John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is holding me back?

I think this is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.

Okay, not really, but I after thinking about it and over analyzing it and contemplating it again, I think it is really FEAR that is holding me back from actually buying a bike.

Now it is December. My goal was to buy a bike in November, be trying to ride it before it got too cold and even look at getting a trainer so I could ride the bike inside. And... well, I while I have test rode 4 different bikes, I am still bikeless. Honestly, I do not even own a helmet.

WHY am I so afraid?

Is it because it costs so much? You would think that would be a major set back, right? Honestly, it isn't. First, I am NOT afraid to spend money... actually, I enjoy it quite a bit. Second, I have saved up for this expense. I have been talking about my 2011 goal since last March. Maybe halfheartedly, but still I have been saying that I wanted to compete in a Triathlon and well, to do that, you HAVE to ride a bike.  Third, my husband is okay with me spending the money that I have saved up for this. He is not negatively affecting this purchase.

Is it because I am afraid to ride a bike?  At first, I thought this was going to be my major hang up. I haven't been on a bike, seriously, since before college. If I think back, it might put me somewhere between 9th and 10th grade and that might have only been up to the local store with my sister a mile from our house to buy something like candy. Once I got a car, well, we used that. I did ride a bike quite a bit before that... and every vacation, my father would strap 6 bikes to the back of the trailer and off we went.  A couple of weeks ago when I test rode the Trek and Felt, I was AMAZED at how easy it felt and how invigorating it actually was to ride the bike - fast, even with cars zooming by. It felt like so much fun that I REALLY, really want to do it again.

Is it the fear of competing in a Triathlon? I began running by registering for a race. I picked one and signed up and knew that I was going to get to the start line. After that one, I picked 3 more until I was able to register for MCM. I have looked a little at local Sprint Triathlons  - shoot I even briefly debated about whether I could do a 1/2 Ironman in 2011. According to TriGuy there are plenty of local, low key sprint and olympic triathlons so I wouldn't even have to travel far. For running I joined the Montgomery County Road Runners Club and I am sure there are local Tri clubs too... but I haven't even look into them. I like support. I found support in the local running club until Bob and I met that faithful morning. TriGuy has lots of advice and experience that has so far proven to be just what I need.

Is it that I will be cheating on Bob? I have to admit some of my mind games have been circling this idea. Bob has given me so much support since last May. Our partnership has reached star status if I can say that. We are like two peas in a pod. But I know Bob wants me to reach my goals. He even commented about how fast I am getting and that by fall of 2011 I will be running 8 min pace (I TOTALLY disagree with him here). He is still going to want to run with me, even if I cannot give him as much time as I did before. And I still want to get him across the finish line of his first marathon.

Bottom line: I think I am afraid of how it is going to affect my running. I have turned to running as my escape. It has given me such pleasure over this past year. Yes, there were days that I secretly cursed my Marathon Training Plan, but I still put my shoes on and ran. Even when I was getting up at 4am to get a run in before my husband left for work, I was having fun.

January will mark my 1 year anniversary of getting back into running and look how far I have come with grace.  Weighing about 155, I got a new pair of running shoes and trudged out into the cold and started to run. At first, 10:30 miles were AWESOME to me. Now, I love seeing it below 8:30 when I am running under 6 miles. I mean, I ran 15 miles last Saturday with a pace of 9:07 - REALLY?!?!?! I finished the Marine Corps Marathon when back in January, I could barely run more than 6 miles at a time. And now at 125lbs (lately it has teetering around 123), I am in the best shape of my life.

I briefly wrote yesterday that Christmas time for me is like a rebirth. I think instead of mentally shutting down the idea of feeling like there is NO WAY I can compete in a Tri, I need to get on the saddle and go. I need to get a bike. I need to be in some spinning classes. I need do drills on a stationary bike if the weather stinks. I CAN do this. I WANT to do this. I can be reborn into an athelete, not just a runner.

As I am working on my issues (btw: I have no fear of the swimming part), WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK from your goal? What are you going to do to get you across that finish line?

Maybe your goal is to lose weight. Maybe it is to run a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon or maybe you are thinking, "I could never run a marathon!" Well, let me tell you: YOU CAN! Will power is an amazing thing. Set your mind to something and go ALL out. Sometimes on the job training is the best way to learn.

