Today is a bittersweet day. It was supposed to be my first Ironman 70.3. Steelhead.
It’s not my first DNS. (Did Not Start.) There are plenty of races I’ve signed up for that I didn’t race, for one reason or another. That happens when you’re impulsive and sign up for races often. Steelhead was not an impulsive decision. I had an incredible coach, I was fundraising for a good cause, and I was dedicated to my training. But my body said, “Lauren, knock it off,” and I decided to listen.
Okay, so I’m not donning my wetsuit and jumping into Lake Michigan today. That doesn’t take away the hours and hours of training I logged to try to read my goal, or the lessons I learned along the way.
In an attempt to stay positive today, here are the things I learned about life, triathlon, and myself during training… in no particular order.
I am a badass. I mean, I kind of knew that already, but there were so many training days that proved to me how tough I am.
I can ride 63.66 miles on a bicycle. At one time. And then I can still walk.
You have to know when to call it a day. Sure, there’s a chance I could have made it to the starting line this morning. But there’s also a chance that pushing it that hard could have meant ignoring my UC and putting myself in the hospital. Pushing yourself is a really important part of endurance sports. But so is knowing when to stop pushing yourself.
I can swim half a mile in open water in 18 minutes. I took more than five minutes off my open water swim time this year!
Drinking water is important. A lot of water. Way more water than I ever thought I needed.
Left to his own devices, Goose makes really awesome signs.
Don’t let the teenage boy do your body marking at a race. If he is your only choice, make sure you repeat your race number several times.
The most difficult decisions to make are the most important ones. I’ll admit I’ve been a little weepy this weekend. I cringed when I checked the weather and saw today’s high of 74 degrees in St. Joseph. (Come on, seriously?! In August? I checked the weather to make me feel better.) A few times, I wistfully thought, “I should be checking in now,” or “We should be leaving for St. Joe now.” But at the end of the day, I know that the decision not to race was the right one.
I am almost back to being 100% again (yay!), and I am more aware of my body’s limits. I learned about my arthritis and my body’s extreme reaction to heat. Now I know how to better prepare myself in racing situations, and just how far I can push my body before it starts pushing back. Best of all, not racing due to my UC gave me the push I needed to start getting involved with CCFA. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
What have you learned from tough situations? Is there anything awesome in your life that a difficult decision lead you to discover?