Closure

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2014 ended rather abruptly around here and so I’m going to put a bit of closure on that chapter before moving on to the next one.

Last year was a tough one. Good races and bad.

It was a battle, plain and simple.

Me vs Myself.

I had to face some harsh realities about my mental fortitude during difficult training sessions and how I race. It’s not all that fun to look deep within yourself and admit that while you may… “talk the talk, you’re not always… “walking the walk”!

I had to figure out a way to stop coddling myself like a mother would her child. I had to learn how to no longer accept the negotiations, that went on inside my head, as if I were writing a UN peace treaty. I had to truly embrace the challenge of a difficult training day and carry that with me to racing.

Was I successful? We should ask my coach, but I’ll go ahead and give my thoughts…

I made great strides. I’m closer now than ever before, but it’s constant work. Some days are easier than others.

My last race of 2014 was River Roux 70.3 in the worst conditions I’d ever faced. Conditions I don’t think I could’ve imagined and I’ve got a pretty wild creative streak in me.

Nine months of hard physical and mental training got me to the finish line that day.

And when I got there, I cried. Hell, I started crying when I SAW the finish line.

And just so you know, I’m not a crier. I didn’t cry at my wedding, when my son was born, when I finished my first Ironman….I’m very practical and pragmatic. I typically don’t get that emotionally “spent”.

But on that afternoon I was fried. Sure I was tired physically, but mentally; it was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

Every now and then though, we get rewarded for our efforts.

My time was far from record-setting, but that was the nature of the day. Part of my battle was being able to “let go” of what my computers were telling me, keep the frustration at bay, and trust my training. All of it.

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I earned 1st place (40-44 women) at River Roux. I wanted more, but on that day…for the 1st time ever…I can honestly look at myself and say that I left everything out on that course.

I’ll carry this with me and continue to build upon the foundation that was laid, creating what I feel will be a remarkable 2015 season.

-Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve…..Napoleon Hill

See y’all soon!

 

 

The Lessons We Learn

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 ONE MAY GO A LONG WAY AFTER ONE IS TIRED  -French proverb

There is no doubtwe learn the most about ourselves during those times in which we fight through adversity. My lessons came on a beautiful, crisp Sunday morning in New Orleans, La. as I was willing my body through a 13.1 jaunt around the city. If you really want to get picky, those true defining moments actually occurred during miles 11-13.1….that point when it would have been so easy to just stop and walk instead of willing my legs through every stride that remained.

No one would have questioned my reasoning. After all, I spent the past year  in rehab due to my injury roller coaster. First a herniated disc, then 2 months later a torn hamstring. Hell, this time last year I couldn’t even walk, much less run. So no one ..not 1 single soul, would have judged me if I walked a little bit to the finish line. Ahhhh…but how would I judge myself?? 

So this was the game I played with my psyche for the final 18 minutes of the race. Who was going win? My body or my spirit? AquaDoc says he never doubted my ability or sheer determination to run across that finish line. But then he didn’t see me pull up to that final aid station around mile 12 and attempt to beat my quads into submission….all while cussing them out for rebelling on race day, when they had been so submissive during training….it was not a pretty sight at all.

In the end, mind over matter became my reality. I ran through the finish line in 2:07:33. Not bad considering how I spent the last year and with only a single 5k under my belt (since returning to the race circuit this past December) to boot.

Most importantly, I came away with some very valuable lessons:

Incase I had forgotten, I was reminded that AquaDoc is a keeper. He not only walked me 1.5 miles to the start then 1.5 miles back to the condo, he walked 3.5-4 miles from the condo to the finish line with BoyGenius (who, BTW, was highly annoyed there was no WiFi at the finish). AquaDoc truthfully did more hobbling than walking because he has a torn meniscus right now and is not ambulating as well as he’d like.  His effort and enthusiasm for my undertaking, despite his injury and constant pain, taught me tons. I hope if I am ever injured again (curses!!!!) I can live up to his example. But remember, the bar was set REALLY, REALLY, REALLY high!!!  just sayin’…

I also realized that the statement, “it hurts a lot up to a point, then it doesn’t hurt anymore”,  is actually a highly accurate assessment.

Seeing all the participants and everyone’s individual struggles and personal motivators, I learned that ALL roads are long, regardless of where they are headed… and getting to that destination sometimes hurts…. but once you make it….the reward is so worth it.

This is what it’s all about…Good Times!

 This is me and one of my dearest friends for over 30 years….we finished within a minute of each other and somehow, with no preplanning, both landed at family reunion letter “Q”…AquaDoc says it’s a fate/ karma thing and I’m gonna believe he’s spot on because he is one smart man… and besides I am always up for some fate and karma (only the good kind) in my life!!!

On that note, its time to get back in the pool…its Tri Season!

Swim Happy, My Friends!