I have been blogging for a little over a year now, and did my best to post once a week. There were a few times I missed, but for the most part I have been pretty consistent. The reason I posted once a week is because I thought that if I went monthly, or when I felt like it, I’d end up falling off the wagon, so to speak. Over the last couple weeks, I have been beating myself up about it. I’ve sat down at the computer and tried to write, several times. I’ve probably started three or four different posts and ended up tossing them. Not only was I drawing a complete blank, but even when I could get the words flowing, they didn’t mean anything. I don’t want to write for the sake of checking off a “to-do” item. I want to write because I enjoy it.
Similarly, I haven’t posted to social media in a while. I used to post to Instagram, which auto posted to Facebook, almost daily. I did that because I wanted to share and have had people tell me that seeing my posts has inspired them in some way. I had been way more present in social media then I had ever been before. I found myself checking Facebook and finding inspiration in others. That’s one thing I really do love about social media. Over the last few weeks, I don’t think I’ve posted a single thing. I’ve liked others’ posts or shared others’ posts, but I don’t think I’ve posted, even when I intended to.
What changed? First and foremost, I went ahead and took a leap of faith. I hired a coach. It was a difficult decision. Half of me wanted to. I want some guidance, I want some validation, I want to see if I can actually become good at this sport. Not good in the podium sense, just good enough to “feel” good. Half of me felt like I would be taking myself too seriously. Who did I think I was? What would I do if I were now accountable to someone? Well, I am slowing starting to figure all of that out. I had a discussion with my coach about my goals, challenges and upcoming races. Then, my new plan was put into my calendar and the work started. In the past, I would download a boxed training plan, which always included one to two days off each week. When I got a look at the first two weeks of my new plan and saw that I didn’t have a day off, I started to realize how real things got.
Not only was the new plan missing a day off, the workouts were almost all double the time I had been training. I was actually happy about that. I’d been feeling like I was going through the motions in these 30-45 minute workouts each day. None of them really challenged me, except the swims of course. I jumped in with both feet, excited to see how I did. My coach warned me that I’d only feel like I “crushed” my workout about 10% of the time. Same thing with having a super struggle or not being able to finish. The remaining 80% would be just “fine”. I would push myself, but not to the point where I could not finish, just enough to get it done. Boy was he right! By the end of the week, I was pooped, but I was also so proud of myself. I had increased my training hours by more than 25% and increased my effort exponentially. The downside, I was exhausted.
At first, I wanted to post each morning. After all, I had just done 1.5 hours compared to the 30 I had done prior and I was excited, but I found myself tight for time to get ready for work. I figured I’d post later, but after work I was tired and didn’t bother. By the end of the week, I hadn’t done a single post. I went to blog that weekend and my head went blank. By the end of week two, I was almost too tired to care. Almost. I did care, I wanted to post. I wanted to blog, but I just didn’t have it in me. I was feeling a bit defeated in one way, and absolutely amazing in another. I had never worked so hard in all my training weeks.
I had to figure things out. It all comes down to priorities. Training means way more to me than any social media posts, updates or events. I want to feel good about my performance at my next race. I love blogging, but I never want to force a post. I may do some kind of weekly recap of my training so that I have something to look back on (which I can also post to social media if I would like), but I’ve decided that if I post once a month, I will be happy. I’ve got three weeks until my next triathlon. In some ways, I feel like it’s my first triathlon, because this is the first time I feel like I have really prepared. I don’t want to just survive this one. I want to feel like I did well and prioritizing my training will hopefully do just that.