Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Burnout Monster

On the eve of my departure for Lake Stevens, WA I find myself in unfamiliar territory: I am not giddy with excitement. The pre-race anticipation typically bubbling over within me is absent and the thought of staying home is more appealing. Though this is difficult to admit, it is consistent with a pattern over the past couple weeks. Despite a solid recovery period and relatively light training schedule I am unusually tired. An old running injury has flared, causing a training setback. I find myself only smiling about 70% of the time (instead of my usual 90%). Every day seems to drag a little, the standard bounce in my step peculiarly absent. An unsavory, unwelcome little troll has crept into my life. His name is Burnout.
First grade. I never was good at faking a smile.
The thing about Burnout is he likes to catch me by surprise, pretending to be disinterested in interfering with my life's mojo. Things flow smoothly...work, training, social life, family, sleep...I juggle these things better than a circus performer (if you don't believe me, watch this video. Around 1:50 I do a pretty neat trick in T1). But this incessant performance gets tiring and we all have our limits. 
One thing is for certain, MFMG and I will be returning to White Bay very soon. (it's Burnout's kryptonite.)

Admitting that the evil monster named Burnout has infiltrated triathlon for me is a painful realization. I imagine it is how a musician feels if the songs he plays yield no joy. The other half of Team Green agrees. He told me today, "Even when you're at rest you're planning your next event or training session; constantly looking ahead instead of enjoying what is happening in the moment. It's the triathlete mindset." He knows me best. This is the heaviest racing schedule I've attempted thus far, so it is not surprising that I'd test my limits and venture into unknown territory.
The good news about recognizing Burnout early is that I can break out my Kung-Fu Ninja skills and beat him right out of my life. I have an uncanny knack for finding the upside of life's speed bumps (with the aid of an incredible support system, of course) and persevering through them. Two things are certain:

  1. I will race Lake Stevens 70.3 this weekend giving it everything my heart, mind and body has to offer. And typically I surprise myself when I lay it all out there.
  2. After a proper post-race celebration with a mob of friends who will be racing with me, I will regroup, rest up and send Burnout's ugly mug down the road. I've got some playing to do.
Addendum: My friend Justine (who understands the vacuum that is training, racing and keeping up with the daily rat race) shared the following with me upon reading this blog. Turns out there is a name for the green-eyed Burnout monster- "the Blerch" http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

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