You read that correctly. I have decided to cancel my trip to Omaha and not race the USA Triathlon National Age Group Championship…and I feel so good about it. If you have been following my training this year you know it has been a struggle, especially these past few months. Going on a two week vacation gave me the space I needed to make the decision I knew was the right one. Nothing about it was easy, and I’m sure these next few weeks will be interesting but right now I’m feeling pretty damn good.
After I took the DNS at Litchfield Hills in mid-July my coach decided I needed at least one week of vacation for unstructured workouts. She told me to try and reconnect with what brought me to triathlon in the first place and to remember why I love to swim, bike and run.
And it had nothing to do with racing.
The magic was in appreciating the miles without structure. Running to the ocean and back whenever you want will rekindle the passion for simply running for the sake of it. I loved each and every run on the Cape and, with these views, how could you not?
This was probably my favorite activity at the Cape. Riding out on Route 28 or 6A, first thing in the morning was amazing. The roads are well kept and the views were stunning! Other riders and runners were super friendly, the towns were quaint and (of course) the payoff of riding to the ocean was spectacular.
I also had so much fun (and some frustration, of course) riding with my kids on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. My dad used to take my brother and I biking along the same trail, starting when I was about the age my boys are now. My dad was deliriously happy to recreate this tradition with his grandsons and grown daughter, even if there was more than a few pit stops in the whopping 10 miles we rode.
This is what it’s all about…
Somehow we landed in a place on Cape Cod down the street from another Crystal Lake! This one also happened to be a favorite local swimming spot. The lake was gorgeous, clean and only about a half-mile across. Within our first half day there, I saw at least three men and women swim the length of it and back. I couldn’t wait to join in…after a few turns on the swan of course…
We also started the boys on the SUP and kayak while doing plenty of each ourselves. If this is cross training, I could do it all day long.
THINGS I LOVE
Making this incredibly difficult decision for all the right reasons.
I always said I would stop competing so fiercely when it stopped being fun. It stopped. Abruptly.
I could have dragged my entire family out to Omaha this week and raced to basically fulfill the commitment I made but all I ever thought about when envisioning crossing the finish line there was how great it would be for it to be over. Not exactly the motivation required to compete.
Also, the goal for this race was to qualify for the world championship team, a goal that is no longer attainable. I know without a doubt I don’t have a chance of making that team and, more importantly, I don’t even want to anymore.
The biggest question is why? Why has the fire been extinguished? The answer right now is “I have no fucking clue,” but it’s definitely gone for the time being, and I’m completely at peace with it.
While my college roommate was visiting, I hashed it all out with her. I remembered this is my year to live like I was dying, in honor of turning 42, the age my mom was when she died of ovarian cancer 24 years ago.
If this was my last year to live, there is no way in hell I would go to Omaha to race.
That was the deciding factor.
I am definitely making this year count!
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
Completely and totally misinterpreting one of my most favorite running songs ever.
Oddly enough, when I need her most, Brittany Bitch comes though my ears loud and clear telling me if I want to attain all my goals, I need to work bitch! But, I never really thought about the “goals” she so eloquently lays out in the lyrics:
You want a hot body? Yep.
You want a boob god-y? Sounds like something I definitely need.
You want a maserati? Hell yes!
You want a lamborghini? See above.
Sip martinis? All day.
Look hot in a bikini? Check!
You better work bitch!
Wait!!! There is nothing about swimming, running and cycling until you want to poke your eyes out! All of those things to “work” for seem so much better than what I’m doing.
Finally! I hear you girl!!! PREACH!
I mentioned my college roommate was in town from California by way of North Carolina, right? It was fantastic in so many ways – – we went to yoga, she was my SUP support while I did an open water swim, she even folded my laundry and we shopped, ate and drank our faces off. She also gave the boys possibly the best gifts ever…
She also introduced me to one of the funniest female comics I have ever had the pleasure of peeing myself to while watching – – Ali Wong. If you have never seen her or the special she does seven months pregnant (Baby Cobra) while acting out gratuitous sex and other interesting situations, you need to watch now…
One of my favorite parts is how she talks about feminism being the worst thing that happened because every mom could just stay at home and watch Ellen. She notes that Sheryl Sandberg encourages women to Lean In but she wants to Lie Down.
I also want to lie down.
RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Hell no, she said – you EARNED that DNS.
Be proud of that DNS.
I mulled it over, and came to the conclusion – hell yes. Yes, I am owning that DNS. I ran my way into that race, and while I couldn’t toe the start line, it doesn’t take away the previous accomplishment of securing that elusive golden ticket. And if anything, it serves as a reminder to keep that fire lit, to keep myself hungry to get back out there.
[Tweet “The decision not to #race, my favorite new comic and finally understanding #workbitch”]
How was your month?
Have you made any revelations this summer?
Ever see Ali Wong?
I have to say that I’m honestly not surprised–you have been having a bit of a rocky go of it, trainingwise, and there is just no way that you would let yourself be represented by anything less than your best at Nationals. Even so, I know that this was a touch decision to make–because who WOULDN’T want to cash that ticket? But I so commend you for doing what is right for you and allowing that weight to be lifted right off your shoulders!
