There has been one huge difference I noticed when I moved from DC to Denver. Not the scenery, not the altitude, but my attitude. I was calm. Content with myself and where I was in my life both personally and athletically. Not competing with those around me.
Back in DC, I felt like almost everything was a competition whether you wanted it to be or not. I was on a team of very supportive triathletes but there was certainly some underlying competitiveness to keep up. Who has a nicer bike, a more expensive wheel set, who is training harder or running more miles. And the truth is- I’m not a competitive person with anyone but myself yet I got caught up in the competitive attitude, which to me, makes things a lot less fun. Not knocking anyone in DC, it is just the general attitude of the city (athletically, financially, in the work force).
When I got to Colorado, all of a sudden that dissapeared. I run with a group on Wednesday evenings and I am the SLOWEST one (Colorado runners are damn fast!). Instead of feeling frustrated and upset, I finished last with a smile on my face and no one judged me. Not even me. For once I feel at peace with my training, or lack thereof, and I am not comparing myself to anyone but me.
I not only feel this way about training, but my current life situation as well. I am a soon-to-be grad student making very little (and soon to be zero) income. Phil and I have had to team up our finances and work as a team to make things work. He is supporting both of us and with one income for the next three years, we have a budget to stick to in order to plan wisely for our future (ie: wedding, children, buying a house, having a savings account). Because of this, I decided to not do many triathlons this season- and I feel no pressure at all to sign up for several. A few is just fine.