Hello Autumn, hello soups and casseroles, long sleeved shirts, the smell of wood burning stoves, hello off -season. I started out September with a terrible nights sleep followed by the most difficult workout of the last 10 weeks of training.
My ride wasn't too bad, other than the wind. That died down about halfway through and was replaced by rain in the last 6 miles. My run was another story. I got almost to the 3 mile turnaround and walked twice. As I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other I zoned out and had sort of a dizzy feeling towards the end. Heart rate data indicates that my body was really struggling, not just my mind.
Pushing myself to exhaustion on a run on a Sunday morning makes me, once again The Freak in the Room. My husband has had fun with this designation since I read Meredith's post over at Swim Bike Mom. She talks about how being a triathlete makes her a little different. From making strange food choices, to leaving social gatherings at 7pm to get to bed early for the next days early workout, being an athlete in training makes you a little...different.
While I can totally relate with this, I would also offer that all of us feel that way at one time or another. Holding on to your Freak-dom only serves to isolate you and make you feel more alone and separated from everyone. One of the major things you learn as a small child is to focus on how we are alike, not how we are different. Choosing to hang your hat on labels and differences voluntarily makes you the Freak in the Room.
I've been thinking a lot about this very topic. I don't have any friends that do what I do. I train mostly alone and rely on internet groups to discuss sport. Frankly, I'm a little short on friends, period. I sometimes feel that other women don't really know what to talk about with me. I don't feel like I can eat any treats at pot-lucks or Sunday school, and there's always the question of "did you ride/run here" when I show up at a social event.
It's a great thing to be known for. But did you know that I like most of the things that every other woman likes? I worry about how my hair looks, I like chocolate, and I have a bad back. My ankles swell horrifically in the heat, I get migraine headaches and I don't always feel like drinking my water. My kids are so awesomely cute and they drive me nuts.
If I had any friends, I would try to mostly talk about normal stuff. I promise. But if you want to go for a run or ride, that'd be cool also. :)