I find that things very rarely go as planned. My experience with triathlon fits that feeling very well. We've all gone through the mental struggles associated with the creeping up of the first race of the season ... well I think we all have.
Have I trained enough? Am I strong enough? Can I actually do this? Do I even want to do this anymore? Why am I doing this? Maybe I should just wait until I'm more prepared for the next race?
If you don't go through the mental agony associated with the above, well, good for you. Aren't you fucking lucky?
I go through this game of mental chess EVERY SINGLE TIME a race approaches.
Like all good goal setting or planning, it is always important to periodically check in on the reality of those goals and whether or not adjustments need to change. A little self-reflection goes a long way.
The last three months have not gone as planned.
While I have been consistently training, I haven't been committing the time nor effort that I thought I would have at this point.
Why you may ask?
There are a number of reasons, justifications or excuses that I could come up with such as:
- My personal life has been busy - I've moved, I've taken on some new projects, etc.
- I've been travelling a lot for work
- I've been travelling a lot for me
- I've been focusing on relationships that were neglected during my training for Cozumel 2016
However, if I'm being honest with myself and with you, I've lost my motivation somewhere in the hustle and bustle of life. It is hard to pin point exactly where I lost the desire I strongly held in February. I feel lazy, lacking motivation, borderline depressed in terms of my training. It's weird. It's a feeling I've never experienced in this manner. Much like the first time you slip into your wet-suit each year, things just seem harder than they should, you get stuck, require more effort than you remember and struggle to move forward an inch at a time.
I know my motivation is hiding somewhere but I'm having a hard time finding it. With Victoria 70.3 coming up in 7 days, I best hurry up.
In the hopes of coming out of my funk, I've decided to do a review of my goals, give myself a grade. It might be time to re-calibrate some of those goals, it might be time to just buckle down.
Whatever time it might be, it is definitely time for a goal review.
Mid-year Goal Review
Motivate FIVE people to tackle something they didn’t think they could do
B+ - Hard to assess right now, but I think I'm about half way to this goal. Still on track.
Finish Ironman 70.3 in 4:45 or better
- This one is looking like a stretch for sure. Sunday, June 4th will be a tell tale sign. I don't think I've been putting in the time to achieve this. I just haven't. In order to pull this out, I'm going to have to put in some serious dedication over the next 7 weeks leading to Ironman Calgary. I'm going to change this to break 5 hours period. (still a stretch)
Top 10 Age-Group Finish
- See above. Top 20 is looking good right now.
Achieve All-World-Athlete Gold Status
- See above. Still possible. I'll hold this.
End Carb Addiction
+ - I started out strong, but have slid a little following my France trip - you try not eating that delicious French bread and pastries. I'm getting back on track and feel pretty good about this.
Increase flexibility and mobility
- I've been sticking to my everyday stretching, with a few slips, but nothing major. This will keep up.
- Increase overall strength
- - also feeling stronger physically and have been focusing on this like I said I would. As will all things, I could do more, thus the lower level rating. But all and all I'm happy so far.
- Branch Out Bike Tour King of the Hill
- - I haven't been putting the time required on my bike for this one. There is also a chance that I may not be able to attend this year. Again, priorities and life change, sometimes there isn't much one can do. This one will sort itself out in the next few weeks.
Upon some reflection things don't look so bad. My 4:45 or better, Top 10 and Gold Status goals are looking more and more like super stretch goals that will have to be pushed back until next year or later. With a few changes in expectation, I think I can still get a lot out of hitting these new goals. In a few weeks I may race Ironman 70.3 Victoria which will be a good test to see how the rest of the summer will go. After that race I'll take some time and reflect again to see if any changes are needed.
For now I power ahead as planned. However, first a quick rant on adjusting your goals and expectations.
Is Change Failure?
In fact, I feel it is extremely detrimental to think that way and I try not to. However, I do struggle with this and it is a constant battle each day, with some inner berating and aggressive self-criticism occasionally occurring.
Buuuuutttttt, my rationale brain knows that even with the best laid plans and intentions, few, if any paths to success are linear in nature.
There are ups and downs, set backs and leaps forward. That's what makes the journey so much fun (although, I will acknowledge that sometimes in the moment, it may not always seem like fun. Give it time, even the worst times will appear worth it upon reflection later.)
Life gets in the way. Priorities change. While these certainly are opportunities for adjusting goals, they do not amount to failure. They merely are realities that one should acknowledge, address and move forward. While am struggling with finding a path forward to achieve my goals I set out, I don't view this as a failure. Sometimes new priorities need to take the front seat, while other ones take a temporary back seat.
That's ok. Keep your eye on the prize and you will get there, even if it takes a little longer.
For now I power through and try improve my grades.
Have your goals changed from the beginning of the year? Let us know?
In the meantime, if you've seen my motivation out there, please ask it to come home.
Happy Training Everyone!