Join me as I reach my goal by reaching your goal and be sure to blog and tell me all about it.


Anne said...

You CAN do this! I'm afraid of the swim part...

Caratunk Girl said...

Hey there - I am a runner turned triathlete - and since you are worried about how biking is going to affect your running - I wanted to say that biking (and swimming) improved my running tremendously. So try to put your mind at ease on that one, I am faster now than before I started biking.

Plus, it can keep you sane if for some reason you can't run. I was injured this spring and unable to run. It was so hard, running is my escape, where I let my mind wander, all of that - but I couldn't do it. That is when I started biking more. The thing is, once I was no longer injured, I was able to run in races and felt OK - sure my running fitness was down, but it wasn't out - which it would have been without the bike.

My goal? I have a lot of them! Short term, survive the holidays without gaining weight!

Anonymous said...

Before I ran my marathon on Sunday, I had signed up for TWO previous ones and chickened out on both. I finally just did it. It was the fear of crashing and burning and while I didnt run the race I wanted to run (time wise), I finished!

Julie said...

You are going to love triathlon. Seriously a lot of fun! I did my first 2 tris on a mountain bike and when I finally got a road bike I was scared out of my mind. It felt so teeny tiny, but I'm so glad I have it now.

You CAN do this! I remember when I was training with TNT for a marathon...our coach was also a tri coach and she made triathlon sound so amazing but I was so afraid and my mind told me that it was never something I could do...and boy was I wrong!!! It's the most fun thing for me now and it's not hard (well, it IS hard...but not hard in the way that I originally thought), it was all in my head...the unknown. It's the unknown that kills me.

Have fun buying a great bike and enjoy 2011 in a brand new way!!!

Shellyrm said...

What a wonderfully written post! With your positive attitufe you are going to do enjoy tris and do really well with them. What an amazing 2011 you are in store for. I look forward to following your fun.

Rene' said...

i think that you should get the bike that you want. you have saved for it and you liked it. i also think that you should sign up for a race. maybe if you have the race picked out and you start looking at training plans will push you to get the bike. Jen, you are so inspirational in every post! now i need to think about my goals for 2011!

*~* *~* Tracy said...

You can so totally do this! Your success rate for your goals is 100%. Pretty good track record. Buy the bike.

I have a trainer and unless I can watch TV, it's more boring than the TM. But I do use it and am glad I have it.

A sprint tri is my 2011 goal and I'm skeerd to death. I don't have access to a pool or other body of water, and I haven't swum in over 4 years. gulp!

I bike often and love it even though I can barely shift gears. I have a friend who is an avid cyclist and in the spring he's going to teach me everything from how/when to shift gears to basic maintainence.

So my big speed bump is the swim. My current strategy is to stink on the swim and then rock the bike and run. Hopefully I survive! :D

Terri said...

I am getting a bike (this week) and am terrified - I know how you feel!!! Good luck!

Caroline said...

Get the bike!!
You can do this!

coach dion said...

Hi there
Back in 2001 I had the mad idea of doing an IRONMAN... at the time I wasn't a swimmer, I might have had a love of water, but swimming was a different story. That said I wanted to do an IRONMAN, so i entered and started swimming and even took my MNT bike out for a couple of rides. I ended up borrowing a bike. Not ideal, but I had a bike to train on and good bike to race on. All that said what I really want to say to you is hat ride a bike can be fun. I road for 2hours today not because I love riding, but because I can't run (injured) so get the bike. I'm about to get an indoor trainer so i can ride at odd hours without the worry of being knock off the bike (that happens here in Africa). so next week I want to see picture of your bike.

harry said...


You may want to check out, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It's clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

Susie said...

Just found your blog and love your post. I have found owning a bike has helped my running. Sometimes I just need to exercise but rest my knees and legs, so my bike works perfectly. I get a good cardio work out and my knees/legs thank me. I don't do triathlons but still enjoy my bike.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Get the bike! It will be fun to have a new challenge. I'm finding myself a little scared to get back into hard core training since my injury. It is scary to think of injuring myself again to the point where I can't run at all...I'd almost rather run safe and slower than push myself too much and tear my hamstring again. I want to try a tri one of these days too...I have a bike collecting dust.