Over the last 5 years... Well there's been 77 lbs of fat shed as I went from 48.6% body fat to 16%. I have run 52 races varying from 5Ks to ultramarathons and with the training & off-season, it has consisted of over 4,600 miles run. So the question of it all with this blog is what is there left to say? I have vented my training, weight loss and medical frustrations. I have shared my race event stories. I have been emotional over some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. So what next?
That has been the question of this year for myself. I pulled back from racing to focus more. I promised my husband that I would tone it all down because of the crazy cost associated with it all so I'm down to one spring race and one fall race. My spring race just passed and honestly it was a heart breaker. I attempted a triathlon in open water and failed the swim. The water was insanely choppy and I am not a very strong swimmer. I made it almost halfway through the distance and began to panic. That was the one thing I was afraid would happen and it happened really fast. Too fast to even tell myself to calm and breathe. After getting pulled out of the water, I gave myself a minute and decided to shake it off & finish. It would not be for an official time but it would be for me. I walked to the transition area, got my gear & bike and continued on. In the beginning of the bike course, I was mentally destroying myself. After all that training, I couldn't do it...that's what played over and over in my head. That my friends is no way to talk to yourself and I know that. As the first few miles passed, I realized how peaceful it was on the bike. The silence... The breeze... The subtle rhythmic sounds of the bike only... Before I knew it, I was in THAT place.
The place that exists only on my solo long runs
The most peaceful, soul soothing place in the entire world
I was there but on my bike and coasting through the course. I feel in love with cycling that very moment.
As I finished the second loop of the bike course, I readied myself to dismount and almost fell to the ground LOL. In my mental ease, I completely forgot how I had to get my feet out of the pedals & straps. The woman, that had been going back and forth with me, and I had a quick laugh before I started running my bike back to the rack. And just like that I was back to the place I love...running. My legs felt like they were trudging through peanut butter. I have never felt that sort of heaviness (not even during the last ragnar leg), but then I look down to realize that running into the wind and up a hill I was carrying a 9:45 pace. What the?!?! I managed to hold that pace and even quicken to finish my 5K in 29 minutes.
Overall, I am sad that I did not complete the entire race BUT this training and focus has taught me something that I have failed to see before. In failure, there can still be joy. There is wisdom in failure. I am about to begin training again for another triathlon. I am determined to do this despite what happened. I can and I will.