Just wanted to drop a quick post leading into this 4th of July weekend. I remember last year at this time I was trying to juggle traveling, family obligations, training for the Musselman 70.3 race and basically burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes you don't realize how far you are pushing yourself until you finally take a step back. That is what I decided to do almost exactly one year to this date.
After having a decent performance at 2009 Musselman 70.3 and then running the Presque Isle Duathlon one week later I realized I needed a break. Actually, I realized I needed to drop down in the distances I was competing at for several reasons. I think most come to realizations on their own. People close to me were telling me I was pushing myself too hard but I didn't want to hear it or admit it. Finally, I realized I needed to listen. Since last year I have cut back on my training and focused on being HEALTHY. There is a big difference between being the most fit or the best in your age group and being healthy. I realized that after pushing myself to the extreme and being extremely fit that I was not actually very healthy. Something had to change.
Since last year I returned to the weight room on a consistent basis, only trained on the bike 2-3 times per week, and ran 1-2 times per week and many times didn't run at all. To my surprise my performance on the bike didn't suffer much and I was a much healthier happier individual. My future goals include competing at shorter triathlon and cycling distances and focusing on fun and health rather than winning.
I feel that many out there want to win their age group and that is okay. I also feel that you can be very healthy/happy and still win your age group. However, for me, I needed to sacrifice a great deal to be competitive and after performing to what I thought was my limit I decided to change gears.
As a coach, father and husband I have found my performance in these other areas of my life has substantially improved. I am sure I will return to the sprint and Olympic distances soon but hope to approach these events with a different perspective. I have learned a great deal on how to do this from the athletes I coach. I am greatly impressed by their discipline as well as their consistent ability to surprise not only me but themselves as well.