Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Doomed

...and sent to Post Ironman Purgatory.

Let's just be real here. First, be forewarned:

This post is not necessarily the motivational type. It's just real, unedited half redneck babble from the head of a Recent Ironman/wannabe supermom/I've lost my focus/get me out of this damned recession because it's screwing with my plans/Did I even ever have a plan?/Where do I go from here? If you are easily de-motivated, grab onto your mouse and quickly navigate to another blog.

Here's the skinny...

I'm not Catholic, but I know about Purgatory. It's that "holding place" you're sent to if you're not good enough to get into heaven, but you aren't quite hell material yet, either. I've never really given it a whole lotta thought in my time, but as I was wallowing around in my own self pity the other day, wondering what in the world I'm going to do about my never ending delima of train hard or don't train at all, mixed with "I'm not missing out on anything my kids have going on this year," it hit me - I'm in Ironman Purgitory.

I'm not in Ironman Heaven, like TriGreyhound, out riding for hours and running afterwards and swimming for miles and miles and just knowing that you are the baddest em-effer to ever walk on the planet. Seeing your veins pop out, and wiping the salt off your head, and sleeping for 10 hours and still waking up tired. Following the plan and holding yourself accountable and finding the personal integrity it takes to go the extra mile and a half past your car because the plan said to ride 100 and you got back at 97. Grittin' your teeth and diggin' down deep and tired-back-be-damned-I WILL cross that finish line if I have to effin' crawl to get there, knowing good and well you've got no intention of crawling a single step or coasting for a single second on the day of Ironman, and therefore you're gonna bust your ass on every swim/bike/run you take part in, and you know you'll be repaid when you see the light and the forces start drawing you into that glorius finisher's chute. Now that's what I call paradise.

But I'm not really in Ironman Hell either. The beenthere/donethat, now I think I'll eat donuts and milk for the rest of my life especially since I bought all my IM paraphanalia two sizes too big to allow for the slothfulness I intend to indulge in. Now there would surely be some weeping and gnashing of teeth in there.

I remain in Ironman Purgatory. No, I'm not doing an Ironman this year. I don't want to. I owe it to J.T. and the boys to not be out swimming/riding/running every morning when they wake up. I am enjoying actually watching Bo's baseball practices, instead of sneaking in a run when I drop him off. If Briar's schedule gets changed and he has a ballgame when I was supposed to ride, it's cool to say, "Oh well, I just won't ride this afternoon. No biggie, I'm going to the game!" The conflict arises, though, when I do get out and a run 5 or 6 miles, and I feel like I haven't done shit. Or when I ride 20 miles and it just doesn't seem to satisfy me like those 50, 60 and 70 milers once did. So I get frustrated, and I take a trip to hell for a week. I just don't do anything, and I eat like crap. I don't like that either, so I'll hop back on the wagon. I'll eat right and train semi-hard, but it's just not IM. I'm not bad enough for IM Hell, but I just can't handle IM Heaven right now either.

This must be how it starts. How these people do an Ironman, and then turn around sign up for another before even 1 year has passed. It's the opium of endurance athletes. It grabs you and it won't let you go. That's cool stuff for a single girl without kids. Not so cool for a mom of two boys who need her around more than IM would to allow right now.

Wrapping my head around the concept of balance was never an easy thing to begin with. Insert Ironman Purgatory and I am restless. I am so loving the freedom of not having to do a certain workout on a certain day, but then after about 3 days of nothing I'm sitting there wondering where IronLana went and how I can get her back without doing another IM.

Real quick because I owe it to you:

I'm not doing Gulf Coast. The recession, along with my trips to IM Hell have made it impossible even though I really wanted it to happen.

I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon - Oct. 25th.

I still want to do an Xterra or a mtb race this summer.

Still haven't lost much weight. That's still the #1 goal.

18 comments:

Lora said...

You know what? I really appreciate your honesty, Lana. I can totally relate to feeling relieved by not having any training to do, and then, 3 days later, cringing because you feel like you've lost something.

A friend once told me with the utmost of compassion, but also with the realization that it was only me who was in control of my life: "Go what you have to go through until you get sick of it."

That'll usually motivate me. Hope you get out of IM Purgatory soon.

D10 said...

Well, you speak the truth. It is hard to balance your own wants when you have a family, especially a family which includes children who need you, want you around and who deserve your attention. You may be feeling off, but know you have been doing a great job balancing work/family/training. Hang in there, the fog will clear soon. Maybe doing something a little different like Xterra is just what you need. Marine Corps should be a blast.

Lisa said...

