Monday, April 09, 2007

From February 12, 2007....

And, my friends, it was RIGHT about NOW that I started to hit some reality. And it totally messed with my head. And continues to mess with my head. Meet Sara, the Pregant Ironman who has no freakin' clue how to NOT follow a plan. It's quite sick, actually. :) Enjoy my floundering. I'm sure I'm not done yet.


For starters, here's what NOT to say to a room full of 9th graders in the computer lab, after a few students took the little balls out of the computer mouse and threw a few:

"That's enough. The next one I see gets a detention. I don't want to see ANY LITTLE MOUSE BALLS flying anywhere across this room."

*cue 15-year-old laughter*

Over the past few days, I've been getting my monthly Outside Magazine, Athleta Catalogue, and YogaLife. I can't help, as I flip through the pages, wondering what I'll be able to still do, and what I won't. I also can't help being a little scared of this: that there might be some things I can't do again--or at least for a very long time.

Backpack the Grand Canyon? Probably not. Not for a while at least. Thursday night yoga with my friends? Most likely on hold. Email on Friday--"meeting up for Happy Hour at such and such! Meet us there!"--OK! I'm so there! Not even a second thought! Probably gone.

I know that this seems pretty naive, to think I can try to predict what being a mother will be like, and what it will do to my life. I'm sure that next year at this time I'll probably laugh at all the things I thought I could...and could NOT do. I'm sure that some mothers out there are probably already laughing at my feeble attempts to predict the future.

I can't seem to help it...I'm a goal-oriented girl, after all. And the number one goal on my list at the moment?

Ironman Florida, 2008.

And this is starting to worry me a bit. Am I nuts? Can I do it? Probably. Do I want to? I think so.

Is that enough?

Why do I want this?

If I had to try and put it into words, I'd have to say I want it because the amazing emotional rush of the day, the romance and culmination of several years coming together, the feeling of being so alive and feeling so much gratitude and amazement and wonder all at once is hard to turn down. Especially, when you know, as I do, that I could do it even better.

I am certain, without a doubt, that I could take at least an hour, and more likely an hour and half, off my IM time in another go. I know this because I know myself. I know what happened that day, I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses, and I know what I'd do differently.

I knew what would happen in my second marathon, and it happened. And the second marathon was even more amazing than the first, for that reason. All my potential, all my hard work, all my sacrifice and dreams came true and 56 minutes were gone.

I know I could do this at another Ironman. I know it.

So here's the quandry.

When is "just knowing" enough?

And when is "just knowing" being weak, and bowing out?

I am absolutely, 100% incapable of half-assing anything that I do. Anything. Ever.

I don' t know if I want to do another IM for the right reason. I said myself, over and over again this summer, how I didn't know how people did it with kids, with full time jobs, and everything else Ironmen do.

I'm going to have a baby.

A little person, completely dependent upon me and my husband. I can't possibly sit here and say I understand what I'm getting myself into here, because I know that I haven't got a clue.

I'm going to take on a very challenging position at work, teaching 3 classes of AP US History. I'm excited and also a little scared of this challenge--especially seeing as it is coming when I'm expecting my first child. It will be a HUGE change from what I'm used to.

I'm also a friend, a wife, a sister, an aunt, and a daughter.

My biggest fear is, if I took on another Ironman right away, I'd have to half-ass something. And I would hate that. I would hate every minute of that.

Maybe what's better for me right now is to accept that I might need to make a game time decision. That I will do IM #2 someday, when it's right, and not just as soon as possible so I don't "just know" and I "just do." Maybe that' s not the right reason.

I remember getting back to the car with Iron Johnny after a 2 hour hilly Hinckley run in 90 degree heat on a Sunday, after doing a 7 hour brick the day before. I remember laughing, as we high-fived each other (because we ALWAYS did when we finished a workout, no matter what), and saying, "If I ever, EVER complain about marathon training 'taking up too much time,' please smack me. Hard."

Maybe what's best is to "just" do 70.3s for a while, go for the sub-4 marathon, heck, go for the sub-23 minute 5K. Accept that Ironman is Ironman, and I know myself, and I already know that I respect the distance. There is no half-assing Ironman. And, for me, there's no half-assing life. Period.

Maybe it will just fit in when it fits in, and, much like it did the first time, Ironman will find me when I'm ready.



Wil said...

Remember the first time you realized that you weren't going to be able to plan Ironman... that you'd do your best, but at the end of the day it just wasn't up to you? And you realized then, that this was the best part of the whole damn thing... yeah, It's kinda like that ;) Let it be and enjoy it sis, you always find your way.

Wes said...

Yea, what Wil said. Sometimes you get to paddle, sometimes you get to steer, but often you just sit back and relax and let life carry you along and enjoy the ride.

I'm 41, working towards my first Ironman. How many can you do by then? LOL. I luv the insight you are sharing with us.

Mallie said...

I don't think there's any real problem with setting a goal of Ironman 2008. I've seen new mom friends accomplish some fantastic athletic endeavours in as little as six months post-birth. So you're are a lot of us. If planning and lists and being anal work for you now, they'll certainly work for you as a mom and as an athlete with a child!

I haven't forgotten your new header. It's a work in progress!

Joe said...

> When is "just knowing" enough?
> And when is "just knowing"
> being weak, and bowing out?

You are a mother now (well, almost) so I think you can allow yourself to be happy with "just knowing". If the stars align correctly, you might be able to do the ironman but don't feel bad if it doesn't happen. You've got the whole rest of your long life to do another ironman. Don't sweat it. Just enjoy the motherhood ride.

Robin said...

Yeah, what Wil said. One of the biggest lessons of motherhood for me was learning to give up control. You may have a baby who enjoys going along for the ride and training will be a snap (I had one of those). You may have a baby who is very high-needs, has issues, doesn't sleep, and getting time to train will be difficult and you will be tired and drained (I had one of those too!) You do not know what hand of cards you will be dealt, so just let it be what it is, and enjoy where it takes you. There will be time for the Ironman to find you when it is right for you.

Triteacher said...

I hear you. Even though I'm not "preggers," I run the same wheel of "When is just knowing enough?" I think we have the same gene for goal-obsessing. Heartfelt "good luck" to you!

teacherwoman said...

Congrats on expecting a little one! I haven't checked your blog in a while and felt totally out of the loop when I read this post! How exciting!

stronger said...

You can still backpack the Grand Canyon- with the baby in the kid carrier back pack. You can still do yoga throughout the pregnancy and beyond and mayby your baby will end up doing downward dog right along side of you. You've got a 6 month training plan to follow, right? Prepare for THIS Ironman...Labor and delivery. :)

stronger said...

...and then someday you'll finish your training at 10:30 at night because first you had to put the kids to bed and clean up the mess before getting on the trainer while he/she sleeps...and you forget how to spell maybe. Good thing you are a teacher.

qcmier said...

Oh I have many of the same thoughts on IM. Not sure if I will step up to IM again.

Oh and back in my college days, "little mouse balls" always elicited a snicker.

Coach Tammy said...

You'll still be able to do those things... (well, except the drinking part) if you want to. I've never been pregnant *knocks on wood*, but I have friends who have, and who kept physical activity a priority. They accomplished amazing things, and are great Moms! Ok, I'm only thinking of one person, but she's amazing none-the-less. It's ok to keep active during pregnancy as long as you were active prior. *consult your physician, but that's what I've been taught at Bastyr*