It's been 17 months since I last wrote in my blog. Just recently, a few people have asked about it so I decided to give it a try. I write in my head all the time. I always have. It's what I do when I run. Not all days. Some days I am thinking about my family's schedule and if I can finish the planned run and still fit in a shower & get food ( I've even been known to eat handfuls of food while IN the shower.. it's true. Gross? Maybe-- but that's how many minutes I have some days and I get really hungry out there! ), some days I spend time just trying to nail intervals, and other days I'm just cruising along 'writing' in my head. The problem is, the time to sit and put it on 'paper' is scarce and to be honest, I also like to keep my thoughts to myself a lot.
A lot has happened over the year. I left off with this blog talking about my race Kona, Hawaii and at that time, declared "retirement" from Ironman. I didn't do that publicly. After all, nobody cares really except my close family. The thing is, I told Mark that and he just smirked at me. He simply said, "uh huh.." and nodded a knowing smile. What?? I mean it.... lol
Sure, Kona '14 was a tough one. Excuse me, to rephrase, it was a "rough one" for me. Kona is always tough. Racing 140.6 miles is tough period. But the fact that 10/11/14 wasn't my best day (it also wasn't my worst. It was just .. fine.) on race course wasn't why I thought I'd be hanging it up.
See the photo below? These guys. My 3 'little' boys. They are why I thought it would be best to stop. This was taken last summer. They're sitting so it's hard to tell. ( I just love the picture because it's at my favorite spot on the ocean. ) But they are small here compared to now. They have grown SO so much. Cameron and Tommy are quite a bit taller than I am now. And, they are Big. Just big strong boys. ( I'm 5'5"-- not tall by any means. But also not Too short! ) NIck is close to my height too. His feet are size 10 1/2 mens. MENS! He's 11. Yup. I have 3 Big boys now. (16, 14 and 12 next week ) And wow......
I thought life with little boys was busy. Ha. I had no idea. No idea!! And you know what else? Things are real. Issues are serious. It's not about who took the other kid's lego and broke it. It's about girlfriends and driving and what rumors may or may not be spreading about your child, for example. And, I didn't want to compromise my time or my energy with them and for them. I have three great boys. I will say that. I am proud of each of them and they are absolutely good boys. Sure, I'm Mom so my opinion is what it is. But they are straight shooting good children who are on a great track right now. That just doesn't mean it's easy.
With all that in mind, I took 2015 as my mellow year. I stepped back and did less. I raced the White Mountain Tri ( Half ironman distance ) in June and had a fun day there. I also raced a Very cool Adventure race called Sea2Summit. It was amazing. It was an endurance race without all the "tri" pressure. ( However, the girl I was head to head with actually raced in Kona in 2014 too... so mid-race the Tri - pressure reared it's head. Oh well.. )
We swam about 1/2mile in a river in southern Maine, rode 92 miles Up to Wildcat ski area in New Hampshire and then 'ran/ hiked/ crawled' our way UP Mount Washington to the summit!!! The thing about it? I don't even know what my time was!! I worked my tail off but it wasn't about time or any of the normal race day things. That day should and may be a blog post I go back to. We'll see.
Otherwise, I ran Beach2Beacon 10K with 2 of the boys. And 2 of the boys beat me. ha!! Not again! ( jk...lol...) see....teenager speak there. ;)
I also raced the Lobsterman Oly in September and am excited to say, I won!! It's a hometown race in some ways that I've been close to winning in the past so this totally reinvigorated me. And then, I raced a half marathon in October and had a PR. I was, once again, thrilled and reinvigorated.
Meanwhile.... during that time I watched a bunch of friends race Ironmans. And, I also received an email saying I qualified for the Boston Marathon with my run time in Kona. I didn't even know that was an option!!
My wheels were turning. My heart was aching with envy. I wanted to get back in the game. I still have unfinished business. Sure, I'm 46 now. But I'm not all washed up. I just raced a 10 miler in my hometown and had a PR. I have more in me. I love to race. I have to accept, it is who I am. It is what I do. I have realized, I am a better person, a better Mom even, when I am doing what I love while also raising and caring for them. My head is clear. My body is strong. I feel good about myself when I am working hard to achieve goals I set.
Over the past year or so, I have had to accept that sometimes you can't control loss. Even if you try to hold on and keep it with you, sometimes things go away on their own without explanation. But, this is something over which I do have control. I am in charge of my own success. I am the only person who really cares how fast I can swim 1000 yards or run 10 miles. I am also the only one who can control how hard I work. My kids and my husband support me, they enjoy the races & travel we are able to experience for them and I am still Mom whether or not I PR and win or not. My personal rule is that I don't ever miss any event of theirs or have them sacrifice for my training. I fit it all in around their lives and it all works just fine for us. Some days are harder than others!! But, hey that's what keeps life interesting. Challenges!!
And that's my story for 2016!! I have Accepted who I am and what I do and am going after it all once again.
First up- The Boston Marathon ( last time was 1995!! )
And summer's big goal is Ironman Mont Tremblant.
On that note--- time to hop on the bike!!