Spiraling without structure.

Well that didn’t take long. Two weeks off season and today I fell apart. Ate like a piggy all weekend culminating in a carb bonanza at the in-laws for Rosh Hashana dinner last night and then slept until 9am this morning. My client appointments have been shifting around due to strange communications, then my iPhone didn’t sync to my desktop calendar and for the first time I flaked on a client appointment today. I am a mess.

I’m being melodramatic – the client was forgiving and I’m not really falling to pieces. But it feels like spiraling out of control in contrast to how structured my life has been for almost 10 months. I am close to burnout and need to stop training for a while. Yet, without the need to get up early and hit the bike, go for a swim, or put in miles on foot, I’m not shifting back to my old life easily. It’s not like I don’t have work to do. I have writing projects, research to do to grow this site, projects for clients that need handling, and a long list of mundane stuff – all of which I cannot be bothered to do right now. I haven’t posted here in 5 days – that’s 4 days more than I wanted to lapse. My coach even did a “helloooooo” posting on his blog wondering where his fellow bloggers have gone. And yet everything, simply everything besides getting out of bed feels like hard work. This is not conducive to mental or physical health, and it’s certainly not helping my life goals.

On Sunday I managed to get to Triathlon Zombies and look at bikes. I was supposed to go on Saturday, but I got sidetracked cleaning out my garage. (I still haven’t posted sale stuff to craigslist because – you guessed it – I can’t be bothered.) Scott, the shop bike expert, was off on Sunday so I spoke with John, an owner of the shop. I cannot afford the Orbea Ordu. No matter how I price the bike I cannot get it lower than $6500 MSRP and that is simply too much for me right now. I have to restrict myself to as close to $3,000 as I can, and even that’s going to be an interesting financing trick. With my first bike I was able to get 0% financing through Performance Bike and so I stretched my payments out for six months to pay it off without interest. This time I don’t have that option, so whatever I buy will be financed on credit cards for as long as it takes to pay it off. That means I’m not going to plunk $6500 down on credit, turning it into a $10,000 bike over years. If I do $3,000 I can pay that off quickly – especially if family members contribute as a birthday/holiday gift.

TZ had two bikes in my new price range. A Jamis T1 Xenith and a Specialized Transition Comp. The Jamis comes with Shimano Dura Ace components while the Specialized comes with Shimano 105, the lesser quality component set. The Jamis is their second from the top frame, while the Specialized is the second from the bottom. Specialized is a better known brand, but Jamis is no slouch and comes highly reviewed from Bicycling Magazine as a speed demon. The Jamis is a better bike out of the box while the Specialized will take some upgrading before it’s really dialed out. As Coach Brian said to me yesterday, no one really upgrades their components. They talk about it but rarely do. I think he’s right. I’m fundamentally lazy and hate the hassle of swapping stuff out. More, I always wonder if I did the right thing and second guess my choices. 

The bike is my way out of this fog. I will start riding again, even if just for an hour in the morning. Just spin my legs and start the day with something. Not intervals, not speed work, just a bike ride. Thursday I’ll ride to Triathlon Zombies and talk to Scott about the Jamis. Maybe even test ride it and the Specialized to get a feel for them. I should find a way to test ride the Orbea and Cervelo, just to compare the experiences. John said that in my test ride I should feel that the bike is nimble, not sluggish, responsive, even predictive to my control. When I asked how that was possible, he said that each bike is going to fit a rider’s anatomy and torque output differently and what works for one rider won’t work for another. Even without a perfect fit session it should be clear if the bike is right for me. Therefore it’s important that I test ride a wide spectrum of bikes to build my vocabulary and experience. Treat it as a research project, and motivation for getting out of bed and riding in the mornings. Soon enough I will be in the gym, working the trainer, and building up again.

Because this feeling of getting fat and forgetting things sucks.

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3 responses to “Spiraling without structure.

  1. “If I do $3,000 I can pay that off quickly – especially if family members contribute as a birthday/holiday gift.”

    Cheap, crass, snarky… but possibly effective.

  2. Sounds like a good time to test drive…xkalibur.

  3. Don’t kill yourself about the change. Like anything, just bring yourself back to focus and move on. Don’t create a big drama, you have a great base, it won’t disappear in a week. And over time this type of transition, like those in the actual tri, will get better.

    And if you need to change up your schedule and routine to keep active but not burnout, that’s important. We’re all still kids, we like structure but it’s good to change things up too…

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