General Discussion Triathlon Talk » I need some motivation after DNF Rss Feed  
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2017-02-19 11:02 AM

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Subject: I need some motivation after DNF
I had my first IM attempt last Dec. Driving down to the event on Thursday my daughter started getting sick. By Friday morning my wife and daughter cancelled their plans for Sat while I was competing. By Friday afternoon both my wife and I started getting sick.

I was up all night/morning but decided to give it a try anyway om Sat. Half way through the swim I contributed my breakfast to the ecosystem of the lake and I was done. DNF

I was in a funk for a few weeks, stopped training and put on some weight. Finally I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and started training again. I am running more (my big weakness) and riding hard. I have taken some of the extra pounds back off and feeling pretty good physically.

Finally a few days ago I got back in the water for the first time since the race. I am a strong swimmer. The issue was not physical, it was all mental. Any motivation I was gaining back disappeared. I want to give it another go at an IM but right now I feel like I am training hard without a purpose. I have looked at a lot of race options but have not pulled the trigger.

How do I get my mojo back?


2017-02-19 11:29 AM
in reply to: #5213924

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Before you sign up and start putting in the long training hours, perhaps sign up for a few shorter races. Doesn't have to be a Tri, but maybe a 5k or 10k. Sometimes just being in "race mode" and having an event to look forward to is enough to get the mojo back. The challenge with IM training, in my opinion is similar to planning a wedding: Months and months or preparation all to culminate in 1 day. So much goes into getting ready for that "one day." The beauty with Triathlon is that there is not just 1 event in your lifetime. During IM training, a lot of people (myself included) can get bored with training. I try to race every 4-6 weeks, just to have the comradarie with other athletes, and chat about the races they have done. Usually, I end up finding someone who is racing the IM too, and we compare training logs, and find ways to stay motivated.

Chalk up your DNF as just an unfortunate circumstance, and one that was out of your control. Your family got sick, and you got sick. It happens...don't beat yourself about it. Find a 5k or 10k around you, spend the $30+, get your medal, t shirt, and beer afterwards, and reassess if you are ready to commit to the training again. If not now, don't sweat it....IM isn't going anywhere.

Good luck and have fun with it.
2017-02-19 12:21 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
When I have had a bad performance, and after I allow my self loathing for a week or two, I just go back to why I even do any of this. That seems to get me going again as for me it is much more about the balance it provides me.
2017-02-19 12:33 PM
in reply to: Jeff B

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Originally posted by Jeff B

Before you sign up and start putting in the long training hours, perhaps sign up for a few shorter races. Doesn't have to be a Tri, but maybe a 5k or 10k. Sometimes just being in "race mode" and having an event to look forward to is enough to get the mojo back. The challenge with IM training, in my opinion is similar to planning a wedding: Months and months or preparation all to culminate in 1 day. So much goes into getting ready for that "one day." The beauty with Triathlon is that there is not just 1 event in your lifetime. During IM training, a lot of people (myself included) can get bored with training. I try to race every 4-6 weeks, just to have the comradarie with other athletes, and chat about the races they have done. Usually, I end up finding someone who is racing the IM too, and we compare training logs, and find ways to stay motivated.

Chalk up your DNF as just an unfortunate circumstance, and one that was out of your control. Your family got sick, and you got sick. It happens...don't beat yourself about it. Find a 5k or 10k around you, spend the $30+, get your medal, t shirt, and beer afterwards, and reassess if you are ready to commit to the training again. If not now, don't sweat it....IM isn't going anywhere.

Good luck and have fun with it.

That was the conclusion I came to. I have two charity runs planned, an 8k and a 10k, as well as the Solvang century ride. All of those are in the next seven weeks. Hopefully when I come out the other side I will have the motivation to get serious about another IM. I just know that right now I am looking forward to the century, am ambivalent about the two runs and just can't wrap my head around an IM today.

It's still on my bucket list but I am no where ready mentally to jump back in. Thanks for the feedback.
2017-02-19 6:28 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
I was speaking with a friend who said I should clarify the three events I have coming up. None are races. No medals, no beer, just two slow runs a long slightly faster than recovery ride paced century. Nothing competitive in any way.


2017-02-19 6:57 PM
in reply to: #5213927

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
I had 2 DNFs last year. Following both, i lost motivation for a while until I signed up for another organized event. After I completed those i was back in the groove. If you do this long enough, i bet most, if not all, will experience a DNF. Not a big deal in the scheme of things. Best of luck!


