Don't Call it a Comeback

Don't call it a comeback
I been here for years
Rockin my peers and puttin suckas in fear
Makin the tears rain down like a MON soon
Listen to the bass go BOOM
Explosion overpowerin
Over the competition I'm towerin

-LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out
So, I've been gone for a few months.

And now I'm back.
But, in the words of Mr. LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback.

After all, I been here for years. 

. . . Which is how long it feels since the 2012 Baldwin Park Sprint Triathlon.  I never wrote my race report - but, the crazy thing is, this race is one of the most report-worthy I've ever raced.  In fact, it's that way EVERY year.  Last May, before I did this race, I made major life decisions. This May, I made some even bigger decisions.
I have to tell you - my training suffered.  A move across town, a new job, the end of the teaching semester, getting ready for my own graduate coursework, and the end of my research project - plus some other personal revelations, doctor's visits, waiting to find out if I needed another radioactive iodine scan - that all really took its toll on my body, heart and soul.  This year, more than ever, I was reminded of the power of the mind-body connection.  I think back to the days when I really struggled, physically and emotionally, and I realize now how connected they really are.

I still signed up for the race.  And I honestly felt a little worried that it wouldn't end up well.  A tiny little part of me wanted to crawl into a cocoon and cry and drink until I didn't know where I was.

As you might recall, someone - a FEW someones, actually -  had told me, rather innocuously, that they didn't think I should make the move from Athena to Age Group because I would have a better chance of placing in Athena.

Something like this happened in my head:

Mama said knock you out
I'm gonna knock you out

There were a few goofy moments where I stumbled over myself in transition, and a bummer when a friend in a younger age group passed me on the run despite my massive lead on the bike, but it was truly the most confident I've ever felt on a race course. When I crossed the finish line in 1:12 and change - a 12-minute PR over last year - I was all smiles.  A guy stopped me and told me that he had to tell himself I was a pro to feel better about how I handed him his ass on the bike course.

But don't call it a comeback

I watched a few acquaintances come in and then stumbled over to the tent to check out my results.  I fully expected to be top 3, given last year's results.  Usually, women 30-34 are not the fastest.  We typically get beat by 35-39 and 40-45.  But when I looked down at the sheet, the #1 woman had finished FOUR MINUTES FASTER THAN I DID. 

Damn.  Bitches be trippin'.

Correction:  bitches be FLYIN'.

And then I realized

I was 5th. 

I had just successfully transitioned from top Athena to top AG.

And THEN I realized


In a race where my age group was the fastest or second-fastest age women of the entire race

(Later on I realized I was 8th place out of all women on the bike and about 18th overall.)

The funny part? I weigh under 150 some days when I'm buck naked, but with clothes on - especially with shoes on - by weight, I am a true Athena.

Mama said knock you out
I'm gonna knock you out

The one big takeaway: I was disproportionately slower on the run and swim. I already bumped up my strength routine. So I was left with a decision to make a dedicated effort on those two sports.  I took a couple light recovery-ish type days and planned a 4-week, 10,000-yard-a-week swim block.

How'd that go? As of this moment, I've swam 11,000 yards more in 2012 than I swam in ALL of 2011.  I'm still 500 miles shy of my all-2011bike totals and 320 miles shy of my all-2011 run numbers - but I'll get there.  Next year, I want my run and my swim to be as strong as my bike.

And next week, I start training for my 5th marathon, the December Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama.  On the way, I had so much fun at the BP tri, I decided to do the BP Half Marathon.

We'll call it a 4.5-month run block.

But don't call it a comeback.

PS - if you haven't before, go read about my hero and fellow thyroid cancer survivor, as well as fellow fall risk, Kristin McQueen.  You'll thank me.

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