…but I’m no quitter.
It was bound to happen…in over two years success in my goals up to this point, losing 155lbs now, smashing through 29 documented and established physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual benchmarks and goals that I have set for myself, and making progress so far on countless more short term and long term goals to continue to help me grow and thrive to be not only the woman that God created me to be, but to continue to live within His will and honor the creation that He has entrusted to me.
It’s been a good run. I’ve had hard days, I’ve had snarky moments, I’ve had cravings and crankiness, but I haven’t failed at anything yet. And yesterday, I did. And it hurts.
Yesterday was the Toughman Triathlon that I’ve been so excited for since we got our team together just before Christmas. Everyone’s been putting in the time and training for their events and we were hyped and ready. Swimmer–did amazing. Bike–did amazing. I tried and had to quit.
So what went wrong? A combination of things…it’s hard to peg just one. I think the weather played into it, my heart rate spiked after a part that I didn’t spend adequate time training on and I never recovered from despite slowing my pace considerably, and at mile 3 I started to get violently sick and it didn’t stop…I’d like to say that’s uncommon, but not at that level, so I tried to power through, but at mile five I knew I couldn’t continue–I couldn’t hold any liquids down and had almost gone through what I was carrying that gets me through a whole race, and was seeing stars that weren’t going away.
That was the longest last two miles of my life trying to figure out what to do. Failure has never been an option for me, never been a consideration–but there had to be a limit. God and I have had some conversations at the very beginning of the journey though, and He had to remind me yesterday that I do have boundaries. I considered for a minute turning the corner to start the next lap, but here was one problem: at this point in the day, the distance between racers was few and far between because of the particular event, the short races were done–if I went down in distress, it could be the loss of valuable time before a true medical emergency could be communicated. I was giving myself a heavy guilt trip that two other people had busted their butts already to be successful and I couldn’t throw in the towel and not finish, no matter how long it took–I still had to finish, just so it was legit. But as I was praying hard too for an answer on what to do, I was also reminded of the limits that I have in place for myself–that no action, no goal I have for myself will cause me harm. I hadn’t been in this situation before physically–my HR recovers quickly in my running intervals, that’s why I run them and pay close attention to them, it’s like clockwork. I have a lower heart rate, resting heart rate, and blood pressure to start out with–so when I’m maxing out and it’s not dropping for over an hour and I’m physically sick and seeing stars on top of it, that’s a problem. I didn’t see many choices left.
I don’t think there is anything more humbling in the world than having to walk down the finishing chute to turn in your timing chip to claim a DNF. At that moment I wasn’t particularly with it which was probably the only reason I didn’t burst into tears. I was walked over to the medical tent and attended to by some great volunteers and got to chat with some other encouraging athletes for a bit. Was joined by one of my teammates and talked it through and he helped me understand some of the things that went wrong. There’s always something to be learned.
Once I was able to stand up again without seeing stars and made my legs work, I got home and cleaned up and cooled off, ate, and just relaxed. Didn’t sleep well last night…pretty broken sleep spent beating myself up over this and some other news I’ve gotten this week. I’ve talked to a couple folks that reached out and have gotten a little encouragement. I did break down a little bit this morning as I was spending some quiet time with God. I know intelligently I made the right choice, but my heart still hurts. And I’m angry (that’s a nice way of putting it–I’m ready to put my fist through a wall ticked). And I have full right to be for a little while…I’m human, and I’ll get over it.
It’s all in how I channel the anger. We all know, #igotgoals…well, let’s take some of those lessons from yesterday and apply them. I’m going to be taking a look at my training plan and probably tweak some things so that I have one of my runs in the sun each week to condition myself to warmer weather. Another is to look at the area of my demise and hit it as an area where I run more to build up that conditioning. There’s some other loose ends in my mind…we’ll figure out where they go, but I’ll tell you this, it’s not the end of Toughman–I’m coming back for a rematch. And tomorrow morning, I’m back out there, because I’m far to stubborn to quit.