Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking Back

It's Thanksgiving week. Where has the year gone? It was only a year ago that I was recovering from Clearwater. It seems like just yesterday when I was starting my first training plan with Coach Jen. Just yesterday when I began training for my first Ironman.

And yet, so much has happened. It's been a huge 12 months for me in the sport of Triathlon.

I decided to look up the numbers. We all love numbers and stats. Here are mine for 2009 thus far.

616.5 hours of training
390, 483.6 yards of swimming
3,658.7 miles of biking
897.1 miles of running
2325.9 miles of Bricks
432.1 miles of Racing
The past year was different for me. It was all about Ironman. ALL about Ironman. I raced a few sprints and a few olympic distance races but I was forced to swallow my pride and accept that I was racing on "Ironman legs." I geared all my training to my two A race Ironmans. Was it worth it? Yes. I learned a lot about myself this past season. First, I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. I kind of already knew this about myself. I am typically very focused and ready for challenges. However, I was intimidated by the 140.6 mile race. I will not lie. I had no idea if my body would let me do that. With amazing guidance and training by Jen, unwavering support from my family, and complete determination and dedication on my own part, I did it. I am an Ironman. I love that. I love that I fought through long long days on the road alone, in cold rain, with aching legs and a tired mind. I love that I fought the demons that told me to stop along the way. I was nervous. I was scared. But I also knew I was prepared. I was strong. And I was not about to step back when the going got tough.
My first Ironman day was the most challenging athletic event of my life. I had to reach deeper inside my soul to pull out the strength to get to that fabulous finish line. But you know what, my second Ironman day, a mere 10 weeks later, was much tougher. Much much tougher. And yet, I did it.
The satisfaction that comes with fighting through those moments is irreplacable.
I will look back at my year a lot over the next month. I need to remember all that hard work and success. It is what will motivate me for 2010. I am sitting here feeling gross. Feeling frustrated and a bit depressed. This stress fracture is really getting to me. I need to run. I really need to run. I feel my fitness slipping away. For some reason, it is the running that makes me feel most fit. Ironically, about a week before my foot gave into the long season I gave it, I said to a friend, "I am going to swim and run my way into 2010." Ooops. Spoke to soon. (yes, kona did me in on the bike....that ride was just way too long that day.)
I will sit back and behave with my foot. I will swim, and bike, and lift. I will also keep things in perspective and remember all that 2009 did for me. It boosted me to a higher level. So once this foot is healed, watch out. I'm ready to hit 2010 full force. The new Ironman in my soul is ready to see what's next.


Running and living said...

You have accomplish so much this year! I know it's hard not to be running (running makes me feel fit, too, more than anything else), but it seems to me that you are using your time wisely and also are able to look back and appreciate everything you've done this year! You'll be back running in no time, and back to feeling fit shortly!

GetBackJoJo said...

Soon you will be healed and all this horrible NO RUNNING shit will be over!
(I'm sorry. I know how awful it must be b/c you know I feel the same way about running.)
I like the black background.
You're are going to be unstoppable next season!

GoBigGreen said...

Ithink that as your raise the bar and start to accomplish more it is easier to "Respect" yourself and take the time you need to heal. You WILL be stronger in 2010 bc of this time off just keep the confidence up. I find that when i start getting fearful or think everyone else is "training" and i am not, is when i go nutso. Remember lots of us are slinking along doing nothing or just maintenace:) I myself I am packing boxes, 2 a days! ha!

MaineSport said...

Some very impressive totals, Ange. So what's the big focus next year?

Damie said...

have enjoyed your blog thru Jen's link. I feel the same way about running- I never feel fit without it. I would always cry to Jen...I need more running!!!!!!! Hope it is 6 weeks and done so you can get back to it.