To Tri or not to Tri? Corny title, I know. It’s a play on words from the opening lines of Hamlet. But in all seriousness, I am thinking about whether or not I should be racing in the Rev3 Niagara Falls Barrelman 70.3 distance triathlon in 5 weeks. Training fairly consistently this summer, I am still missing some of my weekly workouts, but some days sleep is what I need more than a workout.
Six weeks before race day is when I start race specific training. The intensity and the volume increase, or at least that I how I usually feel. Fall is a time where many of my “hobbies” compete with for my time. For the last few years, I was a committee volunteer for a race that happens 2 weeks after the Barrelman. If you’ve ever been a part of a race committee, then you know, the last month before the race, there are an increase in meetings and and more work. Fun work, but time consuming work. I was also the volunteer hockey trainer for my youngest son’s hockey team and if that was not enough, a loved one (close family member) was in a hospital 4 hours away. We would try to make out to see him every 10 days or so. To add to all of that, I also commute to work, with an average drive of 1.5 hours each way to a job that I absolutely love. Are you exhausted yet? I am just thinking of all I was trying to get done. I am also a mom of 3 boys, a wife and a friend.
This year, in order to focus more on the 70.3, I’ve resigned from my volunteer position on the race committee for the race that is 2 weeks after Rev 3. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I am okay not being my child’s hockey trainer this year, but as always, if they need me, I will certainly volunteer once again. Thankfully my family member is back home and healthy once again, so now we can resume our visits on a monthly basis.
Alright, things are looking great aren’t they? So what is the issue? Well, there are 2 of them. The first one is the bike and the second one is the marathon.
Let’s start with the bike. Of the 3 sports, cycling is the one that I have the most room to improve. I have made great strides in the last few years. Discovering the spin bike at the gym and getting there for 4:30 am has been a blessing. I’ve been able to get most of my weekly training done that way. My real issue is realizing that the 2 bikes that I own and love dearly are just not right for me. Dexter, my yellow Opus is a little too big with the aero bars slightly off position and we are unable to make it fit so I do not get neck pain. My second bike, the newest member of the family, named Alice the Camel by my fellow Baydog, is a little too small. While she is not too fancy, she does come with a set of racing wheels that I was really looking forward to using this year and lots of water bottle holders.
While other athletes may be able to make the minor issues with the bike fitting work, I had back surgery a few years ago so my fittings have to be quite precise to protect the hardware in my lumbar spine.
I am looking for a new bike. I’ve narrowed the make of bike that I feel will be right for me and narrowed 2 dealers who sell that brand of bike. Either dealer are convenient locations. Will I have a chance to get a fitting and ride enough to get comfortable in the next 5 weeks? After the initial fitting, I find that there are always a few minor tweeks that have to take place a few weeks after I start getting comfortable. Am I just making excuses at this point? Im not sure.
The second reason I am struggling to make this decision is that I won the Niagara Falls Ultimate race weekend Getaway. Yeah! (Im so happy) That means, I am running a full marathon just 1 month after the Rev3 Barrelman. Yikes. That’s a lot of volume. Since I won the race entree fee, I feel like I should try harder to do well. Thankfully, I am racing with 3 other women in my area that I train with.
Of course, I just wouldn’t be me, the go go go girl as my fav cousin calls me, if I didn’t plan a half marathon just 2 weeks after the marathon. My rational for this? That race is a just for fun race with my husband. We will be going at his pace, not mine, so I see it as a training run with some walking in between.
Do I concentrate on the marathon and ease up on some of the rides and swims and really focus on injury prevention, strength and nutrition? Do I do it all, because I love racing or do I try to slow down and make sure I have time to breathe and be in the present moment? (That never happens in the thick of training and tight schedules). But, this year I will have more time since I am not on a fall race committee but a spring race committee. I’ve managed to free up time in my schedule significantly.
Well, my deadline to make this decision is Monday morning. I will be talking to my coach, get some feedback from my friends and family , write down the pros and the cons and a lot of reflections on why I want to do this. While it’s not an easy decision to make, I will make it by Monday morning and I will own that decision. No regrets.
Till next time, have a great active week.