get on the bike, swim a lap or run a mile.  I did have a few false starts, so to speak.  I participated in a few 5ks and I went biking quite bit, but on my hybrid with my two boys.  I still continued teaching my fitness classes, I just did not teach myself.  In some ways it was nice and relaxing.  In others, however, I found it a bit frustrating.  When some of my fitness acquaintances were gearing up (no pun intended) for tri season, I was working, dealing with personal crap and, well, lets just spit it out – getting damn fat!  The most frustrating part, however, was trying to re-again a part of myself – a part that defines me and makes me feel whole.

The ride yesterday was quite intense.  The last time I rode this course was back in 2006 during the race itself.  I had a lot of penned up emotion swelled up inside – anxiety, nervous excitement, fear – and I did my best to convert it to energy.  I did just that and managed to fudge my way through the difficult 40 mile course.  It certainly was not pretty or graceful, but I made it through to the end.  If anyone was within ear shot of my foul mouth, they would have stuffed a six-pack of bar soap down my throat.  I was engaged in a constant inner conversation –   telling myself :  “You can do this”, “Why did I set out to ride this course”, “What the hell was I thinking”, “Isn’t this area beautiful”,  “Hmm, I do not remember seeing that house over there”, “Ah aren’t those baby calves cute”, “Stop thinking about your sore knee”, “I cannot wait to get a tall Coke filled with ice”, and so on and so on…..  Yes, colorful conversation to say the least.  I suppose you could also say I was engaged in a battle of wills – my ‘I can’ and ‘I can’t’ – and a war between the bike vs myself.

I made it through unscathed and, when all was said and done, was very tired but relieved.  It seems I still have that Ironman fighting ability after all.  I am thinking September, 2012 – IMoo!

July 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Burnout

Burnout.  I hate it.  It sucks.  It happens.  We deal with it.  We hope that we can overcome it.  Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we fail.  At this moment, I have decided that I am not going to fail.

Everyone has dealt with burnout in one way or another.  I think of it as entering a dark tunnel.  For some individuals, they get stuck and some make it through to the other side.  Some tunnels are tiny and some stretch out for years.  I personally have experienced tunnels big, small and in-between.  My latest tunnel has been stretching out for about four years.  I have had a tease or two, sort of like a rope thrown to me from an escape hatch, but I have always managed to find my way back into the darkness.  For me, this burnout has been a complete lack of interest in physical training.

Now, it is important to note that I do not mean exercise, per se, because I have exercised, I just haven’t exercised with a ‘personal’ goal in mind. When I say goal, I mean a race or just general improvement with regards to the skills that I enjoy.  These particular skills that I fancy are running, biking and swimming – yes, triathlon and marathon.  I used to be very dedicated and disciplined, but then I competed in and completed one big race and ‘BOOM’ – lost interest.  (I also had a lot of life shit get in the way.)  It is as if I was clubbed in the head with a 100 lb  bar bell, lights went out and a new life ensued.

So, fast forward 4 years – I have finally cleared the tunnel walls.  I am back to running and biking.  I have yet to dive into the pool, but I am okay with that – for now.  I have been diligently re-building my foundation – also called a base – in order to progress to a higher level of fitness or skill.  I must say that I have enjoyed the process, thus far, but have experienced some frustration along the way.  I am four years older, which means the physical structure is four years older.  The last time I indulged in endurance training, I ate chicken, turkey and fish – now,  I do not.  These things may seem small and trivial and I suppose in the grand scheme of life they are, but to anyone who has experienced these similar emotions, they can be maddening.  The cool thing is that part of the training process is having to deal with these ‘little road blocks’ – finding a way to overcome them and letting them go.  With this in mind, I have been reading literature on vegetarianism and the endurance athlete and dragging out my old marathon books, just to refresh the brain.

For the most part, I have enjoyed my workouts.  My boys have accompanied me on a few, which has been really nice.  They, too, are four years older, so they do not mind sweating with their mom.  I typically workout by myself.  Not by choice, it’s just that I have no one to partner with, but that is okay.  It gets lonely, but it is what I do and what I have always done.

In conclusion, my favorite part of training is just that – training.  I love the process – the day by day routine.  It is as if I need to have that discipline to function and thrive.  Yes, having a final goal, such as a race, is exciting, but I enjoy the steps leading to that end point – more.  The really cool thing about race events is that there is always another one coming up.  After you have completed one, there is always another one waiting in the wings to be conquered – to train for:)

July 16, 2010 at 2:06 am 2 comments


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Natalie Breuer

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