After my last crash in Huatulco a few weeks ago Iâ€™ve had some serious motivational issues. I barely trained in the week after the World Cup (which showed in Puerto Vallarta), and after the Pan-Am Champs I took a few days off entirely to enjoy my Mexican vacation. Back in the states I put in a bit of time for training, but my motivation has been rock bottom. In the middle of the season I would show up to swim practice in the morning and dive in the moment Mike gave us the warmup set. The past two weeks, Iâ€™ve been dragging my feet out of the locker room five minutes late and standing dazed, staring at the pool for another five minutes before I finally tell myself, â€œjust pretend for an hourâ€ and dive in. I asked Mike Doane about it and he told me that the term for my mental condition was being â€œchecked outâ€ and that â€œeveryone needs a break at some point.â€ Well, I signed up for two more races, and I had no intention of backing out now â€“ even if I couldnâ€™t get through a 60-minute Computrainer session to save my life (thatâ€™s an exaggeration, it just took some True Blood DVDs and embarrassingly low watts.)
I started to feel a little better late last week, a couple of days before I left for San Diego to race the Super Sprint Grand Prix, and managed to get in a couple decent training sessions to sharpen me up for the weekend. Actually, my head started to come around at 2am Thursday morning when I woke up from a dream about out-kicking Chris McCormack, Matt Reed, and Jarrod Shoemaker to win a four-man sprint in San Diego on Halloween. Macca is probably the most winning athlete in the history of triathlon, Matt Reed is among the best American triathletes weâ€™ve had (Iâ€™ll give him the American label, even if he didnâ€™t start off that way) and if I ever beat Jarrod (2008 US Olympian and National Cross Country Champion while at Dartmouth) in a finishing sprint Iâ€™ll probably decide there must be a G-d who cares about endurance sports after-all. It was good dream, and got me fired up enough to think about â€œchecking back inâ€ for the weekend. Racing is fun and hard, but sprint races are over so quickly that the pain is much less memorable.