Well... here we are. Two months later and my blogging skills have yet to rebound for the year. :) Much like most aspects of my life this year.
2009... not my year. And that's ok. I came into this year with amazing hopes and dreams. I remember thinking as the year approached, that it just felt like it was going to be a special year. And in many ways it has. Just not in the ways I had imagined.
It hasn't all been bad. I have begun the journey of starting my own business, and that is an incredible feeling! Hard work... absolutely, mixed in with a lot of really tough decisions and several ups and downs, but overall, it's been a success, and I can only hope that it will continue to grow and flourish in the years to come!
And my family, well I did lose an extremely important person this year. I honestly feel that though I am beyond the initial grieving stages, his death has affected me in many more ways than I can really pin-point. I think those first traumatic months of stress has imprinted itself in me far deeper than it appears, and will take much longer to heal than I originally expected.
As far as the rest of my family, I couldn't ask for a better one. My husband is amazing. My children are the most wonderful things ever, and I have so many things and people to be grateful for!
But it has definitely been a learning experience. As a coach and athlete I understand that when you walk away from a truly successful race, it's a great feeling! But it's the races where everything goes wrong, and you struggle the whole way through, that you walk away learning so much more. And I'm looking at this year as one of those experiences. The entire year has been such a struggle for me, that now is the time to take a step back and evaluate what went wrong, why, and how should I handle it from here moving forward. We certainly can't control every aspect of our lives. But we can grow with every experience and learn to be stronger individuals from them.
Another truly difficult time in my life was about 8 years ago when I decided it was time to be a mom, and Adam and I were having complications in making that happen. Patience is definitely not one of my stronger points. :) When I make a decision about something, I'm ready to move forward and do all of the steps involved in making things happen. But again, I found myself in a situation that I could not control. I was doing everything I could, but month after month was filled with disappointment. The fertility process became all consuming. Every aspect of my life revolved around babies and pregnancy. It was as if overnight, I transformed from a teacher, wife, and runner to a person with nothing because I couldn't have a baby. Now in my defense I will say that it's hard to blame a woman for being crazy and emotional during this time. Through the fertility process you are pumped with so many hormones, that you are most likely clinically insane! But it became so overwhelming.
After many months and resorting to a quite invasive procedure that ended up failing, I found myself completely depleted. My confidence, energy, and strength were all completely down, and it was time for me to rest. We decided to take a month off. 1 full month of NOTHING baby. No baby shows, no baby talk, no discussion on names... nothing that had anything to do with babies. :) Suddenly, by finding a way to remove that pressure at the right time, the stress around me was allowed to temporarily melt away. Life became joyful again. And I'm sure you can gather what happened.... I got pregnant!
It's amazing what stress can do to the body. And though we can even go to extreme measures to do what we can to take care of our bodies, to relax, rest, and recover... eliminating stress is not something you can fake. If it exists, sometimes you have to just allow yourself time to allow it to dissipate.
And that is exactly what I've decided. With just 4 short weeks to go until my big race of the 2009 season, IM Florida, I've decided not to race. I feel like the past 9 months have felt like I was racing an Ironman in and of itself. I had some amazing training moments! My trip to Tuscon was incredible! I rode 120 miles, the farthest I've ever ridden at once, on my birthday! I had weeks and weeks of some great training blocks. But I had many set-backs as well. I've fallen off of the horse this year over and over, and as far as I'm concerned, I've, "tried, and tried, again!"
But there are times that it's important to realize when the battle is lost. Or what you would have to give up to keep fighting just simply isn't worth fighting anymore. I pushed and pushed to get myself to Madison. And for whatever reason, it just wasn't meant to be. That is what I truly believe for this year. I am just not meant to race Ironman this year. I've tried. Believe me! :) I put up quite a big fight against fate, but through it, I'm learning to differentiate what is truly important to me in life.
I LOVE triathlon! I love racing. I love coaching even more! This isn't an end for me. But to spend the next 3 weeks away from my family, continuing to fight to juggle the training with my responsibilities as a mother, wife, and coach, continuing to delay things such as camping, and doing things with and for my family until after the race, just isn't worth it for me to show up at another Ironman not fully prepared to my potential.
I got sick over a week ago with a sinus infection. It was a pretty bad one this time. My body has been sick almost as much as it has been well this year, and that is it speaking to me telling me that it isn't ready for this right now. So between the stresses of losing my dad, starting a new business, working as a teacher as well earlier in the year, being a mother of 2 young children, and a wife, and trying to train for 2 Ironmans this year.... it's been too much to ask of myself right now.
And that is ok. I will rest. Deeply. And I know myself well enough to know that that fire inside of me still exists and will begin to burn excitedly once again once I allow my body and my mind to heal. So... learning from a lesson from my earlier struggles with fertility, I'm entering NO training mode. :) No heart rate monitors, no workouts, no hill repeats, no zones, no gels, no calorie counting, nothing of the sorts!! And that is until my body is recovered. I encourage my athletes to take 2 full weeks off at the end of each training season to allow this type of deep recovery, and most people can barely stand the thought of not training for 2 whole weeks! I have a feeling for me this break will be longer than 2 weeks though! :) For now, it's yoga, reading, sleeping in, camping, sitting at my daughter's soccer game not wondering if I'm going to make it home in time to get in that long run. It's peace.... and I know, just like when I have done this once before my body naturally game me what I wanted so badly, which was my Cooper, that this too will lead to an incredible 2010!
So if you are looking for me in the IM Florida line-up, I'll be just like Maxwell up above- DNS. And look at him, he seems completely ok with his decision!! :)
In the meantime, maybe I'll have more time to blog about all of the wonderful things in my life right now, like Disney, Halloween, Gracie's soccer, etc.! :)