I'm knee...no thigh..no waist...no shoulder deep in Ironman training these days. My time is pretty evenly split between coaching and training and I've been overwhelmed. Yup, there, I'll admit it. The hours I was begging Dirk for have arrived and I'm trying to embrace them the best I can while keeping the other balls in my life in the air. The main change this year from past ones is the feeling of pure grumpiness. It's been bad this year. I am in the middle of seeking a solution, which really just means I'm trying to not be grumpy but it's not working.

Last year we headed to Boulder a few days a week and now looking back I realize that this made life easy. I was just "gone" for two days and all I had to worry about was getting myself there and ready to ride. The rest was decided, where to go, what the workout was, where to eat, etc, etc. It was just easy, it was routine.

This year every day I am planning, and backing up times schedules, accommodating others schedules, and asking Troy to pick up Annie from school, or take her, or help her with homework while I finish schedules or answer emails. I'm constantly writing lists and daily plans, and often enough I am not getting everything done, and I am dropping balls, and I'm underfed, and cut short on time, and sleep. However, all the training save for 1 workout in the last 5 months has been checked off. Every darn one. But the stress has been high these last few weeks and it's not ideal (or even close).

I've been grumpy.

The training I am doing is new to me. It's a lot of time on the bike but the vast majority of it is spent slowing down so that I don't bust over my heart rate cap. Constantly slowing, slowing, slowing. Even the hard workouts, Michelle is miles up the road while I play master and slave with my heart rate monitor that constantly tells me the same thing...slow down.

I've been grumpy.

When I am grumpy, I tend to play a pity party. I feel like I do everything, like nobody ever helps me, like I'm expected to keep the house clean, food in the kitchen, athletes happy, make the plans, set the tempo, remember the workouts, plan plan plan, execute execute execute, lead lead lead. I look around and wonder where all the people went that said they would bring me lunch after a hard training session. I feel like I'm not fit, have to ride slow, get dropped by EVERYBODY and no one even cares. I'm expected to take the high road, have low expectations, and smile a lot.

More grumpy.

But then today I had a ray of hope and perspective shine down on me. These are typically quite rare when I am in this state. Usually I get pissed and get myself in trouble with everyone around me, or I disappear for 5 days. This ray of hope and perspective was a good one. I was reminded:

Choices. Responsibility.

Those are the two words of the moment. We all make choices. I don't have to listen to Dirk. I choose to listen, I choose to get dropped, because the truth is, and I'll be quite honest here, there are not a lot of female triathletes in the US that could drop me if I didn't let them drop me. I know that in my heart. But I listen to Dirk because I have decided that this man can help me get better. He can help me break 10 at Kona, he can help me get stronger and faster.

I chose to be a leader, to train with others. I may get taken advantage of, or treated badly in that role. I have high expectations of those around me. These are all my choices.

I choose to eat healthy and locally. I want good food in the house, I want help making it. I choose to get my training done, to let other things slide when I have work to do. I chose these things.

Which leads me to RESPONSIBILITY.

I have to take responsibility for my choices. What happens to me in life is a direct result of the choices I have made. If I am grumpy, and that makes me feel like crap, well, I can change that. Don't be grumpy, don't feel like crap. If I get dropped, I can change that. Ride alone, ignore Dirk and do the dropping, be okay with getting dropped. They are all choices that can lead to different results.

Taking responsibility for my choices is crucial if I want to change the outcomes. Only when I feel responsible can I recognize that I am in control of different outcomes.

If I am overwhelmed I can make different choices that will free up time in my life. I can turn my coaching business into a reality show and kick someone off the island every week. I can have meals delivered. I can ride alone when I need to go slow. These are all options in front of me.


Sometimes I have to STOP and STEP BACK and reassess if my current choices are leading me in the direction I want to head. Maybe not. Maybe I have taken on too much and I am paying for that choice. The truth is I am the one that pays for my choices and I am alone in making them. I can't expect others to help me with them, or to take responsibility for them. My results are my responsibility.

This is clearly the lesson of the season. I went one direction for a few years, and now, feeling the sense of freedom, I have gone in the other direction. I have to pull things back to the middle and that is going to require some different choices. Bottom line. And I'm okay with that.