Today as I finished up my painfully slow swim and wondered back into the changing room, I was feeling tired and over it. I decided that once I hit 1100m I was done swimming for the day, despite needing another 500m to achieve my goal of 1600m. I felt good from my weekend of training, having been able to work a 9 hour shoot Saturday, get some sort of training in each day, and balance out spending time with my family. I was even able to get James out to support me on my 6 mile run Saturday afternoon.
So as I was packing up getting ready to leave the Y today, I looked over my shoulder towards a sound that grabbed my attention. A group of older gentleman made their way into the changing room appearing to have just finished a workout. What really caught me off guard was that each one of them was struggling to move, each negotiating a walker or cane, each step they took labored. Yet despite their mobility restrictions, they accomplished their goal of being active for the day and were in high spirits.
Immediately I felt like shit.
Here I was bailing on grabbing some extra laps that were completely within my reach because I became bored and couldn’t stop thinking about all the other things I needed to do today.
At this time in my life, my mobility is a gift.
It’s hard for me to realize or remember this as I speed through my day-to-day. When I was twenty or so, I suffered a nasty snowboarding accident, one that I was very lucky to be able to walk away from. A couple millimeters to left or right and I could be writing to you from a wheelchair right now. But that didn’t happen; I’m able to run alongside Sofia at the playground and carry James through the wild world of animals at the Roger Williams Zoo. So when Brandon asked me to share my thoughts on my training approach to date, what I was going to write was drastically different then what I’m presenting to you right now.
My training to date has been a very organic fluid beast, full of ups and downs – but honestly it always has my entire life. Well, except when I was motivating Trevor to work those sexy legs of his back in the day.
My Mont-Tremblant race is about 4 weeks away now. Just getting to this point with that race has been a bit of struggle. When I booked it back in July of 2016 I had a very different outlook of how my first IRONMAN distance was going to go down. Originally Trev was going to race with me, but circumstance and a quick sell-out prevented that [I see a trend here with organizing races with Trevor]. Then I had some serious work issues I needed to overcome and resolve which took away a large chunk of my time. Finally, Sara and I decided that traveling with baby James and Sofia all that way would be too much of a strain on the family. So the hotel was cancelled, the event was removed from the calendar, and I continued on with my training the whole while thinking about how November is farrrrrrrr away.
Since we basically cancelled the Mont-Tremblant Trip/Race it has been eating me up inside. Being the eager Beaver I was, when I signed up for the race I bought the backpack and have since used it to house my training gear. So every time I grabbed my swim gear or tri shorts since I cancelled our hotel, that 70.3 logo has stared back at me, mocking me, knowing that I was not going to be able to finish this race - and that pissed me off. But I was still stuck in this holding pattern unable to make running the race work, unable to slide the necessary pieces around to make the trip happen.
May 15th was the last day to officially withdraw and get a partial refund of $75 back. I wrote my withdrawal email, rewrote it, moved it to the draft folder, thought about it, forgot about, canceled the hotel, opened the email, stared at the email, deleted the draft.
$75 – They can keep it.
That was one the one thing I couldn’t do, send the email and officially withdraw from the race.
This whole time Sara watched on as I struggled, me bothered by the whole situation, and like the angel she is, she came in at what to me seemed like zero hour and presented me with an option I hadn’t been able to see. It was going to take some work, but if I was able to move some pieces around, I was going to be able to race the 70.3 Mont-Tremblant IRONMAN. I was going to be going up on my own, didn’t have a place to stay, but the race was back on!
From that moment a fire was lit under my ass. I’ve since found a great place to stay via AirB&B, and even managed to convince my Dad to come out and be my support crew. That was such a relief having him come on board. The race itself I’m confident in my abilities to finish -- despite mulling over the last two years results comparing myself to the pack, totally terrified that I won’t finish – but lets save that for another post -- It was doing the drive and the race and all that logistical junk, like checking out of my rental the same morning of my race, by myself that I was not looking forward to. This is already a lonely sport, and I know that the community up North would be welcoming and friendly, but I was not looking forward to doing this for the first time alone.
Despite all of that noise things are falling into place. The race is happening, I’m going to have some on course support, now all I need to do is train.
But that’s just it – I need to train, follow my plan I set out weeks ago and attack the laps, the loops, and the miles. My approach to my training moving forward is to focus, visualize (thanks again for this advice honey), and work – work hard at moving forward.
I’m going to make this happen because I can do this. I’ve been gifted with my mobility, my athletic ability, and you -> our community of supportive unicorns.
Training for these races is hard, lonely at times, but I can’t wait to finish.