... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Friday, August 9, 2013

All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

After a long ( and possibly frustrated) hiatus, I am back! I could rationalize and explain why it took so long but the truth is that I simply don't work well when not under pressure, and so between the injury and having a lot of time before my training schedule officially began, I just slacked off.

I won't say that I regret it, because during the past two months I have gotten to spend time with my wonderful boyfriend, his mother, and my lovely mom. I have gotten to explore the island, relax, settle in at work, and I am coming back rested and really excited about getting back to training. My foot still feels a little stiff and creaky if I push it too hard, but it is almost, almost back to normal.

True to form, two out of my first three attempts at a come-back were horrible failures. I spent a week pumping myself up for August 4th, the first day of my new training schedule, and had even received more gear from apparel companies like DeSoto and Salty Coconuts that I was really looking forward to testing for the magazine. The day came, I pulled out  my carefully-picked sassy spandex outfit, and the problems began.

First off, spandex does not fit me like it did the last time I graced it with my curves. There were bulges and rolls in places I had never worried about back in April, and although I know this is a temporary situation, it was still frustrating to see how out of shape I've gotten in my three and a half month sport hiatus. Oh well, I told myself, now I get to watch the transformation happen all over again, and let's be honestit's pretty exciting to see new muscles popping out in places you had previously assumed were composed solely of jelly. Just to give myself something to look forward to, I weighed myself and took some measurements (hips, waist, arms, etc.) so that the night before the triathlon in November I can look back on today's wimpy measurements and feel like Superwoman in comparison. I won't share those gory details, but I will admit that I have gained ten pounds since I broke my foot. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with my staunch insistence on continuing to eat as though I was training full time while doing nothing but sitting on the couch. Just a theory.

Ignoring my fat rolls and somehow still feeling sporty I found my helmet, put on my shoes, and rolled my bike out from under the house where it has been exiled for the past three months. Sean was planning on coming with me but somehow misplaced the key, locking his bike in the garage. Nevertheless, I was ready to head out alone to bike and swim. As I went for my keys and wallet, I realized that the latter had been MIA for at least 24 hours. I had no idea where it was. Normally I would say "screw it" and drive without my license in the car, but given that the beach I swim at is 25-30 minutes away, I didn't want to risk driving without it.

Oh well, I thought. I guess I'll just skip swimming today and bike from my house! The hill I have to brave in order to go anywhere from home is huge and terrifying, but hey, who needs to be able to walk the next day anyway, right? I walked the bike out to the driveway and loaded it into the car, only then realizing that the tires were completely flat. No problem, I thought, I'll just go grab the pump.
No wallet. No pump. No clue.

Out of the garage.

Which is locked.

And missing a key.


Fail number two happened on Tuesday, which was supposed to be the day I made up for the stupidity of Sunday, but ended up practically a repeat. Once again I put on all of my gear, got everything together (including the previously absent wallet and bike pump), and enlisted Sean (and his previously absent bike!). When I attempted to pump up my tired, however, I could not for the life of me get the pump to latch onto the valve on my tire. Please note, I have done this exact same thing with this exact same pump at least three times in the past. It felt like I was hallucinatingdespite all logic, it simply wouldn't fit. Annoyed and feeling like I was in the Twilight Zone, I finally gave up on my flat tires. As it were, I was literally in the twilight zone because while I struggled to do the basic task I've done many many times with no issue, it got totally dark. Ugh.

The funny part of these experiences, however, was that while they were frustrating, they brought back a sense of familiarity and a torrent of memories from my first few weeks of training back in December. I may be wise enough now not to buy Walmart goggles or try to swim over reef in two feet of water, but The Great Triathlon is still much smarter than me and determined to prove it at every turn, and I have reached the point where I revel in the knowledge that these mistakes and mishaps mean that soon I will be making great improvements. Working through these challenges gives me a sense of accomplishment, even if the accomplishments themselves are small.

Unique cows checking us out
Luckily for me, I did manage to get a semi-functional "run" in between these disasters. By run, of course, I mean ten minute intervals of running punctuated by three minutes of a slow, deliberate jogging. "Running" is really too generous a word for what I am doing right now, but despite that I have to say that after three months of limited motion there is little else more satisfying. It felt good simply to feel my muscles working, to fully inflate my lungs, and to stretch out my insides with each breath.

As an added bonus, we ran on a trail that hugs the hillside overlooking the ocean, guiding us past an ancient Hawaiian temple (called a heiau), the birthplace of King Kamehameha (who united the Hawaiian islands as one), and a huge assortment of the most interesting-looking cows I've ever seen, grazing contentedly in seemingly endless fields. Although my running can barely be called that, it reminded me of all of the things I love about training that have missing and I am extremely happy to be back!

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