isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Road to Disney? Pitstop: MIAMI. The Post Where I Psych Myself Up.

roadtodisney_edited-5I hope you're sitting down having coffee right now because we're going to be here a while and I hope you'll stick around to the end because I could really use some comfort and inspiration and motivation to keep me going through this week.

Oh, I remember this feeling right now.

It was a week before my first Olympic distance triathlon.

I was scared.

Of the murk, of the distance, of the stories of large fishies swimming about near the pier.


I spent the entire week before the race putting my head in a happy place. I would get nervous and then I'd calm myself by retreating into my happy place in my head and then I found a song that made me feel at one with the earth and the water and it calmed me too.

I didn't do that great in the last swim I did in the Suncoast Triathlon so I'm rebounding off of that. And this next one's a new place to swim; a lake, with alligators, which I haven't done before. And I don't even get to practice in it. (Neither does anyone else, if that counts, which it does.)

Back when my husband registered us, I thought I had months and months and months to mentally prepare myself to get over it.

Which I did. Have months and months, that is.

But they passed.


Because it's here. In less than a week, it's here. And I find myself Googling things like "triathlon fear" and "alligators" and "sharks" and reading everything I can about people's experiences so that I might again put my fear at ease because I don't know where it came from and resurfaced from again or how.

This is the last race of 2010. No pressure, really. And it's my biggest one ever, a 1/2 Iron. Again, no pressure.

When I began my Googling frenzy, I ran across this. It is about Ironman, but I think it applies to any race including mine this weekend and any race of yours, if fear is something you must overcome. Like me.
"When you begin to have doubts about your ability, or when the fear of failure begins to haunt you, its time to take a step back and consider how far you have come.

It may not seem like it on race-day, as you are surrounded by hundreds of athletes, but in the big scheme of things, few people in the world will ever attempt what you're about to do. Believe in your training, your preparation and ability. When the fear-factor is overwhelming as the race nears---regardless if its the swim or the bike or just fear of failing---remember this:

There are hundreds of other athletes who will feel the same as you on race morning. You are all on the same journey together. The goal is a common one. It is this united spirit that will help calm the fear-factor and take you through the day. There will be several thousand volunteers and thousands more spectators and friends and relatives who will all play a part in your amazing journey.

They will be behind you when your fear is greatest, your inspiration when you doubt and your strength when you tire.

You are truly amazing just to reach the start line. Just to have gotten to that point makes you a resounding success, so how can you possibly fail?

You have erased the doubts you once had that you would even find yourself on the beach awaiting the starting gun. You are in the best condition of your life and have the admiration of everyone around you as you prepare for the greatest experience of your life."
I admit I am way more nervous about this race than I am of Disney in January. At least as of this writing. Get back to me on the eve of that race day.

But my favorite part of that passage is the part about having just gotten to the starting line at all. Which is why I'll do well on Sunday. Which is why I MUST do well on Sunday. I have worked for this. And THIS is my payoff. So I'm going to do that. I'm going to take a step back and see how far I've come this year, in 2010, which is coming to a close.

I have logged hundreds of miles
I have logged dozens and dozens of hours. I don't know how many hours but it's a lot.
I have cried.
I have walked instead of run.
I have puked.
I have sweated out an enormous amount of sweat.
I have eaten pounds of GU and drank gallons of water.
I have taken ice baths, had migraines, cuts and bruises.
I've lost a toenail.
I've fallen over on my bike at zero miles an hour.
I've swam for miles and miles.
I've gone through hours of arguments with my own head and I have won them.
I have, indeed, found coping mechanisms for fear.
I've learned that fear of "sharks" or "alligators" is a metaphor for a deeper fear, one of failure or of disappointing yourself.
I have found out my body works BETTER after an hour's worth of exercise. That it feels better after 5 miles than it does after 2 miles and the trick is just that I.JUST.KEEP.GOING!
I found out that even when you think you're spent, there's more left in the tank.
I've found that a metaphor for life.
I have found inspiration in the weirdest of places. On a bathroom wall. A napkin. A postcard. An Adam Lambert song.
I have found motivation through people, through family, friends, in real life and here online, on Twitter, two doors down, through my husband, my babies, the Tri Warriors, at 9 o'clock at night at the gym or at 5 a.m. at the Dunedin Causeway or at dawn standing on the beach before a race.
I have found that at 35 and as a mother of two, I am stronger than I have been at any other day in my whole entire life and it took me 35 years to believe that I truly can accomplish anything.
I have taken pictures, mental and real, of the beauty that surrounds me when I train or when I race and I have countless moments where I was overwhelmed by them.
I've found out that you actually can't fail if you just keep moving, no matter how fast or slow you are going. It's almost physically impossible, to be honest. Because once you're there, you're there. You might fail against your own expectations, but you will not fail to finish.
It is however, not mentally impossible to fail. That's why it's best to turn that thing off.
And just have FAITH. In all you have done and all that you are.

To have gotten to this place.

I deserve to be standing on the water's edge, with all of those other women ages 35-39.

