Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pushing Past Fear

I swam in the lake tonight with my Love. His Mom and our kids watched from the car.

I felt okay in my new wetsuit. It is a little big on me. But it's much better than what it could be considering it's a men's suit cut down for this short girl.

But here's the deal. I am afraid this time. Last time I did a triathlon I had a book that I worked through. I read it and diligently did every single workout faithfully. When it came time for race day I knew I was physically ready to do the race.

This time my fitness level was already beyond the book so I did different workouts, added some classes, and focused more on my nutrition. I haven't spent as much time swimming, biking or running as I would have liked. I got sick a couple of weeks ago and spent most of it resting instead of getting in several more good workouts. We also went camping, did fun family stuff, and listened to the kids when they said they were sick of going to the Kroc (where I work out).

I was talking to a friend tonight I told her I was struggling with acknowledging that this triathlon isn't going to be much different than last year. I am just going to have to focus on finishing. Why? Because I have a life apart from biking, running, and swimming. My three little boys need their mom. I want to be there for them. When I push hard in my training like I have the last few days, I have SO much less energy to attend to them and I hate it. I have already decided that the majority of tomorrow will be spent snuggling, playing cards, and generally hanging out with them. Same for Friday. I have a bike ride to do tomorrow morning but other than that, and a few more loads of what seems like endless laundry, THEY will be my focus, not this silly race.

They are the reason I do this stuff. It sounds a little wacky, but as a former executive secretary and couch potato I knew I wanted more for my kids and I than a sofa-surfin' life. I want to run with them, kick the soccer ball around and be generally able to race them and at least keep up! Sure, I could have just picked one sport, but really, I get bored with exercise fairly easily. I don't find it terribly fun. With cross-training like this plus strength training I am always doing something different.

I really thought I would weigh less by the time I did another triathlon. I thought I would just be smaller and therefore faster than I was. I am not. Not much has changed. I believe I am stronger and more confident in my bike and swim. My run is just what it is, a slow steady pace for a girl who has half her body weight to lose.

Someone asked me today if I was bothered about it being here locally. I said no, but now that I think about it... nope. "I yam what I yam" to quote Popeye. I have nothing to hide and nothing to bare. I am just me. Working hard for fitness, completing a goal and pushing past comfort zones (mine and the people watching my curvaceous self).

Back to my messed up head...
What the heck is my problem? The negative self talk is pounding at me like a hammer. Like Energizer bunnies the questions and fear bang in my head: Will I be able to do this? My anxiety is literally off the charts (went to bed last night almost shaking), the fear of wiping out due to exhaustion, and the questions in my head about is this all worth it?

These "bunnies" that I would normally shoot down with scriptural bullets are evading destruction. So, on some level I am agreeing or entertaining them still.


If I take a deep breath, I look at the over 900 minutes I have spent training in just the last 5 weeks (about 15 hours) I am well aware that I can do this race. Would I love to be more fit and more trained sure, but I already gave you the reasons above why I am not.

Bottom line: I have not reached my own expectations of where I thought I would be in fitness or weight/size. I am disappointed and because I didn't do it "by the book" this time, I have no real concrete thing I can point to that says "You're ready!" (insert big fake grin here)

I will push past the fear because I KNOW I CAN.

I need to spend the next couple of days hunkered down in what/who I know God has called me to be as a wife, mom and athlete. Like my friend Iron Tony (Ironman 2010 finisher and my coach on bike and swim) says, "Freak out now! Go on, get it all out! Now....relax. Breathe. Reflect on your training. The race is nothing more than a 2+ hr training day. You've put in the hrs. You're golden!"

He's right.

Now I have to go shoot the "bunnies".

If you want to help me shoot the "bunnies" leave me a note - anonymous or otherwise letting me know if I have encouraged you at all in this crazy journey I am on!

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