I've had a good, no make that GREAT year so far. It actually started after my DNF at Soma. I decided to put my efforts to a little more work and then to the test by racing my first bike race, and shooting for a big PR at the Half Marathon distance.
I pushed, I left my comfort zone and I had great success in both races. Little did I know that was the beginning of my fun. The beginning of a long awaited peak in my fitness. The hard work I've been doing for so many years, battling injury after injury. Training my hard heart out. Battling a huge lack of confidence in myself and my capabilities. It was all about to really start paying off.
2 Huge Pr's at the 10k distance. Not just placing, but winning my Age Group. I never ever ever thought this would be me. For the first time in SO long I have this new fearless mindset. It's ok to feel that burn, to push beyond what you think you can do. Even if the bonk happens. Even if the disappointment happens again. It's ok. As long as you gave it your all, that is what matters.
Maybe pulling out of the half ironman last year lit a fire in me. After working so hard and having my health get in the way I was on a mission. I dug deep and pulled something out of me, and now that I have it, I'm having so much fun with it!!
On another note, I think giving up on racing ironman for a year is balancing me out. I'm having so much more fun with my workouts. While I'm still following a kinda schedule, no coach, but I have in my head an outline of what I should be doing, I can change my mind without stress.
I'm heading to masters almost every week 3 times. I show up, get in the pool & do what I'm told. And I push the bar. When she says level 5 I am gasping for air. I'm not worried about pooping out. I just simply DO it. And you know what?! I have my 100's down to the 1:24-1:26 pace for level 5. And not just one of them, multiple.
I'm running on a whim. Sometimes even letting my dogs decide which road they want to turn down. I don't care about the pace, or time or distance... I'm enjoying it, and I think they are too.
I'm listening to a new cycling guru that is helping Shane & I. He said no big chain ring. Spin, Spin, Spin. I'm slower than I've been in a long time, but I am finally seeing the hard work pay off. I'm no longer scared of changing something to loose ground. I'm just having faith.
In 2 weeks I will be doing something that if you asked me to do a year ago I would have laughed at you. A group of us are heading to Tucson to ride up Mount Lemon. It's about 6000ft of climbing over 26 miles. I'll be riding my road bike that I loath. It's too big for me, it's heavy & it's only a 9 speed. And, I have crappy stock wheels to boot. And you know what, I'm not even scared. I'm just going to DO it. I might be the last one up the hill, but I don't care.
2 weeks after that Shane & I are doing the tour de Phoenix bike race. My second bike race ever, only this time I get to start with the fast people. I have no idea if I will be able to hang on our not, but you only live once right?
And 2 weeks after that is my biggest challenge (mental) of all. I found my big girl pants and did the unthinkable. I officially registered for the Rocky Point Triathlon. Something I've sworn up and down I would NEVER EVER do. I've raced the 10k several times. I've biked on a relay team. But, after a horrible horrible experience where I was stung by a sting ray a couple years ago, I just thought I could never bring myself to do this race. To tempt fate & swim in that water.
After multiple people questioning my reasons for not doing it, I realized how ridiculous I was being. So, I found my big girl pants and I did it. No turning back now. And just like that, I'm in. It might seem like a small thing to some, but to me it's like a mountain I'm climbing over.
The craziest part about it all - I'm not all that scared... yet.
I know that my PR's and race achievements can't last forever. I know I can't push myself all the time. But, for now I'm so happy with the confidence it has given me to do things I said I didn't care about. To do things that are fun and not worry about the small things.
I've said before, and I think I'm really keeping to my word. This year is about getting my love for racing back. Going back to my roots. Enjoying all of it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I'm finding the athlete I think I lost somewhere along the way..... This time, I don't plan on letting her go.