Reflecting on the Good From The Race

Before I begin, let me just note that a lot of this was inspired by Tea's post. You really should read it. I mean it, dammit. Everyone knows that Tea and IM Able are my heroes.

I relate on so many different levels to everything she says. This is one key idea: "I surprised even myself at times when I really kinda wanted to stop running. I simply turned my thoughts inward and removed all the negative thoughts." The other is that I am DEFINITELY a better triathlete than runner and I do like it more. The other is that I really know the feeling of needing to place an emergency call, only mine was for HEAT! I won't see 30 degrees for 2 more months.

This post really means a lot to me personally. I'm SO glad Tea shared it. As I'm sitting here wallowing in my (very quickly fading) misery, I'm reading her words and Mr. Tea's words. "How many people can do that for a race they didn't even train for?" And I keep thinking: "Wow, why wasn't I thinking that yesterday?" And I'm also thinking, "I ran consistent training runs at 9.75-10.5 paces for weeks. Whether I finish or not at Philly, even though I didn't PR at the half, that consistency says more about my fitness level than the race result."And that's exactly what it means for Tea. Whether she finishes (and she will), what matters the most is the consistency, the dedication and the effort that she provided to get here, and what I think matters even more than that is her ability to enjoy the beauty of just training, racing, learning and growing. What makes her inspiring to so many of us is that she has this ability to see and share the sheer love of the sport that she's cultivated and continues to cultivate over the miles, and to effectively separate the victories that are often buried within what seem to be defeats. Remember that quote she used to have on her blogspot? You have to be an Ironman in your heart before you can be one on the course? I have no doubt that she already is one at heart. And Mr. Tea knows it and her kids know it, and I know it, too.

So, in that spirit, here's what was great about the race:
  • Despite weeks of blood pressure readings that would send most people to the hospital, I managed to run 2-3 times per week.
  • Despite that and not feeling good (or awake) for the past month, I managed to train at a 9.75-10.5/mile pace consistently.
  • Despite several injuries, I was about to build up my long runs to double digits in only about 3 weeks.
  • I did this all while working full time, going to college, and dealing with my mental health and pending divorce.
  • I made it to the race.
  • I logged another 1/2.
  • I learned that I am a better triathlete than runner.
  • With all that and despite my extended taper (an entire week of no running), I finished the race.
  • As Tea said, at least during the race, "I surprised even myself at times when I really kinda wanted to stop running. I simply turned my thoughts inward and removed all the negative thoughts."
  • Despite all those factors, plus rain through the first 9 miles, AND despite the mud so bad at the finish that they had to have someone hose all our feet and shoes off, AND crooked nipples, mystery chafe and race crank, I only finished 5 minutes slower than last year.
  • I am now motivated to amp my training back up for Philly.

AND MY FAVORITE and what I think is THE BIGGEST accomplishment:

  • I ran every single hill with no walking, very little discomfort, and actually passed some people on some hills.

I also learned that sound machines and sleep masks are my best friend. Early bed for Meggan today - I have a test tomorrow and about 300 pages of reading to catch up on.

1 tidbits of wizdom:

IM Able said...

**** NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT!!!!! ****

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