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Athlete Diary: Confessions of a Sinking Ship
By:  Tom McCarthy   (2008/02/14)


Iím two days overdue to submit my athlete diary.† This is partly because I donít really feel like an athlete, so putting a diary onto a website while masquerading as an athlete is a bit embarrassing.† Itís almost 9pm and Iím still at the office, another potential evening of training gone, unless I pull another 11:00 gym night. But Iím a bit sick Ė nagging sore throat and other symptoms Ė so I should rest.† The only issue is that Iíve been Ďrestingí for three weeks Ė havenít xc skied since the last weekend in January, havenít done an intensity workout since the Duntroon races (over a month ago).† And the other exercise has been short runs and gym sessions focusing on maintaining the health of my back. †

But I shouldnít complain that much. I did have a free weekend last weekend, but I spent both days telemark skiing at Whistler with a friend from back East who came out to downhill ski.† I couldnít very well ditch him to go x-c skiing!!† Plus, despite the avalanche danger, the backcountry has been pretty decent this year, the few times Iíve managed to get out. †

Point is, Iím in sorry shape.† But Iíve just registered for two races this weekend Ė a sprint relay on Saturday and a 10k classic on Sunday at some Coast Cup races in Callaghan Valley.† Iím already dreading how much these are going to hurt given the non-existent preparation Iíve done. †

How did I get to this point? Well, it started with committing fully to my current job.† By fully, I mean that I moved out to Vancouver to do it, and am getting paid to get a certain amount of work done by a set time. This particular timeline canít slip Ė and so, I need to work to get the job done.† But thatís not all.† Other stuff has been very distracting.† Iíve kinda lost the Ďfireí this year Ė that commitment to pushing myself out training when it sucks. Iíve put more emphasis on resting this year Ė partly because this job is tiring.† Itís funny though, because Iím still totally pumped to be in the best shape possible Ė itís just that work is superceding that commitment, to the point where Iím not even able to exercise some days.† But Iím still dreaming of long days on the bike and on the running trails this spring Ė by which I mean, those mythical months up ahead when I will have more time.† But Iíll probably get there and be just as busy as I am now, which will mean the same level of activity. †

Iíll do a couple of races at Nationals, but mostly to get up there and see people Ė itís close, so itís easy to do this year.† As for next year Ė I think this might be the end of the line.† The backcountry out here is pretty much too goodÖ I miss racing though. I miss being that fit.† So who knows what Iíll do.† I think this is the transition from being a semi-serious ski racer who can still be on the same start line as some decent racers, to being a weekend warrior racer without a hope.† Do I want to be that guy? I donít know. †

Wish me luck this weekend!!

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