Friday, November 15, 2013

Finding my way...

Last Saturday.. it had been 2 weeks since I attempted Ironman Florida.  In the past, when I did not complete the race, I hid away from the emotions that obviously surround a major goal that has not been achieved .  I decided that this time, I would confront those feelings head on because...in the world of someone addicted to food...retreating means only one thing...the opportunity to try to make things better with a cheeseburger and extra large order of fries.

So here I am.  I have taken a beautiful vacation with my husband for our 28th wedding anniversary (which was Nov. 16), I have cheered on friends at the MiamiMan Triathlon (and they both did an amazing job with some iffy weather conditions) and I have spent time with my parents who were amazingly supportive.  I got to share a wonderful weekend with friends and their families in Miami and it made me appreciate the power of family and love and the human emotion.

And I finally sat down and really cried. I finally went through all those emotions I kept pushing down and away.  I let myself be sad...and then angry...and then frustrated.  While the Ironman world is celebrating their successful journey (and DARN IT...they SHOULD BE CELEBRATING!! :) )...I am at a loss as to what my path is suppose to be.  Did I make a bad decision to try to complete this goal again? Should I have just let it go a few years ago and focused on something else? Do I just accept that this goal is out of my reach?

Most importantly...where do I go from here?

The number one question I have been asked, of course, is when I will attempt this again.  If you asked me the day and even the week after the race, I told everyone that this was it...that I would not attempt another Ironman.  I felt that 3 times is ENOUGH...especially on my family.  They have put up with so much.

But Im stubborn as a mule (did you know they called my mother "Mule Mullin" in college...Mullin is her maiden name...it must be in the genetics) .  This makes this really hard to just give up on something.  I keep envisioning myself at age 80...or 90 with the regrets of not completing this...

Then reality starts to set in...

Im still overweight.  Im still only 4'11" and that's not going to change any time soon.  I have worked really hard this year and I am in the best shape of my life but it obviously wasn't enough to complete this goal.

I know for an absolute fact that I wish to continue towards my goal weight.  At least I know that weight loss is definitely part of my path..  I have plans for 1 Olympic distance triathlon, 1 Half Ironman, the Ragnar Relay to the Florida Keys and several Half Marathons in 2014 because I know if I don't have something to work towards, I will not stay focused on my fitness...

But this Ironman thing....sigh...it haunts me...

How do you let go of a dream?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Making Lemonade....Ironman Florida 2013


“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade...and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” 
― Ron White

Ive been in this position before...sitting at my desk trying to assess my emotions about this life goal that I have had for years.  Ive written so much about it...I have been frustrated, angry, happy, annoyed and elated..you name the emotion and I have felt it,  but today..I sit here at a crossroads because I honestly don't know what to do next.

I could go the simple route and give you a race report...but to be totally upfront...I don't think the world is really that interested in how the roads were on the bike course, how the seas made even me, the person that loves the ocean and the water, shake in fear as the breakers crashed on the beach nor do you really want to hear how I struggled at mile 16...and 17...and 18...and 18.5 miles of the run..only to be stopped at about 19 miles of the marathon and not allowed to continue.

Yup...I didn't finish.

There...I said it. And look.....it's not fatal.  But there are a lot of things I do want to convey about my experience at Ironman Florida that far outway the finish line.  Of course....I would have given anything to cross the line...to have the medal and enjoy all of that moment...but I learned so much about me...and those with whom I race.

I learned that I have the most incredible teammates in the world.  They cheered ME on even when I knew they were hurting or struggling.  I learned that there are guardian angels on this earth that will take you through the second loop of a 13.1 mile run to try to help you to the finish line eventhough they have never gone that far on their own before.  I found that my Coaches have the biggest hearts in the world and were dying a thousand deaths to watch me get out of a van instead of walk across a finish line.  And I saw people..helping people...and I was in awe.  Even through the pain and the fatigue of going over 133 miles under my own power, I did not miss that those that came to cheer me on and to cheer on those on my team were there for me every step of the way.

If there is one thing that I can say about my race is that...I PROMISED myself...and my friends that I WOULD NOT QUIT...that they would have to pull me from the course...and that was indeed accomplished.  There are too many people out in this world who would give anything to have the ability to do just one of the events I got to experience on Saturday...and I would do them all a disservice  not giving my all ...in all three.

So...when I attended the celebration BBQ with my team the day after the race, those lemons I got handed on Saturday were turned into some pretty sweet lemonade...and they helped me add the vodka. We shared a few toasts, a few stories and I patted each one on the back...because.. damn it...they deserved all that and more.  They are pretty amazing people these Ironmen with stories all their own and I am honored to have trained with each of them.

What's next? I can't answer that honestly right now.  I do know that the weight loss journey continues until I reach my goal weight which is somewhere around 30 pounds from now....but I promise to always keep you posted.

Thank you for reading my blog...checking on me...sending me messages and virtual hugs.  You have no idea how much it means to me...

XX days until the next goal....I let you know.