I deserve to swim into my happy place, around the lake once, and then around it again where the alliganies will be long gone and I can enjoy the crystal clear water on my face.

I deserve to bike out that straightaway, then make two loops and ride 56 miles. And then afterward, I deserve to run through the Miami Metro Zoo, past the tigers and the elephants and zebras and giraffes and past the 6 water stations, twice. For a total of 13.1 miles.

I deserve that.

It is quite outside my boundaries.

At this moment, the race course is just sitting there, with a start point and a finish point, and my job is to just go from point A to point B in whatever amount of time it takes me to do it.


All for me.


Gabriela said...

Hugs to you! I have faith that you can do this. You amaze me with your accomplishments in races, etc. I've been reading your blog for a long time. You have inspired me and I signed up to train to walk a half marathon. But now I'm in a boot cast and doctor's orders not to train... I'm not giving up though and as soon as I get doctor's clearance I will sign up again.

Kirsten said...

Oh, man. You have me in tears. Bottom line, chica. Trust your training. You *have* done your training. You've completed what you needed to in order to stand on the edge of that lake next Sunday. You deserve to be there...because you *want* to be there. You and the other 35-39yo women. You are an amazing person. You're words on my little screen speak to my heart. To this journey. I can't say the right words to tell you how proud I am of you. You are an inspiration. Love you.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Love this. You are so inspiring!

Bari said...

I have tears in my eyes, my dear! You are absolutely right: you DO deserve to be at that starting line. You WILL finish and knowing you, you will give it 120%. You have trained hard and it will pay off next Sunday. I do not have the words to truly express how proud I am of you. You are amazing and your cape will be flying proudly behind you next weekend. LOVE YOU!

Clairanne said...

I've known you for 25 years and you continue to amaze and inspire me every day. I know you will be incredible this weekend. I'm so proud of you!!!!!!

Mommy Mo said...

Christie, I am bawling at your post. I am so WITH you on so many parts of this post. You (and I_ have come so far and you have already done the hard part- the training. You have put in the time and the commitment and YOU ARE in the best shape of your life. When it gets tough during your race, you just think of me (and all of the others) who support you, are in awe of you, and who want you to succeed so very badly. You are one mother-effing bad ass, girl. MWAH!

AnnG said...

Christie, I can't even begin to tell you how much YOU running has encouraged me to run! YOU are one amazing woman and are going to do soooo great during this IronMan race! I can not wait to hear how well you do!! Love this post and how it relates to even beginner runners like me!

*Lissa* said...

Goosebumps!!! You are so amazing and bad-ass and I just love you and want to be just like you. ;) xoxoxoxoxoxo

You can do it!!!!!!

Ashley said...

I have book marked this post so that when I start to question my worthiness of being at my own start line I can come back and read this. Congrats on the training, that is the hardest part. Good luck and have fun on Sunday!!!!!!

Bacardi Mama said...

You absolutely deserve that and you will have it. You are one of the most determined people I know and I have no doubt that you are going to ace this. You are awesome and you WILL rock it. I promise you. Just remember that I said it here. YOU WILL ROCK IT! XOXO

Pubsgal said...

Christie, you're gonna fly like a cheese stick! ;-)

Seriously, girlfriend, you have paid your dues and then some. You've done training that I can't even begin to wrap my brain around. You've inspired so many other people to push their boundaries, too, and we're going to be rooting for you and with you in spirit. (And wishing we were there to cheer you on in person.) YOU ARE READY TO DO THIS THING!!! (And I can hardly wait to read all about it!)

Anonymous said...

You don't even know how much I needed to read this tonight. You are amazing. And it's so true about just making it to the start line.

You are going to do amazing on Sunday.

Barb said...

I remember when your husband signed you guys up for this! I remember you mentioning it on our Spring Fling team discussion over at The 'Hood, and I remember thinking how incredibly brave and amazing you were.

I've heard about most of your training through Twitter and Dailymile, and I can tell you that you are going to do amazing!

And if you get out there, and don't think you can pedal/swim/run any further, just do what I did on our 50-mile ride this year - did you see "Finding Nemo"? Remember the scene where Dory is singing "just keep swimming"? Yeah, I sung "just keep pedaling" in my head a thousand (or more) times during that ride. So just keep pedaling, just keep swimming, and just keep running. You've got this.

Heather D said...

You are SO ready and you're SO going to rock it. YOU ARE AMAZING.

Brooke said...

you are an inspiration to us all!!! i can't wait to read the race report about how my phenomal friend broke down all the walls!!

my favorite running quote is john (bingham?) "the miracle is not that i finished. the miracle is that I had the courage to start.

Roo said...

You are amazing. Words cannot even express how proud I am of you and how inspirational you are to me. I love you!

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My Favorite Quotes

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

"I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist." - Jack London

Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.

"Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History."- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live life PASSIONATELY, laugh OUT LOUD, love UNCONDITIONALLY. - from my spoon rest.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." - Ferdinand Foch