Darkness arrives unannounced just as I begin to make dinner. I didn’t ask darkness to come over or darkness’ friend, freezing cold weather, but they sat down at the table anyway so I set extra places because what could I do? Shortly after dinner I fall asleep on the sofa under a blanket because it seems like it’s been midnight since six o’clock this evening even though I know it’s not, yet I don’t want to go to bed before 7pm or do the strength workout I had planned. And, on top of all of this, my 5am morning swim seems to have happened yesterday because it seems so long ago.
All motivation disappears after dinner under that blanket. I want to eat mac and cheese and chocolate chip cookies all day with a mocha to drink.
If many of you are feeling like this, please give yourself a break and peek out from under your blanket, especially as New Year’s approaches with resolutions that seem to negate all the things you’ve done in 2018 in the hopes that you will be a better you in 2019. Remember, you are perfect as you are right now. Always. Even if you are like me on the sofa and not at the gym right now.
In fact, if you’re going to make any resolutions, I suggest changing the way you talk to yourself during training:
Instead of: I’m trying to survive the swim and not drown.
Say: I am learning how to swim more efficiently.
Instead of: I am terrified of riding my bike.
Say: I am practicing my bike handling skills often.
Instead of: I’m a slow runner. (one of my own that my coach told me to never say)
Say: I am working to improve my speed in running.
Besides changing the way you talk to yourself, start planning out your race year with family and work in mind. I cut way back on what I normally do because I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. I decided that this year is the year that I will do at least one distance swim of 2.8 miles (maybe a 5K swim), improve my times in the sprint and Olympic distance triathlon, and maybe do a 70.3 near the end of the season with the goal of a possible PR. The swim is my big goal, and if I don’t PR in the other distances, I’m OK with that. I train for one thing at a time. I’m committed to three races, but I might do five events, and I chose local races to save on travel costs (2018 was an expensive year with the Ironman, hotels, and travel).
*1. Fort Ritchie Swim Fest-2.8 mile swim or 4500 meters in a lake, May 2019, splitting an Air B and B with my BFF from high school who’s also swimming!
*2. Philly Women’s Tri-sprint distance, July 2019–near me, no hotel needed.
3. Tri AC-Olympic distance, August 2019??? I might do this with my swimming friend…
*4. Waterman’s Triathlon Festival 70.3, September 2019, staying at my triathlon friend’s house three hours away.
5. Richmond Marathon–not a definite…yet., November 2019–Phil and I LOVE this marathon and have run it three times.
All of this takes into account time to visit family and friends, our family’s work schedule, my daughter’s camps, and family time at home.
If you’re short on funds, organize a fun swim, bike, or run with your friends with a plan to meet at a restaurant so that it has the same feeling as a race without the cost or travel. Plan within your budget and look for off-brand races, choose one big goal, and change the way you talk to yourself. Now, when darkness comes over for dinner, you’ll be focused on where you are now and looking to the light of summer. You will see improvement. No resolutions necessary.