08 27 2014.

my next project

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After trying my hand at a few new things this year, I’m finding myself at a bit of a (somewhat conflicted) crossroad. I spent the majority of 2014 training for my first ever triathlon. Despite my extremely tight budget, I found ways to pay for all of the necessary gear (a wetsuit, trisuit, road bike, bike rack and much…much more), training and race fees. That singular triathlon eventually turned into three – after which I told myself that I’d take a break to reflect and decide where I wanted to go from there.

Well that break is here and I can’t help but feel a little lost. Not having the anticipation of a large, somewhat daunting, event is rather strange. Competing in triathlons has been the hardest, most frightening thing I’ve probably ever done. But also equally rewarding. I’ve never felt as proud of myself than I have when crossing the finish line.

The thing is – I know I’m capable of more. I have a very real desire to keep going, just to see how far I can go.

But I have to be realistic. I have to turn my attention to the nagging pressure in my left knee – a slight discomfort that started during a 10k training run and was seriously angered during a strenuous spin class. I have to take care of my right ankle – another pain that has persisted throughout every run for the past two weeks – possibly the result of overcompensating for my weak left knee. I know they’re temporary, but I have to let them heal.

I also know that I’m a poor, poor biker. It’s my weakest leg and it shows. Biking competitively shouldn’t be as tiring as it is for me. Sure I love riding for enjoyment, but I’d also like to be a strong biker and to overtake more riders. Biking is my chance to make up some ground. That leads me to my next project – one I hope to accomplish very, very soon. It’s time for me to get clipless pedals. Not much scares me – and of the things that do, not many things prevent me from trying anyways – but clipless pedals scare the hell out of me. I’ve known from day 1 that I needed them to perform the way I want to. So I bought them. Then I fell. A seriously bloody, painful and embarrassing fall, and I didn’t get back on my bike until I had returned them to the store and my original pedals were back in place. (I still have a scar on my left knee from where I landed…5 months ago.)

I think it’s time for me to reinvest in the pedals and shoes, suck it up, and get back on my bike. At least I have a bike trainer now so that I can practice for a bit without the fear of falling over.

That’s where I’m going to focus most of my training for the next few weeks – strength and comfort on the bike. I want to learn to love it, the way I love running and have learned to love swimming. …And I have to let the spending money jar fill up again.

Up next for 2014: Trail to Ale 10k and Moose Pond Half Marathon!


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