Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What would YOU say?

First, thanks for all of the lovely, lovely well wishing from everyone!! Mighty M and I are very happy and still gliding around on air. He's managing to get away with murder at home ("honey, can you get me a glass of water?", "babe, thanks for doing those dishes"...), but I'm so happy I just don't care.

Cause I'm getting mawweed.


Okay, back to my original post. Geesh.


So, as y'all know, I've recently gotten myself hooked up with the smallest, baddest coach out there. And you'd imagine she'd have some questions for me to get the coaching ball started. And LET ME TELL YOU...filling out her Athlete Questionnaire was an eye opening experience for me.

It was the first time -- evah -- I had put my goals, strengths, weaknesses, conflicts, hopes, and fears all down in one place. One ten-page long place.

Cathartic. Informative. Exciting.

And I thought to myself, "you know...self...everyone should do this before their next season!" So, I'm going to share my honest to goodness answers -- in no way shape or form edited for audience -- to some of her questions.

You want all of the questions? You hire the Elf.

But in the mean time, here's an example of what she would need to know (and likewise what everyone racing out there should know) about you...

Today's Question: Using SWOT, what are your mental strengths and weaknesses?

My Answer:


· I love this sport. No, really, I love this sport. It is my daily key to stay healthy and I never forget that.

· I’m motivated for myself. My first year of tri was about learning about the sport. My second year was about raising money for others and trying new (long) distances. This year? It’s about me wanting to race. I want it for me and, somehow, that makes it less complicated.

· Knowing thy limits. I’m sensitive to my limits, usually before I reach them and can sometimes avoid a meltdown of epic proportions.

· I know that I can talk myself in and out of things very well, and that’s half the battle. I know when I’m justifying bad decisions, so I know what lines of logic to stay away from.


· I’ve always created plans that are too ambitious, so I rarely hit 100%. I think this is because I’ve never really understood what each session is attempting to do, so skipping was easier than it should have been.

· When I feel overwhelmed, the first thing that suffers is training. Queue anxiety overload and I start skipping sessions. I have to always be on the lookout for balance in life and training.

· Discipline. This is my work in progress. Two years ago, I never would have believed I could maintain the training schedule I did this year. And I’m sure that I will develop more discipline this coming year, but it’s something I struggle with – matching my goals with my daily decisions.

· I try to eat the proverbial elephant all at once. So, I’m always checking myself to focus on short term goals first, allowing long term goals to come later.


· Michael is intimately involved in this whole process and has raced (Cat-3 cycling) in the past, so he understands the demands of training.

· Michael is intimately involved with me and he knows when I’m blowing off training and being lazy. And, when he thinks it’s important, he’ll call me out on it.

· My job, including my boss, is supportive of a work/life balance. I have available vacation for recovery days following big races and can adjust my work hours in advance for things like open water swims in neighboring states.

· My blog tends to be a great way for me to vent about training, as well as get support from other triathletes. It’s become an invaluable support system for me.


· My job is flexible, but it’s full time and stressful.

· I have only a limited amount of spare cash to throw at my training/gear/registrations, so I try to be really careful picking what to invest in. Sometimes it means that I do a $20 organized ride, with a run afterwards, instead of a smaller triathlon that may run over $50. Sigh.


So, what would YOU say?


21stCenturyMom said...

Strength - I'm willing to work at this and suffer sore muscles and I want to get faster.

Weakness - I'm willing to give up before I've given it my all and I'm lazy. I blow off training with apathy all too often.

Opportunity - I'm in a race club with elite athletes who are mandated to help us not so elite athletes. I also belong to a masters swim club that has great coaches.

Threat - my mind and a lack of self confidence. Lack of funds is sort of an issue but not really. I own a bike, I can afford to replace my shoes and there are some not so expensive races out there.

Stef said...

Okay seriously, this is a GREAT post. I had similar thoughts when completing the E.L.F's questionaire.

Here is what I put down (unedited):

S: When I put my mind to something I get it done and get it done well. At my best I am confident, smart, hot, and believe I can accomplish whatever I want, even things that I have not yet thought of. Finishing a half marathon in March of this year was a triumph for me because, even standing at the start line, I could not quite picture finishing. Three hours later, I could. I was very proud of myself for that.

W: When I am off things are pretty much the opposite of above. In triathlon terms, I don’t feel like training, and so have to force myself. Sometimes I “just can’t” force myself and so skip a workout. One workout turns to two, and soon a week has passed. Then I start to think that lack of training will hamper my next race. This has been the overriding theme of 2007 for me.

O: I fully believe I am up to and capable of training for and having a successful triathlon season. To me a successful season means training consistently (especially through the mental plateaus) arriving at the start line of a race feeling like I can kick the course’s ass, and finishing each race STRONG! “Kicking the course’s ass” to me means running a good, confident race, mentally and physically, running my own race, and not allowing the course or the other athletes to intimidate me.

T: (I originally did not put anything for T) STRESS. Work stress to be specific!!

E. L. F. said...

I'm starting to feel shamelessly plugged. Is that an opportunity or a weakness? Congrats on the big news, girl. You will make a very speedy, beautiful wife.

E. L. F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AGA said...

I'm filling out that same questionnaire...it's a great and terrifying at the same time. Very informative:)

Andra Sue said...

I didn't get to comment on your other post, so...CONGRATULATIONS! Make sure you plan for a stupendous honeymoon, which of course is the best part. :)