Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I got a promotional e-mail from and it started this way:

Sometimes your biggest competitor in the sport of triathlon is yourself. One way to overcome your mental hurdles is to know that no race defines you. Take a moment, breathe and know that if you don't do as well as you wanted, there are more races waiting. Build your self confidence, focus and know you are supported.
I like that. Just thought I'd share it.

What have I been doing since Memorial Day you ask? Get up, work out, go to work, come home, work out, don't work out. Mostly I've been beating myself up for not doing enough, in ANY sphere of my life, and beating myself up is apparently my favorite pastime.

Let's take a look:
Memorial Day: 16 mile bike, 1000 (or so) meter swim, open water
Tuesday, 5/26: 2.75 mile treadmill run, accompanied by heavy doeses of "I can no longer run. I suck, etc."
Wednesday, 5/27: 45-minute spin class
Thursday, 5/28: Swim class (2000 yards, hard); 4.3 mile outdoor run (12:21 minute pace. See? I really can't run anymore. But I refuse to let this stop me.)
Friday, 5/29: REST DAY!
Saturday, 5/30: 31-mile hilly bike, which was easier this time than the last time i did it.

Sunday: REST DAY!
Monday, 6/2: 3.1 mile treadmill run; 1500 m swim (with a group!)
Tuesday, 6/3: 3.25 mile run
Wednesday, 6/4: REST!
Thursday, 6/5: God willing, my private swim class in the a.m., followed by bike ride in the p.m.

Clearly, I'm not doing enough.

My first race is June 21, the Dextro ITU Sprint.

How many bricks have I done? None.


I go through these spurts of hating/being afraid of certain things. Last week, as an alert Facebook friend (Hi Karen!) noted, it was swimming. This week, it seems to be running. I used to run outside in all kinds of weather, heat, cold, rain, wind. Now I am afraid of running outside--I'll be slow, it's too hard, I have no idea. WHY??? WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?

In other, better news, I went to a DC Tri group swim at Catholic University on Monday night, as usual, expecting the worst (I tried this group workout once last year and got my ass handed to me, on a silver platter). This time i was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't in the slowest lane, my 100s were impossibly fast (fast for ME--2:06?!?!?!). What gives? I told coach Lori that the water felt "soft." As is not as hard to get through as the water in the American U pool, my Thursday morning swim water.

One thing is clear: I am SICK of feeling like I've never done enough. Anyone else go through these things? Or am I alone in my pathology?

Or maybe it's not pathological? Maybe I really am not doing enough.

After all, just because you're paranoid doesn't meant they're not out to get you.


Lesser is More said...

You are doing WAY more than enough to prepare for your race. You worked out 5 days each week, if not more when you add in multiple workouts in some days. If I could average 5 days of working out a week with some double workouts days, then I'd be happy. You may not feel fast, but you are ready to race. Keep up the good work!

Petraruns said...

Not enough? Have you READ your post? What planet do you live on crazy nutty workout mad girl? That and a job? Swimming, running, biking - cut yourself some slack lady.. Seriously. Honestly. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. You are doing great. Truly. You ARE working out enough. You ARE fast - and improving. Sometimes the best is the enemy of the good - stop measuring yourself against some impossible standard and realise your fabulousness AND your achievements. BTW next week you have to hate biking again. Just reminding you.

Kahnee said...

The number 1 rule is to have FUN! If you're not having fun then what's the point? So, keep doing what you're doing and hve fun.

Kelly said...

You look like you're doing great from my perspective. My workouts have been meager at best, and I have my first race in a little over 3 weeks. EEK. Good luck with your training... don't freak out or be afraid. It will all fall into place.

Catharine said...

What they said! Seriously. I really know how you feel, but you need to look at what you ARE doing instead of what you're not. Perspective. Wait a day and re-read your post.

ShirleyPerly said...


We all (yes, even me) go through these phases of I'm not doing enough, I'm not fast enough, I'm not good enough, blah-blah-blah. And you know what? It's not what you're not doing training-wise. It's managing your mental game. This is what I've been working on a LOT this year, esp. now having a coach and expecting even more from myself than I ever have. Focus on your strengths, work on your weaknesses but always be thankful for all the things that you can do, even though they may not be as well as you'd like to do. You have really come soooo far. You may not see it being in the thick of it but others (like me) do.

Carry on!!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

I'm doing the same race and have only had one true brick and certainly not enough runs! I too have been fearful of the outdoor run lately. I don't know why. I think I'm having ankle rolling flashbacks.... I am hoping to get out a good long run on Sunday morning.
We will be ready on June 21!

eileen said...

I agree with Kahnee. The only thing it appears you are not doing enough of is "having fun".

21stCenturyMom said...

I believe if you go through the archives of my blog you will see many similar posts. Many posts where I had to go through a long pep talk with myself to get out the door. Many posts where I was ecstatic that I did whatever I did and many where I declare "I suck!"

I don't do that any more. Why? Because I have done enough to know that I'm okay. Also, I love my bike now - love it. Running - not so much. Swimming I can do even if it isn't so fast.

What you need is a training plan. There are free ones available at There are cheap ones available in lots of places. A training plan tells you what to do and when you do it you have done enough - questions answered!

You are doing a lot - you just aren't giving yourself credit for it. A training plan is like a 12 step program - forced affirmation. Do it.

21stCenturyMom said...

I spaced out writing the 12 step analogy. The point is that you can't see to appreciate yourself given your own devices so you need a higher power - a training plan. Every time you do what the plan says you celebrate! Do it.

Dori said...

To paraphrase the esteemed senator from Minnesota:
You're good enough
You're fast enough
And dog-gone-it, people like you!

David said...

I suggest you can start meeting your expectations by making your bed in the morning.
You could also make things simple by just doing one thing for a spell. You are a hyper-multi-tasker and it takes a toll.

And you know I heartily encourage laughing, joking and cutting up.

Judi said...

jeanne, you rock. i love this post woman.

Danielle in Iowa said...

I've been out of the loop lately, but girl you are kicking my ass - if you aren't doing enough, then well... I'm fvcked.

Rainmaker said...

It's perfectly normal to feel beat up and tired after a few hard build weeks of training (which is what you've been doing). But you're almost to the top of the hill (no, not that hill) and with just a few weeks left to the big dance (ITU race). Hang in there, it'll be all good!

Calyx Meredith said...

When the Should Monster gets a hold of me and shakes hard - this poem helps. Yay you on the build up to this race! Good luck finding a way to appreciate and celebrate that so you can enjoy the payoff of all your hard work. Peace!

Jank said...

Have fun is important, but DO the bike/run bricks. There's muscles in the back that need to learn that transition.

Jade Lady said...

Hey..I've not done any bricks either - my race is on same day. I figure that enough conditioning should be sufficient - does that work for u too?