2017-02-20 11:13 AM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
First, I want to say that I am sorry that things played out as they did. IMO full IM is really special and DNF (at any distance) really stinks. Temporary funk is very understandable. All I can offer in the realm of motivation is that you ask yourself the following question: "Is a DNF how I want to go out?" Good luck & am rooting for you!
2017-02-20 3:00 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
probably your inner mind is considering the amount of training you did, to end suddenly in DNF.

it seems hard to justify, since there is significant risk..you put a lot into prep, and the race being only 1 particular day.

so, that's what you need to get past. Why do you want to do an IM ?
2017-02-20 3:12 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Why do you want to do an IM ?

I love the sport. I've done every distance up to and including a HIM. I know I have more to give and I want to prove to myself that I can do it. Nothing profound, just for me.
2017-02-21 7:30 AM
in reply to: Stuartap


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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
hey there,
i don't really see why you were disappointed about your DNF.
It was obviously related to your being sick and, in a way, i suppose you did expect it.
I don't believe this DNF in any way shows any shortcoming in relation to your preparation or training.

to get your mojo back.... ?
keep training, and obviously you will end up wanting to compare yourself with other people, by joining a race.
Small steps is my personal strategy, short races until your confidence is back.

good luck!
C
2017-02-21 11:45 AM
in reply to: panino

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF

A few years ago I did Ironman Branson 70.3, arguably one of the toughest bike courses out there. I had to DNF on the course due to flat tires. My rim tape was not protecting the tubes from my tires and it kept going flat after about 10 miles or so. I actually ran out of tubes and had to wait on the support van twice to come aid me and after the 5th flat, I was told to pack it in, it was over. I had to call the wife and ask her to meet me at T2.

One of the most disappointing call I ever had to make. It left me in a huge funk also until I realized it was something that was out of my control and it fueled me to comeback for a rematch. I remember part of the swag was a wine glass and I would not drink out of it or wear the shirt since I did not complete.

The next year I went back and I remembered every single spot where I flatted and it was such a relief to progress past each point. I was so happy to get the bike finished and get to the run!

I would encourage you to get back to that race and kick its butt, it will make a great story once you complete it!



2017-02-21 12:49 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF

Great advice so far. I will throw in to consider a little perspective. Not to diminish your illness, but your IM DNF could have been a lot worse. In 2015 I crashed solo on the IM Louisville bike course, breaking my leg and ending my day. Not only did I have to pull out of the race (goodbye months of training, goodbye invested money in registration, hotel, gas to drive across the country), but I couldn't  walk or weight bear for the 9 weeks following, then another 3 weeks in the boot. Going from IM training to couch-ridden was a tough blow, mostly mentally. I cried a lot. I thought a lot about why I was doing all of this and if I wanted to continue, which of course will be an individual journey. All of that to say, thank goodness your illness was limited to just a few days (I hope) and wasn't something more permanent or prolonged. 

Another perspective to consider that someone may have mentioned, is that IM and triathlon will always be there. Is there another hobby that you love, or want to spend more time with, that you could shift your focus to? If when shifting your focus you find that you REALLY miss triathlon, it's here when you are ready to come back. If you find that you appreciate the mix of activities, then there you go. 

For me, when I was given the green light to weight bear and start running again, I began in baby steps. Both with training and getting back into racing. I signed up for a local 10K and felt on top of the world that I was able to finish it just a few months after getting off crutches. And then got a wild hair and signed up for an ultra marathon that is coming up this weekend . I signed up for that knowing that I love having big events to look forward to, and wasn't ready for another IM just yet. I've continued to wait to sign up for another triathlon, let alone Ironman. I'm still not sure what the future holds for me there, and that's okay. You don't have to figure it all out right now.



Edited by lisac957 2017-02-21 12:53 PM
2017-02-21 3:21 PM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Lisa...happy to hear your progress.
2017-02-21 6:41 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF

I was signed up for IMCdA in 2015 during that ridiculous heat wave.  I even went out there and toed the starting line.  But I walked off and took a DNS instead.  My choice yes, but the weather was a circumstance out of my control - just like your illness was.  It sucks, it feels like you wasted the long days of training and it's hard to get motivated again.

But looking at the bigger picture, I was still proud of my improvements during that offseason.  And I knew I could carry that forward into something else.  Setting some non-race goals helps keep me on track (FTP, 10k time, whatever).

