A year ago I was in Tempe, cheering on friends and volunteering for a spot to register for Ironman Arizona for 2014. Fast forward a year and here I am, sitting in my hotel room,
impatiently waiting for Sunday to test where I am right now.
The journey wasn’t what I expected it to be when I planned 2014. Last year as I had discussions with friends and my husband about where I was during the Tempe trip, it all of a sudden became crystal clear to me that I was in a really bad place in regards to triathlon. I had started to hate it. With two Ironmans planned in 2014, the year wasn’t looking like a good start. I didn’t believe in my coach, hated the workouts, hated the system and this caused me to doubt myself in a way I hadn’t in a really long time. I was broken down.
When I told my then coach I needed to go in a different direction and it wasn’t working for me, it was like the 500lb weight on my shoulders lifted. But it left me a bit scared and very lost. What now? I didn’t have an unlimited supply of money to spend on a coach and I needed someone who would work with me and understand me, because I was broken.
I sent a chance email to Mary, who took me under her wing. I explained everything to her and was completely and brutally honest with where I was at. After two bad coaching experiences I was worried that maybe I didn’t know how to be a good athlete. Was I uncoachable? I know I’m certainly stubborn but did that mean I couldn’t follow directions. Not all coaches and athletes are going to get along (and that’s okay, everyone needs options), so after having two coaches that didn’t fit for me, I was wondering if a good fit was really out there.
She was patient with me and knew that if I had to obey a HR monitor again anytime soon I was going to lose it. She wholeheartedly trusted me and believed in my instincts. We spent a lot of time just going out and feeling my fitness back in. Come a year later, we’ve loosely gone back to HR training (and no, I don’t want to kill it, mostly) and my fitness is coming along and I’m back to trusting my instincts and feeling good. Am I where I had hoped? No. Life came along and got in the way. But I had to take the path I did to find the way back to enjoying the journey.
I absolutely took on more than I should have these last months, but I was too excited to sit back and not get started with some things. I have a full time, stressful and demanding job, full time status as a grad student for kinesiology, I’m training for an Ironman, working on my USAT coaching cert, and don’t forget the whole eat, sleep, play with fur kids and be a wife thing. Do I regret jumping in head first? No, but it meant that I had to adjust my training and expectations a bit, and that’s okay. I don’t get paid to race Ironman, it’s my choice.
Do I think I’m in PR shape? Yes. This course should suit me nicely and be a little friendlier with the temperatures. Does that mean I’m guaranteed anything? Absolutely not. Will things go wrong? Yep. I have to make smart decisions and keep a cool head.
I need to handle the day I’m given and be grateful that I get to be out there racing with my heart alongside my friends. So, that’s my goal. To celebrate that I’m once again a happy triathlete, chasing the dream of trying to be better than I was the day before. So on Sunday, I will be out there for me, to celebrate my abilities and to see what happens when I dig down deep into the bottom of the well.
She is brave and fearless.
See you at the start line.