(yes, I heard N-Sync on the radio the other day…but I digress)
It’s been about one year.
That’s how long it’s been and funny, the weather has been eerily identical to the day I crashed. Rainy, drizzly, cold – icky.
But, a lot else has changed. I’ve taken a break from blogging because I’ve been processing. I’ve actually been processing for a year, and you just can’t go through a life-changing event without, well, changing.
First off – I’m so thankful to be here and to have recovered so darn quickly. I still have numbness in my chin, lower lip and forehead. I have a perma-lump on my thigh…but otherwise, I feel good. Really a gift from the universe.
I’ve done multiple running events — had fun at half-marathons, did the indoor tri with my kids and even ran the Boston marathon (now that was an amazing experience) — and feel capable. I have my days, but we all do.
Nothing to complain about, but then…
I get on my bike.
Now let me start with the fact that I’ve never loved riding my bike. It was something to overcome. Lately, it’s been worse – worse than starting over. I can’t quite explain. I’ve had bouts of dizziness, but that’s not all.
It’s not that I’m psychologically freaked out by riding – well, my legs do freeze up and I get butterflies in my stomach occasionally while on the bike. Not the good kind of butterflies, either. I guess I feel unsafe and can really, truly visualize the consequences if things go wrong. It’s not a theoretical.
In training for Ironman Boulder 703., coming up in just 2 weeks, I’ve hit a couple 2-hour rides and frankly, couldn’t wait until they were over. It’s not just the uneasiness that permeates the whole ride, but the fact that I just don’t love riding my bike. I’d rather run, do the incline or hike another beautiful trail than spend miserable hours on the road on the bike where I don’t feel like I can look around without risking my safety. I really can see how someone would enjoy biking – so don’t get me wrong – it’s free and a bit wild. It’s just not for this girl who isn’t a fan of skiing or rollercoasters either.
I also have to admit – biking makes me a bit bored.
This last Thursday, I realized:
- I don’t have to put myself through this. Triathlon is supposed to be fun for me. I’m not going to win anything. If it isn’t fun, WHY am I doing it?
- I’ve proved I can overcome fear on the bike. I’ve done a few structured rides — the MS 150, Elephant Rock (twice). All of these were something I had to prove to myself I could do. I proved.
- Heck, I’m an Ironman. I don’t need to do it again.
The thought of 3 hour, 5 hour…6 and 7 hour training rides fill me with dread. These rides aren’t fun events, they’re a cross to bear. But it’s been borne – and I’m done.
Yes, I’m giving up triathlon…at least for now. I’ve learned to never say never. I could very well get into an Olympic or Sprint for fun – or not.
It’s very much a relief to not be doing the race in a few weeks, but I do feel a little mournful. For four years, I’ve had triathlon on the brain – even last year after crashing I felt like it was still very much a part of my life. But, there’s so much more that I’ve put off to cycle and swim and run – I’m going to go find those things. Of course, I’ll still be training for the Ascent, a few halves and a fall marathon. I’m not going away, just shifting focus back to where it once was.
Triathlon has taught me a lot — most of all that I can overcome when I put my mind to it. But, when that drive goes….so do I.