Baby Steps

Throw back to the Dirt Dog Series
For the past five years, I've dedicated a big part of my life to triathlon. I never thought I would slip back into "out-of-shape James." Multi-sport just becomes who you are, your identity and your lifestyle. Looking back on it, I ask myself what made me completely stop and walk away? I think it was a multitude of things. Burnout, job promotion, accomplishing goals, boredom, time constraints - the list could keep going but I think those are the big ones. It all happened naturally too. After my Ironman, I felt like I did everything I wanted to do in the sport. Sure, I wanted to go to Kona, but after IMCDA I realized I didn't really...As soon as I finished, I felt complete, I felt closure and I all of the sudden didn't care about the result but how much stronger of a person it made me.

It wasn't by plan to stop completely though. I took a few weeks off, swam & ran a few times but it just didn't feel the same. Still tired I thought, wait a few weeks. Eventually I figured it out that I had no more interest in competing at triathlon at a high level (using that term loosely). Fast forward eight months and here we are! Time to see how fast I can get in running now. I'm definitely taking baby steps in getting back in shape. I've been greeted with a ton of scar tissue, calf aches/pains and soreness from years of running and then the past five years of triathlon abuse. I'm being patient though, trying to avoid injury and lose some weight so I can actually start running without an extra 10-15 pounds hitting the pavement. 

My coach has me doing a lot of sprints and fartleks to inject some speed back into my legs. Something I haven't seen since my collegiate / post collegiate days. I'm starting to find out that there is some life still in there. And as out of shape I am, I'm still seeing 4 mile tempo runs at 6:20 pace which is no where near I want to be, but right now - ahead of schedule. 

I imagine I'll be hitting the track this summer at USATF's all comer's track meets in San Diego. This should be a blast. Just a great chance to get on the track, have some fun and use them as little workouts for the big picture. Fall will be the Dirt Dog Series which is basically the local adult cross country season. I haven't raced these races since I first started getting back into shape, back in 2010, even blogged about them back then HERE. Fun to look back on those old blogs of getting back into shape. It's almost the same story right now as I read them. Calf issues, loosing weight, being upset with results...haha. Some things don't change! The cool thing about this go around is I'm so much more mature now and have such a better head on my shoulders. I was impatient and cared way to much about results and sponsors instead of just living in the moment and progressing mentally and physically as an athlete. 

I'm excited for things to come. Bo (baby #3) is due an day now. Track season begins next month. I live in the heart of San Diego. Life is good.


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