Just enjoy the fact that you haven't been injured. Now that has been PURE HELL, let me tell ya!

If you get into NYC, just make sure you train hard enough to run two marathons one week apart. :P

Christine said...

Lana-
I hate to tell you this..but the Catholics actually got rid of purgatory. Now you either have to be in heaven or hell..hahahaha.

Oh well! This is when its time to focus on the good things around you. Great friends, awesome family, two kids who are doing amazing in baseball, a supportive husband, a job etc. We can always continue to strive to be better..which is great..but sometimes we just have to focus on where we are and enjoy it...breathe..live a little. You aren't going to be perfect everyday, and although that tends to eat us alive, sometimes its just better to be accepting. Continue to live one day at a time and eventually things get to where you want them.

Like they always say..when youre up youre up..and when youre down your down...just always know that when you are down you will be back up eventually. Ride it out...after all..you are Iron Lana and no one can ever take that away from you.

Missy said...

That's what I'm doing right now - something dif'rent and I'm loving it, really. It's NOT the same but it's really great. Doing a 5K swim and 4.5 mile swim in April and June. I DO miss it at times butttt, I'm enjoying this time too. Hang in there. Get ready for Lock 4 Xterra!!! I'll be there swimming for someone, I'm sure.

Ryan said...

You must think I'm a real moron then...I'm signed up for 3 Ironmans in a 10 month period (it really is kinda dumb on my part)

I think my secret right now is I am not putting in really long hours but I am putting in huge efforts for short amounts of time.

You'll know when you are ready.

John said...

Rest up now, my dear, and satisfy some of that IM itch by deciding which one you're going to do in '10. Believe me, it'll make you feel less "out of the game."
Cheers!

Benson said...

Ah yes, you've still got that fire inside. You sound like your life is actually pretty darn good. You're values guide you.
I know it sounds trite to say "it could be worse" (I really hate that) but you are not worse, you're understanding yourself better and going through this purgatory time will pass quickly and you'll be so much wiser and ready to take on a new phase in your life. It'll be beautiful.

Anonymous said...

TRY A TRAIL 50K OR EVEN 50 MILER. I ENJOY MORE THAN TRI.

Jessica said...

Hey Lana!

Don't be so hard on yourself. You will never look back on your time with the boys and think it was better spent on the road! That being said--rally some friends for a super long run, or even a mock tri somewhere close to you. Once you start training for the marathon, you won't feel this way--if you miss a workout to spend time with them, so be it...but getting up early helps ( i know you do a lot)--that way nothing gets in the way. Even at your "laziest" you are still more fit than 95% of the population! :)

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Here's my question... "Why do you race?" Do you race for you? For the satisfied feeling YOU get? When we turn our motives around we are usually more satisfied... even if doing a half marathon, dedicated to someone else, raising money or run with a first-timer, we get our mojo/feel-good/accomplishment feeling back. Be thankful that you have the ability to go out and run 5 miles and spend time with your kids all in one day. It doesn't HAVE to be Ironman or a long distance. Go faster, dedicate your workout week to someone... there are tons of great ideas!

Titangoober said...

Have fun while you are young, enjoy life and your family...........
I wish I could run, I do walk tho.............

Bill said...

First off, I am not the anonymous poster above. Although I agree wholeheartedly with their comment.

I guess the biggest dilemma you're in is whether or not you let Ironman define who you are. If you do, then you're definitely in a quandary.

If you don't, and accept it as part of who you are, then you'll find another event that you can enjoy while still being completely involved in your family and friends.

Bill said...

Then I thought during my run - why doesn't Lana do a couple of the duathlons in the area?

May 2 - Clarksville Multisport Duathlon (2/13/2)

June 21 - Du Run Run in Nashville (2/10/2)

That might quench the fire just a bit. And you can have a heck of a lot of fun.

triguyjt said...

awesome post...I respect how you pored it all out....great piece of writing... or I should say effing writing!!!
I feel the dilemma..I think we all go through the stuff.

stay positive as always and things will work out....

The (IRON) Clyde said...

I hear you, I'm not doing an IM this year either....but I changed my focus...rather than going LONG, I'm trying to get as FAST as I can on shorter stuff....so as it seems your doing, just try to find different goals....there are other goals out there "non-Iron" that can be just as fullfilling w/ less time needed to train for.

The (IRON) Clyde said...

OK..maybe not "as fullfilling as IM" as that's one of my top 5 days ever in my life...but you get the idea...there can be satisfaction/pride in things other than Ironman.

Jessica said...

hey sistah! You out there??