I will be racing pro this year, as in pro-fessional (in triathlon, mom).
I didn’t want to tell anyone until I was totally and completely sure, until I had the actual pro card in my hand and USA Triathlon would have to drive out here and pry it out of my fingers to get it back. I was pretty convinced that somehow it wouldn’t work out, that my paperwork would get lost or USAT would just laugh and be like ‘you? no, you suck, you don’t get to go pro.’ And I don’t actually, literally have the card in my hand (or I would take a picture of it to prove to you that I am not making this shit up), but I talked to the USAT woman and they charged my credit card. What is more official than charging a credit card?
[Now, if somehow things go comically and terribly wrong — because this is, afterall, me — then damn, I guess I’ll look stupid.]
So far, the only advantage to this has been that Steve will make me dinner if I whine a bunch about how I am a professional athlete, and I am so busy and tired, and I should be resting and recovering not standing by the stove. That may not last long.
It may also turn out to be the only advantage.
Because, I am so not going to win any races this year. Like at all.
I know a lot of people are going to be super-skeptical about me going pro. They’re going to make little comments to each other, but as long as not too many of them are to my face then I’m probably only getting back what I dish out. *shrug*
I know there are people out there who are faster than me (some who are much faster) who are not going pro. I can’t control or change that.
I know there are reasons I could wait, but I decided not to. I’ve been racing the 20-24 age group, which almost everyone knows is not super competitive. In some ways, this has been good in other obvious ones it’s been bad. I’ll be moving up to 25-29 next year, which is definitely more competitive, and it seems like a good time to make the change. Why not now?
I think I can learn and use the new experiences to challenge and motivate myself. Ideally, this year will serve as a springboard for future years, in which I will maybe, actually, possibly win races.
I’m also coaching myself now. Which I did before and which I’ve really been doing for about three months now. But, since we’re bonding over triathlon and everything…
Jen is an awesome coach and, honestly, I’m still using tons and tons of the workouts she gave me (hmmm, I hope that’s not stealing, I’m sorry!!!). I got so much faster at swimming and far more comfortable running off the bike and I stopped being a bum and quitting halfway through hard workouts. However, while the life of a professional triathlete is obviously well-paying, it doesn’t pay well enough to pay for a coach.
The other problem last year was that I stopped thinking for myself.
I improved a huge amount in 2008 through coaching myself and reading up on my own and planning and paying attention. Then, I thought I’ll get a coach, I’ll just do what they say, I don’t need to think anymore. And it didn’t work very well for me. Not thinking amounted to not caring. Besides, suddenly, whereas before only Steve would offer advice, last year everyone had opinions. I was doing everything wrong; I had to do yoga; I had to do pilates; I had to weight-lift more; I should run longer; I should run shorter, more frequently; I should go on more group rides; I should only ride by myself.
Now, I’m going back to Triathlon Classic. On my own. And I just need everyone to get out of my head.
So, what am I doing this year? The only thing I’m signed up for is Escape from Alcatraz. I have some other ideas, but right now I’m keeping them to myself.