Week 8 & 9: This is the Dream, Right?

I’ve been writing weekly recaps of being a professional triathlete. You can read all the weeks.

Sunday, after Oceanside, we drove the 9 hours home from San Diego, got back around 11 p.m., and I sort of fell out of the car. Turns out, full-on post-race mess mode doesn’t get prettier during a drive across California. I felt nauseous and dizzy. I stood up out of the car and my legs buckled. Everything hurt. We dropped all our crap in the middle of the floor and I tipped over into bed. Then I woke up Monday around 9:30 a.m. to an email from my boss at the radio station asking if I could fill-in last minute for someone who was sick. Uhhh, OK? If I can do it remotely and you give me 30 minutes to, like, shower.

I was a mess. I’m not even sure what happened that day. Other than I was living the dream.

Actually, I’m not sure what’s happened most days the last two weeks.

Eventually, I picked up the wetsuit and race clothes smelling up our whole house, bought food from the grocery store, started to remember days and people’s names and stuff. That happened just in time for me to look at my training schedule this past Monday and realize it wasn’t going to last long. I even texted Alyssa that it looked like my training was about to step up a notch. She told me, “Good luck.”

A lot of people all the time ask me some variation of the question: How do you balance it all?

And I laugh and laugh and laugh and then I fall asleep while answering them.

Of course, that depends on my mood. Sometimes, I just sigh heavily and go “What even is ‘all’ anyway.”

During this whole mess right after Oceanside, something clicked one day. Something that hasn’t been there in a couple months, since the Marathon We Don’t Talk About, since maybe before that. I was swimming slowly last Wednesday and suddenly realized I was ready to go again. OK, let’s do this. Not actually right this second, but, you know, theoretically, soon. OK, I’m not terrible. OK, I need to get faster, so let’s do this. Throw it at me. Maybe I’m not the best. But also maybe I am. And we’re only going to find out if we find out.

So.

So things got real this week. It knocked me on my ass. And all I had the time or energy for was hitting deadlines and hitting workouts. How do you balance it all? Carefully, so that when you need to move the dirty dishes to reach the sink, you don’t accidentally knock over the whole stack.

I’ve become a person, apparently, who thinks things like “Oh, thank God, an easy day, just a 5,000y medium-hard swim and a TRX session.” That was Friday. I used my extra time that day, then, to pick up the piles of clothes and books, which had been set on the floor on Monday, because we moved a bookshelf but then lost the energy to put things on the bookshelf. And that’s how it stayed the whole week.

Wednesday night, we saw Hamilton. It was my one non-work/workout thing this week. It was 100% totally worth the fact that we haven’t had time to buy a working dishwasher. It’s definitely better just to keep running the dishwasher twice every time. That’s how you live the dream. Plus, I needed something new to sing in my head while I ran laps in the windy rain around the track today.

I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy, and hungry. And I am not throwing away my shot.

Week 7: Oceanside 70.3

There was a moment on Saturday when I was running out of the water into transition. Usually, transitions are my specialty. Usually, I move quickly and make up time on other athletes. But Saturday morning, I was running flat-out, going as hard as I could down the cement along the edge of the water, past all the people still lined up to start, and I could not close on the two girls in front of me. And I thought, ‘This is a different race.’

Then, I basically kept thinking that for the next four hours. The pro race is a different race.

Continue reading “Week 7: Oceanside 70.3”

Week 6: And On The Weekends, We Nap

Read all my weekly recaps of being a pro triathlete so far.

Last weekend, my mom visited. We picked her up in Reno and showed her Tahoe, while Steve raced. Then, we did the Marin things: Mt. Tam in the fog, Muir Beach, my favorite restaurants, ferry to a show in the city, trainer in the living room, the Toyota dealership. You know, the usual.

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All of this meant that I didn’t even open my computer for four days. Crazy talk. Coming right out of training camp, it added up to almost two weeks where I was basically off the internet.  Continue reading “Week 6: And On The Weekends, We Nap”

Week 5: It Happened

I’m writing weekly recaps of what it’s like being a professional athlete. Usually I try to post them at the end of the week (which, in America, is like Sunday-ish), but sometimes that doesn’t work out. This past week was week 5. You can read all the weeks here.

Sometimes weeks just happen. They go by and there’s not much to say other than that they happenend. On Monday, you’re in Tucson, tripping over rocks in the desert during your long run because you’re too tired to pick your feet up. And Saturday, you’re trying to run through deep snow at Donner Pass as cold rain comes down, wondering just how long it’ll take to regain use of your fingers.

The weeks happen. And no matter how far away the start of the season seemed at one point, it comes eventually.

Week 4: Is It Not Monday?

Yes, that’s a beer. The mountain bike guys gave it to me after our last long run. It’s not that weird. Photo: Leslie

I don’t know. All the days are a bit of a blur. This week was training camp week, which means everything from Thursday afternoon to yesterday afternoon was just: run, eat, sleep, bike, bike, bike, eat, swim, sleep, swim, eat, eat, bike, change flat tire, sleep, bike hard, run hard, throw up a little, sleep, run more.

That’s actually a fairly accurate summary. Continue reading “Week 4: Is It Not Monday?”

Week 3: Is That Fitness I Spot?

Time for the weekly recap of professional triathlete life. Things are starting to get back on schedule, now that it’s been three whole weeks. Check out week 1 or week 2 to catch up. Short version: train, work, train, sleep.

Do you like my new site? Fancy, huh. That’s one of the things I accomplished this week. Other things I accomplished: my workouts.

My massage guy said I’m getting skinny. Which, factually, isn’t actually true, but I think he meant I’m getting fit. Which is sort of true. A little bit. Continue reading “Week 3: Is That Fitness I Spot?”

Week 1: On Our Own?

I was thinking about writing a running diary for each week of ‘racing pro,’ like the one I wrote for the run-up to Kona. Since people really liked that one and it was probably the best thing I wrote last year. But. Well. There’s not a ton to say day after day. Train, sleep, make money sometimes, train more. So, instead, I’m going to do a sum-up of each week. Some weeks may be more straight-forward. Some may be less, depending on how the week went. We’ll see. This is the end of Week 1. Continue reading “Week 1: On Our Own?”

Day 1, Week 1

After I got my USA Triathlon pro/elite license in the mail last week, I went through the Ironman Pro Registration this weekend, handed over my $950 (which includes all Ironman branded races for the year + stupid Active fees) and filled out a form listing all my “support personnel.” Which, honestly, after I listed Hillary, I was like, uhhh, who else supports me? Maybe my fancy new Stanford heart doctor? Even though he’s not really helping my training, but more figuring out if/how to fix this hereditary arrhythmia issue. I guess that counts as personnel. Continue reading “Day 1, Week 1”