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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Ever-Changing View: A Mantra Monday

Mantra Monday
The week before last, when I was typing, it was from the bottom of my mountain. 

The view was scary and daunting. I couldn't even see the top and I was pretty sure that no matter what, the climb was steep and I wouldn't get up there. I looked like a poor little hobo with all my stuff in a hankie on a stick and I didn't feel  like I had any of the resources to climb that mountain and I started in my head to turn back.

At that point I'd had three long workouts to do and I had messed up all of them. It felt like each time I tried to climb with my little tiny rope and my pick-axe, my rope would break or my pick-axe would hit some loose sand and I'd go falling right back down to the bottom.

There was a 30 mile bike and an 8 mile run, a 40 mile bike and an 8 mile run and a long 14 mile run. (Yes, those look like 5 workouts but they were only 3 workouts.)

I missed completing the first one by a 1/2 mile because I couldn't take another step in the 110 degree heat.

The next one I had to wrap up early (on my birthday) because we ran out of light and it was pitched black and we had no lamps.

And the last one we got 11 miles and couldn't go another step in the 100 degree heat.

Right back down to the bottom of the mountain.

To tell you I was discouraged would be an understatement. The only thing that kept me going was that the half-iron website allows you to drop down to Olympic if you think you need to do that.

I do not want to do that.

For me, that would be admitting defeat.

I still can drop down to Olympic. My husband and I discuss it lots. But I really really do not want to give in.

I'm stubborn that way.

To me, it means failure.

I knew going into this, it would not be easy. I am halfway there. It's not supposed to be easy when you get here.

I have already climbed smaller mountains to get here.

To give up now would be like crossing the desert, then battling those disgusting nasty Orcs of Middle Earth only to get to Mordor and decide to give up on destroying the ring.

Sure, I can give up now, but really, I'll have to do this sometime (because I will want to do this sometime) and I can either do it now or I can do it later but it will be the same if I do it now or later because it's always going to be hard, it is never going to be easy whether I do it now or later.

Really, it depends on my view. And where on the mountain I am standing at any given moment.

Because last week when I was writing, I had managed to get myself a little further up the hill. I didn't know I had gotten further up, but I had and the view was starting to look a little better. I still couldn't see the top of the mountain, but I was noticing the climb itself wasn't so bad.

Sure, my long workouts haven't exactly "worked out" as I had planned. But I had a short race last week and that run and bike was much faster than I had ever done. All the work I was doing is actually paying off and it's hard for your view of the mountain to change if you're not seeing the payouts right away. (Doesn't that go for everything?)

That race was perfect timing for my wavering "ready to give up" hobo self. It adjusted my view a little and my place on the mountain.

This weekend, I had a 14 mile run planned.

I had my girlfriends from the Palm Harbor Tri-Warriors with me. It was still in the 70's (finally, my GOD finally! No 100-degree weather!) And it was 5 a.m.

And WE killed it. We ran our 14 miles and at the 13 mile mark I had noticed I beat my previous 13.1 race times by at least 10 minutes and by running 14 miles I had officially run my longest run ever.

When I sat down to write about my mantra this week, I had realized that my view is indeed, starting to change.

My pick-axe has hit some solid dirt and I found myself a stronger rope and the climb, though not easier, is getting steady.

Just by continuing to go.

I still don't know if I have it in me or if I have the right tools, but the higher I go the further down I look and the more distance I see between me and the bottom.

The bottom where I was just a couple weeks ago.

I still can't see the top of the mountain, but when I look down, I can see the tops of some trees now.

I am pretty sure there will be a couple more times where I'll find some loose sand, it'll rain and perhaps I'll get caught in the mudslide or (who knows?) maybe I'll even find a couple of stones that propel me higher quicker.

The point is, I don't know what's going to happen.

But as of this writing I'm glad I didn't turn back.  

'Cause pretty soon if I look down, maybe, just maybe, I might even be able to spot the finish line.

* * *
What's your mantra this week? Where are you on your mountain? Share in the comments or post about it and leave your link in the comments below!

PS. PLEASE please please read about my latest giveaway that ends Wednesday! It's a Christmas in September giveaway!


Kirsten said...

This thought EXACTLY is what keeps me going. But I feel like I've fallen down below the tree tops again. I'm hoping this week will provide solid footing and a strong rope. Because my mental state? It needs that rope. I am so proud of the progress you've made. Seriously, *WHEN* you complete this half-ironman, the marathon in January? Will seem relatively easy. You are going to rawk it in NOvember. Smooches, girl! I love you!

Brooke said...

wooooooohooooooooooo!!!! :)

Pubsgal said...

Oh, I'm so glad to read this! You've been working so hard, that breakthrough had to be happening soon. (((hug)))

P.S. I'm in AWE of you and your half-ironman-in-training badassedness. You go, girl!

Barb said...

I agree with Pubsgal - totally in awe of you doing your half-ironman training.

I was thinking about my mantra -- had a bit of a breakdown last week, and was totally down on myself and my biking. But I had a bit of an epiphany over the weekend, and you've inspired me to write it up today:

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