I feel as if I've said this enough times that everyone already knows this, but I wanted to write out an entire full blog about the reasoning behind it. The original plan was to do a video which I recorded on my DSLR camera only to find out that update for iMovie10.2 doesn't work with my camera anymore and crashes it every time. AH! Gotta figure that out!
So, I first want to say that I am SO excited for this. I cannot believe that it's finally here, and I couldn't be more thrilled that I get to hold in my heart that I've done this forever. I want to speak these truths now so that someone (most likely my husband) can let me review them if I ever get crazy ideas in my head again.
I am someone that decides that I have a dream and what I want my life to look like, and then after the fact I decide if that's really something that makes sense for my life. Pharmacy school is a great example of this. I wasn't good at science in elementary, middle or high school but when I graduated from high school, I knew that I was going to go into the medical field. The journey was really really hard, and I attribute that to the fact that I didn't listen to my heart. I just did what I thought was this idea of success and what I needed to achieve and that when I got into it, I would like it.
I think that we all have a tendency to live our life and look at it through this looking glass of like what makes us successful without even realizing it. Our entire society is structured off of it as we climb the ladder in school, and then start off into the "real world." Stay at home moms will discuss all the time how they feel they have lost their identity because we all just want to BE somebody. I think even deeper down we want to be successful so that we can feel needed and loved and like we belong to something.
Since I began in the endurance world, my mantra has been that. I have continually climbed the endurance ladder with things getting harder and harder. Each milestone that I would reach I would think how it just keeps getting better and then I would sign up for more and more and more...until I finally got to the pinnacle of endurance, The Ironman.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into or how much it would change me in good and not so great ways. However, here are some things to consider:
1. START LISTENING TO YOURSELF
Finishing an ironman has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Enjoying the steps to get to an ironman is never even something that I considered. I just knew that I would put in the work and get it done. The older I get, the more silly this becomes. As I was on this journey, I found myself retracting more and more of not even wanting to talk about it because I knew that so many others are able to do this well and enjoy it, so what was wrong with me?
I am someone that runs with so much passion. I love running so much, and we all know that biking is the part that I've struggled with, but I got to thinking about those people in my life who say they wish that they could run like I do and I would always just like "well just try. Just give it more than one mile" and while I do believe that, I think that there also just needs to be an element of acceptance. If you try something and you just don't enjoy it, then that's okay. That doesn't mean that you are "less than" because you don't do a full marathon or if 5K is your stopping place. Social media makes us believe that we just have to do more more more. We all know this, but yet we still let it get to us and make us believe lies about ourselves.
2. WHEN YOU DON'T LISTEN, YOU FEEL ISOLATED
Reaching goals is one thing, but you need to enjoy the journey. I have realized that this is a journey that I honestly didn't love and it made me feel really alone. I felt as if the people doing ironmans were enjoying them, and the people that weren't doing it were thinking "Yea you're crazy AF and should have known this was stupid." When you run marathons, you become friends with marathoners and you rally together to make one another feel good. There are few people in the ironman boat that I could say "I don't know what to do because I kind of want to quit, but I'll never quit, so I'm just gonna keep going." I would talk to Tanner and of course he was super encouraging, but he doesn't understand endurance. I would point blank tell him that I needed words of encouragement more than anything so when I would come in from 2-2.5 hours of exercise every single day sometimes ending at 9pm, he would say "I'm so proud of you. You have no idea." and it kept me going. I know no one cares, but like that's why I don't post as much. I just haven't felt like myself for so long, and it all started 6 months ago when I began this journey.
3. YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL CONSTANTLY DRAINED
This is the weird part about me is that I kind of enjoyed this. I knew that I was working so hard, and my body was like YEP YOU SURE ARE. But it was like satisfying and I was just so proud each week that I would do these huge workouts. The CRAZIEST part is that my peak weekend, I didn't feel that. It was like I really had trained my body to reach that pinnacle, and that felt the best of all. I had done it. I had made it.
4. THERE'S NOT TIME FOR MUCH OF ANYTHING BUT TRAINING
I used to do volunteer work. I used to be really in touch with everyone at my church. I just can't do anything. It's work and training. I have literally zero balance, and it's not because I don't want it. I'm constantly fighting for it, but there are only so many hours in the day. I used to see my family more, and I just keep saying "It's almost done y'all. It's almost here!" but I feel like I've been saying that for half of my life in everything.
If I can just reach this point, I'll relax. If I can just reach HERE, I'll be the girl that I know I am deep down and be able to have the time to cook my husband dinner or just hang out on the couch. Ironman allows for none of that. I wasn't over training. I honestly was under training in comparison to every training program I found online, but it's still at least 15-20 hours per week of training. Every Saturday is taken. I couldn't go on weekend trips without feeling super behind. I couldn't go to my cousins soccer games on Saturday mornings because even if I start at 5am on the trainer, I'm still going to be training until like 2pm. Like WHAT?
5. I JUST WANT TO MAKE MY HUSBAND WAFFLES ON A SATURDAY MORNING
I think this one kind of summarizes where my head space is at. Marathons are so manageable for me. It takes me at most 2 hours on a Saturday morning to knock at a long run, and I'm good to go for the rest of the weekend. I just simply became REALLY burnt out, and it turned me off from fitness entirely. I began to hate training. I began to resent it for the time that I was spending away from family and friends. I started to have a poor attitude during training thinking "This is so silly. It's just too much."
I hope you're not a new follower reading this because then you are going to think that I'm just a really negative person. I PROMISE you that's not the case. I guess that's my entire point is that it's made me feel that way and I'm like WHO IS THIS GIRL!?
6. MARATHONS ARE CALLING MY NAME
I went to Chicago last week, and as I was observing the runners I was like "Yes. THIS IS WHERE I BELONG!" I felt at home. I felt at peace with who I was as an athlete. I am a runner. I want to qualify for NYC. I want to run Chicago and London and Berlin and Twin Cities and Charleston and Savannah and NYC! WOO!! I have so many marathons to run!
My point of all of this is to say that if you evaluate where you're at, and you decide that it's not the person that you wanted to be and you find that you really aren't enjoying the course that your life is taking, it's okay to hang up the shoes and say "I'm sorry, but I just can't anymore." That's how I feel about tri. It's just not me, so I'm going to stop forcing it.
This is the CRAZIEST blog to write one week out from an ironman because while I feel all of these things, I'm about to jump for joy that I get to participate in this. I am envisioning myself swimming in that open water which I absolutely LOVE, and riding the bike down those beautiful roads, and then getting to my love at the end!! AHHH IT'S SO DANG EXCITING!!!
I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!! I'm probably more proud of myself than I've ever been before.