In my defense, I made this year’s race plans well before I knew I was going to take off on a crazy RV trip for a month. More on that later.

We made it back to Denver yesterday; it was a whirlwind day. We were on the road by 5:15, back in Denver by 2:00. I spent the rest of the day undoing our month long life in the RV.

I don’t regret anything about our trip. Ok, some of the early days were a little crazy and had me questioning my choices; but without those days maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated how good it was AFTER. I didn’t go on this trip to “find myself” or anything deep and meaningful like that. I’m actually still not sure how I became convinced we needed to do this. But I’m so glad we did. I do think I found some of the younger, SLIGHTLY easier going Cary out there. I know it sounds funny, but being able to let myself just go hang out and drink a beer was unusual. And to actually sit AT the coffee shop and enjoy the coffee? Crazy talk! But I think you will agree I got pretty good at both those things. Practice does make perfect.

The trip also reminded me that it is ok to check out of the world for a while. The world does not stop, funny that.

Would I (will I) do it again? Absolutely. I am officially a fan of RV travel! And Puck had a great time. The kitties didn’t get to have as much fun, but I like to think they were glad not to be left behind.

Now about that race this weekend…

That was then

A little history: For many years, I was extremely dedicated to very structured training. In the early years of my triathlon racing, this meant that triathlon training always came first. I was driven, I got fast, I became competitive! And I was still only on the way up. **I should clarify that I am talking competitive amateur: professional is a different ballgame.**

The problem was that I couldn’t stop. I was so “dedicated” (read: “stupid”) that I would do all my other activity on top of my triathlon training. Which is the perfect recipe for overtraining and burnout.

This burnout finally happened, in a major way. I was at the top of my game. And then I wasn’t. It was the start of a cycle of crash and burn, time off, come back, feel good, get sick or injured, time off, come back, feel good, repeat. I could not find my groove again. I kept beating my head against the wall: Different coaches, different strategies. All I got was a headache.

I think I recently realized that my priorities had shifted somewhere along the way. The past year I have been more focused on just doing what I love, with some structure here and there when I feel like it. It’s not a great recipe for race performance, but it is where I am right now.

This is now

Do I miss being fast? You bet. Do I miss being a contender? Hell yes. Do I miss aiming for a PR in every race? Of course. Do I understand those days may never be coming back? Finally, I think I do.

Right now I’m in great shape, sure, but I’m most definitely not in triathlon shape. I haven’t been on my tri bike since… my last race! Run on pavement? Ha ha. My swim training has been like cramming for a final exam.

In short, I don’t expect I will be pulling a miracle race performance out of my hat. And I’m ok with that.

My goals for 70.3 Coeur d’Alene:

1: Don’t get sick this week and throw up all night.

2: Go as hard as I can.

3: Have fun and stay positive.

4: Be ok with whatever result.

5: Earn my post race burger. And beer, OF COURSE!

Maybe one of these years I will find that I am ready to focus on structured training again. But I may not. And I am finally, honestly, at peace with that.

I will live vicariously through the dedicated athletes who trust me to coach them.