Tuesday, August 14, 2012

well, THAT was dumb.

It's been hard to find time for myself lately.  Baby, job, business, teenagers, baseball, house...I seem to give them all priority over me.  I haven't found balance yet.  It's so much easier to blame everyone else.  They NEED me, right? But who's left to look out for me.  Nobody.  I mean, my family loves me but if I don't tell them I need help, they can't help me.
So here I am.  I've been neglecting my working out/training.  It's an essential part of getting healthy.  My metabolism sucks.  I didn't get to 300+ pounds with an amazing metabolism.  (Chicken/Egg - did I kill it or was it already bad?).  I know that even with gastric bypass and a 1200 calorie diet, I still struggle to lose weight without copious amounts of exercise (again: was I born this way or did years of neglect teach my body this?).
I signed up for an Olympic Distance triathlon a couple months ago.  And had a few events in between to keep me on track.  I did a sprint tri, a 5k, a warrior dash.  And this last weekend was the Olympic distance tri. I was not ready for it but showed up and gave it 100% effort.
Besides not training adequately, there were a few other things that went wrong.  There was fog.  Dense, cold fog.  So the race was delayed by more than an hour.  And then they started the sprint distance racers first.  Which left me 1.25 hours behind schedule.  And swimming "blind" - we couldn't see more than one buoy at a time.  So sighting was impossible.  I wasn't the only swimmer having to stop multiple times to re-sight and adjust course.  Frustrating and the beginning of a mental slip and slide...straight into Negative-ville.
I came out of the water ahead of people - that felt good.  I passed people on the swim.  That felt good.  Then I got on the bike *cue horror music*
I am the most under trained on the bike.  My longest ride was 12 miles - in a sprint tri.  This race was a 28 mile bike route.  Out and back, out and back.  At one point I was talking to myself out loud "I am strong, I deserve, I will FINISH".  Over and over again.  I was in severe pain.  My lower back, my legs, my feet.  All hurt.  And because of the start delay it was getting hot out and the sun was beating down.  I'm a Seattle-ite.  I practically have moss growing on me.  Direct sunlight is less damaging to vampires.  It drained me of anything I MIGHT have had left.  But I finished the bike.  And wasn't last.  There were 5 or 6 people behind me.  Good enough.  I was happy to be alive.  And really kicking myself for not being prepared in any way shape or form.  Storing those thoughts in the permanent memory banks to withdraw them again on days that I felt training was going to be a challenge.  I wanted a these hard thoughts to be my  motivation in the coming days, weeks, months as I continue to train for more events.  I want to remember the hurt: physical and mental.  
I did make it back to the transition area and sat down to put my running shoes on.  For the first time, in a long time - maybe ever, I considered quitting.  I had just spent everything to complete 28 miles on the bike.  And now I was asking my legs to run 6.2 miles.  The heat was even worse, the route was not shaded, and I set off chugging from a huge water bottle.  My husband and both my sons trotted along side me out of the transition area and bid me good luck as I set off for the first loop of the 2 loop course.  I did the math in my head, I was pretty sure that unless I could channel Prefontaine (not bloody likely), I wasn't going to make the 4 hour cutoff.  This was something I had to forcefully put out of my mind.  I was going to run/walk/limp until I crossed the finish line.  And I did.  My run turned to a jog.  With bouts of walking.  And muttering.  I tried singing.  I tried the "I'm strong" mantra.  But I was so far into my negative thoughts that I told myself to "shut up" several times.  I kept drinking water and cursing the hot day.  And - again - storing those feelings of failure to motivate me at a later date.
Somewhere around mile 5, my husband jogged from the opposite direction to cheer me on.  And he said something unbelievable "the girl behind you is catching you!"  I thought he was joking.  There certainly wasn't anyone behind me.  Good lord.  But there WAS!

Then she passed me.  I was dead last.  My son joined me for the final .5 mile - encouraging me the best he could.  I hurt.  Every muscle, every cell.  I was sunburned.  I was defeated in every way.  it wasn't until later that I could/would celebrate finishing.  My son gathered my bike and gear, my husband loaded the baby back into the stroller and we slowly made our way back to the car.

While it may not have been a great race, there are certainly a lot of take away lessons to be learned.  And I'll be applying them.  And training.  And putting myself first more often.

My weight is down to 197.  My goal is 150 by Christmas.  My path is training and eating healthy.  My next race is another Olympic distance - this time as a relay -  on Sept. 16.

Until next time!


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