2017-02-22 10:48 AM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Originally posted by lisac957

Great advice so far. I will throw in to consider a little perspective. Not to diminish your illness, but your IM DNF could have been a lot worse. In 2015 I crashed solo on the IM Louisville bike course, breaking my leg and ending my day. Not only did I have to pull out of the race (goodbye months of training, goodbye invested money in registration, hotel, gas to drive across the country), but I couldn't  walk or weight bear for the 9 weeks following, then another 3 weeks in the boot. Going from IM training to couch-ridden was a tough blow, mostly mentally. I cried a lot. I thought a lot about why I was doing all of this and if I wanted to continue, which of course will be an individual journey. All of that to say, thank goodness your illness was limited to just a few days (I hope) and wasn't something more permanent or prolonged. .



Glad to hear you are getting back in the game. I've gone through this. Four years ago I got hit by a car and fractured my hip. Emergency surgery that evening and then six months later a full hip replacement. I was almost a year off training. But I couldn't wait to get back from day one. I pushed as far as my doctor would let me every day.

For me, this is completely different. I understand it's in my head. I appreciate the support and suggestions. I guess there is no magic answer, I am just going to have to figure this out.

Thanks again,

2017-02-23 4:23 PM
in reply to: Stuartap


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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Originally posted by Stuartap

I had my first IM attempt last Dec. Driving down to the event on Thursday my daughter started getting sick. By Friday morning my wife and daughter cancelled their plans for Sat while I was competing. By Friday afternoon both my wife and I started getting sick.

I was up all night/morning but decided to give it a try anyway om Sat. Half way through the swim I contributed my breakfast to the ecosystem of the lake and I was done. DNF


The issue was not physical, it was all mental.



What do you mean? You were up all night and then threw up in the swim, how is that not physical??


2017-02-23 4:50 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Originally posted by zedzded

Originally posted by Stuartap

I had my first IM attempt last Dec. Driving down to the event on Thursday my daughter started getting sick. By Friday morning my wife and daughter cancelled their plans for Sat while I was competing. By Friday afternoon both my wife and I started getting sick.

I was up all night/morning but decided to give it a try anyway om Sat. Half way through the swim I contributed my breakfast to the ecosystem of the lake and I was done. DNF


The issue was not physical, it was all mental.



What do you mean? You were up all night and then threw up in the swim, how is that not physical??

The issue I have today is not physical. Having done this sport for almost five years I have never lacked motivation until now. It has nothing to do with me physically. I am not overly sore or injured. I just seem to have lost the spark to compete. I am working out, it just seems to be without purpose. I can't get my mind around signing up for another race. I am doing some events, but not racing. I know the DNF is in my head still. I need to find a way to push past it but right now, almost three months later, I am still stuck.

Does that make more sense?
2017-02-23 8:52 PM
in reply to: Stuartap


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Subject: RE: I need some motivation after DNF
Originally posted by Stuartap

Originally posted by zedzded

Originally posted by Stuartap

I had my first IM attempt last Dec. Driving down to the event on Thursday my daughter started getting sick. By Friday morning my wife and daughter cancelled their plans for Sat while I was competing. By Friday afternoon both my wife and I started getting sick.

I was up all night/morning but decided to give it a try anyway om Sat. Half way through the swim I contributed my breakfast to the ecosystem of the lake and I was done. DNF


The issue was not physical, it was all mental.



What do you mean? You were up all night and then threw up in the swim, how is that not physical??

The issue I have today is not physical. Having done this sport for almost five years I have never lacked motivation until now. It has nothing to do with me physically. I am not overly sore or injured. I just seem to have lost the spark to compete. I am working out, it just seems to be without purpose. I can't get my mind around signing up for another race. I am doing some events, but not racing. I know the DNF is in my head still. I need to find a way to push past it but right now, almost three months later, I am still stuck.

Does that make more sense?



Yeah that makes sense. Perhaps take a break. This sport has a high rate of attrition. This is my 4th season and I have already seen a lot of people come and go, some last little more than 2 seasons. I have a few friends that have got to 3 seasons and now seem to be cutting back training and races. I try and mix things up, doing smaller random races, open water races, keep a bit of variety. I think if you're signing up for races that you don't have the hunger for you'll very quickly lose interest. That's the reason why I've only done 1 IM. I hated the training and the length of the race, so I haven't done one since 2014.
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