I've been thinking a lot about how my racing will be shifting soon, and I'll be saying goodbye to long course triathlon for a while. I am completely, 100% ready to do this. This is all supposed to be fun, and quite frankly, it hasn't been as fun as I had hoped. However, I'm fully ready to admit that this could be because I had a baby 5 1/2 months ago, and am still attempting to get used to the chaos that is our new normal with two kids under three years old, not to mention still try to get into racing shape. I'm happy to report that I am officially, as of yesterday, 50 pounds down even. 10 more to go until I'm where I started, and then hopefully another five by next May.
Every time I ride, run, or swim, I try to think about what it's worth to me. Sometimes it is a hard swim set or a set of intervals on my trainer that get me thinking. Yesterday it was 4.7 (almost pain-free!) miles on the trainer and today it was just shy of 60 miles with two good friends, my IMW training pal from '06, IronJohnny and my friend Martha who amazes me. She amazes me because she is going to do Ironman Kentucky in 2 weeks (and kill it, in my opinion) with twin daughters who are 2 years old.
Because I did Ironman with no kids at home, and that was hard enough for me. But twin two-year-olds? Unbelievable. As I am learning, training with a two year old is quite challenging. It involves getting up really, really, really early to squeeze in as much as you can before he gets up, then rushing home, and then before you can have any food or even change out of your nastiness and perhaps shower, kicking the soccer ball around for a while and then playing cars (while trying to sneak in some semblance of a recovery drink or food). Gone are the days where I could come home to an empty house and soak in an ice bath while drinking a recovery drink, and then lounge on the couch and let my legs relax. I'm lucky to be able to sit much at all before about 9pm at this point, and I love it. But it is quite tiring, and very different than me version 2006.
Which leads me to my next point: my husband is a saint. So is my Mom, who watches Jackson while I swim laps at the pool. Without them, I'd never ever ever make it to the start line of this race.
I'm looking at less than a month until Rev3, and I'm kind of up and down about it. On one hand, I am super excited to see my teammates and my CLE tri peeps. On the other hand, I'm trying to figure out how to both push myself a bit but be realistic. I'm on this see-saw daily (and it seems to switch back and forth every day) between deciding to kill this race and go out with a bang--leave it all on the course and try to PR. But then other days I am so exhausted and burned out and feeling guilty about training so much while Matt and my Mom watch my two monkeys. And I just want to get it over with.
That's no way to prepare yourself for a race.
I'm trying really hard to switch my mindset away from guilt and burnout to motivation and desire. I want to make this worth it. Worth all the early mornings, worth all the time that Matt and my Mom spent so I could train. Worth the time away from Bug and Bean.
It needs to be worth it.
I felt so good on my run yesterday and on the last third of my ride today. It was the me that wants this. I like that me better, anyway.
I know I'm done with 70.3s for a while after this race. I'm tired. I don't like 3.5 hour rides anymore. I need to balance what I'm juggling here, and to do things the way I want I need to back away and focus a little more. Some people can train and work full time and raise little ones and absolutely inspire and blow me away with it all, but right now I know in my heart I just can't do long course the way I want to do it.
My body is as ready as it is going to be. I know in my heart I am strong and I have made some really good progress since Emery was born in February. Now, I need to work on my head. I'm going to focus on positive thinking from here on out--no more of this, "I'm tired, I'm burned out, blah blah blah." Because I've done all the training. I've put in the time. It's (almost) over, and my body is ready.
I need to make this worth it. I need to say goodbye to this distance on a good note. I really believe in my heart that I can. My body has tried to show me repeatedly this summer that it is much stronger than I know.
So whatever happens on September 12th, know that I will leave everything out there. I have to, or I wouldn't feel right leaving the distance behind for a while. Because, as Pre said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
Whatever happens, it will be worth it. All of it.
It has to be.