So here I am. Less than 24 hours before my culminating race of the 2013 season. Actually, my season has been a year and a half. I haven’t taken an off -season since my bike crash. I know my body is ready to heal. Although I’m not ready to take a step back, as my head is in it and I’m feeling strong. I’ve been fighting a nasty heel spur. And I mean nasty. So it’s time. With that being said. I’ve never felt more ready for a big race this season. I feel more mentally and physically ready than I did for Texas in April, and Syracuse in July. The forecast is cold, and I’m a hot weather runner. But I’m ready. I’ve prepared myself for 5 months for this day and weather is unpredictable. That is something we as athletes must learn to adapt to. The unpredictability has made me mentally durable. I remember the first time I had to swim 3,000 yards. I was terrified. Now I gleam with excitement when I get a 5,000 yard swim. I love my trainer, and a half marathon seems like a short run. But it’s taken a LOT of blood, sweat, and tears. Someone at the gym said to me before I left : ”you know, you triathletes amaze me. No one see’s the hours you put in the pool and the weight room, on your bike and the roads. They just see Kona on TV and think how nice Hawaii must be.” Amen. Though I have no idea what Kona is like…I know what the hours of sweat in the pain cave feel like. And I’ve done it so that I can put myself there tomorrow for 4-5 hours and learn to love that pain. Learn to embrace it. I was doing a workout in the pool one day and my friend Marisa commented that she was watching me underwater and I had the look of pain on my face (I was gritting my teeth), I think it was more of a pain smile….but really. I love it. I love that pain. I love that rush. I live for this. So here goes 2013 and all I’ve worked for.
Coming back has not been easy this year. I’ve had a lot of behind the scenes work to do since the injury. The most obvious being able to walk, run and train again after my knee, I still can’t wear a back pack separating my clavicle, I had to relearn how to breathe properly after months of speech therapy, scopes down the throat, and now physical therapy to release the muscles under my ribcage, Osteo something- something doctors working on my spine, dry needle therapy in the leg (now that one’s fun you should google it). Basically getting needles stuck into the belly of your muscle, which creates a contraction. They leave the needle in to reset the muscle fibers (Think of a giant doctor induced Charlie horse) x 4 . Anyways, you get the idea. It’s been a ride. So this is my race to enjoy. This is my race to say “Aint nobody gonna hold me down!” Most importantly, me. That is most important. I overcame. I pushed through. And I didn’t give up. So here I am.
“It’s the feeling that makes you never want to give up.
It takes you to places you never thought you could go.
It helps you do things that look and seem impossible.
It’s the love stronger than anything.
Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
It’s that voice in your head that says can’t, but you don’t listen.
It’s that ache in you lungs, but you push through it.
It’s that burning in your legs but you keep on burning.
And you end up finding that the person you thought you were
was no match for the person you truly are. “