What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Monday, June 22, 2015

IRONing things out.

Fuck. It's June 22nd.  and?  and.  and, well, I don't know. I just don't know. How did the first six months of 2015 escape me. I  moved again.  and it makes the ninth time.  I am so over it, but I wanted to be closer to work, closer to my absolute favorite place to ride, closer to my Joyful friend, and closer to the person that I actually call "home."  and he's exactly .2 miles away.  So it's like we're practically living together, but we're still in charge of our own laundry. And one day, I'll accidentally throw his whites in with my pinks, and I'll frantically call my mom to ask her how to get his clothes white again.  Guess I should invest in a lot of bleach.  {{{OH yeah.  Remember my duct tape post? #9? I am single again...apparently you CAN have more than one true love. I hope I find him.}}} Um. Turns out that your one true love, can actually be your only true love. And that if you do lose each other, you can find each other again. And I can thank God for that.
*I really do need to say thank you to one particular piece of duct tape that held me together during a very shitty time.  I love you Joy. Thank you for helping me to "fill up those balloons and let them go." 

Ok. So. Now. June 22nd.  You are up to speed on my personal life, you really didn't miss out on much. Now, for the good stuff. training.  racing. Ironman. What's up with all of that? Since deciding in October to stay off the bike, and out of my running shoes, I turned my focus to the gym.  More specifically the weight room, 6 days a week. There were days that my entire cardio routine consisted of 10 minutes on the stair master, then 2 hours lifting, pumping iron. lol Yes, my skinny butt is tougher than you think! And when I decided to return to cycling and running, I was scared that I had lost all of my fitness and would be starting all over again.  But that didn't happen. It was as if I never took the time off.  I couldn't believe it.  I feel so much stronger on the bike. I feel solid on the run.  and I don't feel injured. 2014 was a disaster. 3 hamstring tears, an adductor strain, a groin pull, high hamstring tendonapathy, bursitis and obturator nerve entrapment. But my stubborn ass listened to my doctors and I healed.  I still have a teeny, tiny, wee bit of annoyance on my right glute/hamstring, BUT it doesn't keep me away from what I love to do, and it continues to fade away with time.  I ran 14 miles Saturday. Rode 7 hours yesterday and I feel like a million dollars. I finally feel like a triathlete again. 

My biggest struggle these past few months, has been deciding whether or not I actually wanted to race another ironman this year. Three in five months last year was a blast, but I was hurt and I made things so much worse by being stubborn.  Forcing myself to R.E.S.T over the winter was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.  I have been an "ironman in training" since 2008. Rest is not a word in my vocabulary, never has been. My mom said I took my first steps at 6 months.  Not even as a frigging baby did I rest! BUT if I wanted to walk, let alone race again pain-free for the rest of my life, I had to rest. And I thought I was going to die. I really did. 

I have identified myself with some sort of endurance sport since 1998. I'm the girl that gets asked all the time, "You training for anything?  When's your next race?"  My friends had/have stopped asking me to do things socially because I would/will respond with a very apologetic "no, I have to get up early to train." So lame.  I was/have been so. fucking. lame.  Doing ironman is supposed to be for FUN.  I don't get paid.  I don't win.  Ironman is lonely.  and I hate being alone, so why did I choose to isolate myself so much, train alone, passing on invitations from friends to run or ride with them. Events of my past can definitely answer that question.  But it's the past.  I need to let go.  I need to LET IT ALL GO.  Easier said than done for me. I know. But I also know I am not alone with these types of struggles.  I know SO many people reading this right now feel the same way, throwing themselves so deeply into something to escape. It's easy to do. But you and I never really escape, do we? What we were running from just sits there, waiting patiently to make us feel worse. Which it often does. And at that point we really are capable of making a decision.  Keep running from your past wrinkles in life.  Or iron them out, once and for all.

Soooooo....will I do an ironman this year, now knowing what I know about myself?  I think so. Probably. Maybe? Right now I'm training for Redman (again) at the end of September. But if I decide later this summer that I don't want to do it, then I won't.  And I won't feel bad. Or guilty. OR that I am letting people down. Well, I might at first, but I know the right people to talk to about that, to get out of that old mindset and be OK with my choice.

I know for certain that I am doing two other triathlons this year. A 70.3 called Pigman with Joy. It's a fun distance for me. And she's a fun person, so it should be a blast! And then I am going to do...dare I say this...as I have declared that I would NEVER ever do this distance.  EVER.  [ENTER: HEAVY SIGH AND A DEEP BREATH] I am going to do ~ choking on my own words, eyes closed tight ~ A ... SPRINT! DISTANCE! TRIATHLON!  Holy shit. There.  I said it.  It's out.  I can now breathe.  I was originally going to race the Olympic distance. But for once, this race is not about me. I'm not. doing. it. for. me.

I will be a triathlete for someone else. A 29 year old named Andrew. He loves cats and the Beatles. He's a riot. He's funny. And he has cerebral palsy. So on Saturday, I will pull him in a raft. Pull him in a trailer hitched to the back of my bike (I hope he likes PINK!) And push him on wheels during the run.  And I can tell you right now that I will be a happy, emotional mess when we start, tearing up in my goggles, as I have at previous ironman races. My <<< triathlon jazz hands >>> will be wilder than ever, my arms will be raised higher in victory than any ironman finish. And you will see the biggest smile I have ever flashed, plastered to my face. I love this kid and I haven't even met him yet. He's my hero.  He's my inspiration. and he is the only reason that I will EVER do another Sprint again.  This race is about HIM. Not me. I will be his body, while he is my spirit on Saturday. And I'm going to proudly represent my team, #bettydesigns, fiercer than ever.

I would like to very humbly ask that you make a $10 donation to Athletes in Tandem, so that many  people like Andrew can experience the same joy and pride that we have all had the privilege of feeling.  We are all able to make the very conscious and often times, selfish choice to participate in triathlon.  We choose to feel that pain.  He does not.  He never did.  and wouldn't it feel good to share that pure joy we get when racing with someone else?  Please consider it. $10. The price of a lunch at work when you're too lazy to brown bag it.  The cost of a few Bonk Breakers and some gels to train and race with.  Please think about it. And if you are unable to donate financially, I absolutely understand.  So then I ask you to find a way to donate your time to the triathlon community. It's my family. And it can be yours too. 


1 comment:

Tom H from Chicago said...

I'm still reading you, KJ!!