Friday, August 12, 2011

It doesn't feel like summer.

It doesn't feel like summer.

Which could be the title of a poem or song, if I were feeling poetic.

So it's nearly mid-August and super hot outside. But it doesn't feel like summer because I'm not racing. I'm not yet training at full capacity or at peak fitness. No, really I feel pretty out of shape right now.

Since I was 18 years old, summer has always meant triathlon season to me. Sure, since turning pro there were a couple years when the racing season started as early as February or March and spanned until November.

But since discovering the sport as a bright-eyed busy-tailed teenager, summer always meant one thing: triathlon races! Summer break in So Cal as a college student, in Atlanta as a grad student. The summers in between college and grad school and residency. 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 2010.

11 summers in a row where I did at least a couple triathlon races.

May 21, 2011. Ironman Texas. That was the last triathlon I finished and before summer began. Ironman Korea was on July 3rd, but I didn't finish it and so I feel like I didn't really race it despite putting in a good 6.5 hours on the race course. If recovery continues to go well, I plan to toe the line at ChespeakeMan on September 24th.

I just realized I'm going to go the whole summer without racing a triathlon.

Is this a rant? I'm not sure. I feel like I'm caught in this metaphorical Limbo where I'm not allowed to complain because I was in this crazy car accident which could've been so much worse. I may have very well died, or became paralyzed, or had brain or spinal cord damage.

Buuuuut, I didn't. And since I didn't, I keep struggling to think of it as an accident of any significant magnitude. I've been in bike crashes before and just bounced right back, so why should this be any different?

I guess I just expected things to go back to normal a week or two after the crash, when the bruising and swelling came down. I constantly have to remind myself that my knee smashed whatever it smashed into (the bike frame? the car? the ground?) at pretty much the same force it took for my face to break a window. Only, there was no window for my knee to break.

So it's taking a while to get my body up to speed while managing this knee injury. But I'm not allowed to complain because I'm lucky to be alive. I'm lucky my injuries were minor. And I'll be back to racing Ironman someday.

Patience and gratitude are wearing thin. Can you tell?


  1. Actually I believe you are always allowed to complain. It's in the constitution or something. ;)

    Even having done some tris this summer, it doesn't really feel like summer though. It's like we skipped from Winter to Indian Summer in the Fall. So I'm guessing that didn't help.

  2. Summer? What is this Summer thing you speak of? Not only has it been a traditional San Francisco summer this year but I to am in the same boat as you. The last time I entered a race was back in mid-June and never finished a one because I was ridiculously sick and didn't know it. Then the weird arm lump that kept me off my bike outside for the last month and the hip pain that still is a mystery and keeping me from running. I probably won't get back to racing until Labor Day if at all the rest of the "road" season.

    Guess I better start getting my Cyclocross skills down...

    But for me as I am sure for you as well, work has occupied much of that absent training time in my life.

    In the same boat but.... patience pays off and building back from "scratch" can make us stronger more appreciative athletes right? Well that is what I keep telling myself.

    Your FirstMate

  3. I agree, it is OK to complain sometimes. Supposedly a little whining relieves stress, just so long as you don't get stuck there.

    Hang in there! Sounds like you have a lot going on besides tri in your life right now that is new and exciting. You'll be back and better than ever. The waiting is hard though, I'm sure. You'll bounce back with your superhero Slayer healing powers.