Friday, October 11, 2013

What I am most proud of this race season

You might be expecting me to cite some specific race, some result, some outcome, some PR.

Well I'm not.

What I am most proud of is making the most of what my body gave me this year -- perhaps more precisely, what my left quad did not (discussed here under 'Body'). After a pretty stellar year in 2012 it was frustrating to find myself struggling so much on the run and never running to potential all summer.

So I am proud of persevering, bringing the best I had to each race, managing the doubt, listening to my coach, and adapting and finding work-arounds. I was fortunate that I could train through it to an extent, and I am happy to know that a season of rough running did not detract from my overall enjoyment of triathlon.

This week I finally felt truly back to normal for the first time in months. I ran 11 happy miles on Tuesday and when I finished the tears flowed unexpectedly and uncontrollably as months of pent-up frustration were released. The last time I ran more than 10 miles was June 9 -- nearly four months ago. Most of my runs this season have been in the 2-5 mile range, on a treadmill, and often with unplanned stops. As with any injury or setback, there are days you wonder if it will ever pass, or if it is just part of the "new you".

What prompted this blog post is that I found out recently I finished third overall female in the Virginia Triathlon Series. While I was pleased, yes, it did cause me to reflect on what I felt best about this year, and those feelings were not tied to any number, but just pushing through a frustrating time.

I also received my Boston Finisher's certificate in the mail this week. Nice to see that PR in print, even if that race was probably a contributing factor to the summer's "body detour". It was still worth it ;-)

Part of what makes triathlon so meaningful are the struggles through times when we are not 100%. It teaches us patience, acceptance, and faith. And that moment when you realize you have emerged....priceless!!

My racing year is not over. In two weeks I head to Wilmington, NC for the PPD Beach2Battleship half iron distance. I intend for that to be a celebration of the year (read=no pressure) and my return to happy running!

Triathlon certainly teaches us to make the most of ourselves. 

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
Ralph Waldo Emerson