Thanks so much Susie! I really appreciate your words and, you totally nailed it.
I can hear the relief in your words. It sounds like a million pounds has been lifted off your shoulders. I’m proud of you for being a big girl and making that decision. I know it wasn’t easy. There you go. Raising me up again!
It really is mostly just relief. Maybe I’ll start racing 10Ks like you 🙂 #shero
Sooo much here… Such a difficult decision for you to make, but so glad that you made it. It’s hard for me to read this knowing you have made the right decision without a doubt for you, and knowing that I didn’t necessarily make the right decision for me. I was so at peace with deferring Chicago, until I realized I was over $1000 worth of non-refundable hotel in, and so now that I’ve decided to just do it and make the best of it, I’m trying to play every mental game I can think of to get excited for it…. Anyway, I love all the fun posts on your Insta with your family at Cape Cod, and I’ve missed your writing and sarcasm here…. but know you are super busy writing 100 other places. That quote about earning your DNS….love it!
Thank you so much and yes, I was thinking about my decision when I read about you kind of having to run Chicago now. It’s so hard to deal with the mental side of it but maybe thinking “everything happens for a reason” will help a tad?? And reading about “earning” a DNS changed my mindset completely. Thanks again – I hope you know your words and thoughts mean a lot!
I think you are making the right decision! Like you said, it was clear that your training wasn’t going as well as you had hoped and some of the joy was lost for the past few months. I’m glad you have reconnected with the sports you love and are enjoying them for the fun of it! I got chills when you said that if this was your last year to live, there’s no way you’d race Omaha. That’s such great perspective! I thought that I would jump right back into marathon training after Prague because I enjoyed training for that race so much, but I have felt less than zero desire to do so. Why do something that you’re not enjoying, ya know? I’m proud of you!
Thank you so much Danielle! I actually think turning 42 and all that goes with it for me emotionally and mentally has a lot to do with it!!
I’m so proud of you for making that tough decision! I know it could not have been easy and I honestly think you did the right thing. You have had some issues with your training and, you know what, if it doesn’t make you truly HAPPY and you’re not doing it for the RIGHT reasons, you shouldn’t do it. I’ve learned that the hard way over the past couple of months. Lots of tough decisions. UGH. BUT, sending you loads of love and support! <3
I usually need to learn everything the hard way so maybe I’m finally learning? One can only hope!! Thank you so much for your words. I truly appreciate them!
Hey Allie! I support you in whatever decision you make–I respect you as an athlete (and as a friend, woman, mother, etc) no matter what race you may or may not do. XO
And that is everything! Thank you so much. xoxoxo
DNSing is never an easy decision, but I can tell from your tone that it is definitely the best choice for you right now. Why do something that is not worth enjoying in running/tri? I’m glad you got to reconnect with your love of the sport on vacation!
I want to watch that Netflix comedy show! The trailer was funny enough that I know the show will be hilarious. I love their comedy pieces. My husband and I watch the Jim Gaffigan ones all the time because it’s just too relevant for us former Midwesterners (he grew up near where we used to live).
Exactly! And you absolutely need to check out Ali Wong – hysterical!!
Thanks so much Laura 🙂
It definitely sounds like you made the right choice! a fun weekend, friends, draaaaanks… LOL! Having a parent who died young really sucks, but it does put things in perspective.
Thanks for sharing Ali Wong! I hadn’t heard her and lord knows I need allllll the entertainment.
Thank you Laura and I’m SO glad you watched Ali Wong 🙂
I totally get where you are coming from! I think besides the physical work, there is only so much we can take mentally of the go-go-go mentality in chasing these racing time goals. I’ve also been taking a step back this summer (injury forced at first) and am realizing my heart is not in the marathon. I have no interest in 15-20 mile long runs. Why put myself through that? I’m happy for you to come to a decision and have some relief!
We saw Ali Wong once on Netflix or Amazon prime, and she was hilarious!
I know you can relate to this right now Laura and it makes me feel a little better. I hope you get though the rest of your training with a lot of JOY…even in the pool 🙂
I can feel your relief in letting go, but as a control freak, I understand how tough it is to make that decision. Clearly the decision agrees with you! I haven’t had any revelations this summer, but I completely agree with making this year count. And every year!
Yes! Every single year counts so much and I think that had a lot to do with my decision. Oddly enough, the dog had a lot to do with it too…and I think you understand that one 🙂 So much work and attention and I didn’t want to leave her again… I think I need a whole post just on that aspect!
There have been times in my life I have made decisions that I only second guessed because it seemed like I *should* be deciding the opposite. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of expectations – our own, and our perceived expectations of others. But doesn’t it feel amazing when you make that decision and you immediately KNOW you made the right choice for you? I’m happy for you, the relief is spilling over in this post. xoxo
Your first sentence is EVERYTHING! Thank you so, so much my friend. And yes, relief is mostly all I feel. xoxoxo
you didn’t ask for advice but when i go for a causal bike ride with my kids, i no longer bring my road bike nor do i wear my bike shorts or cycling clothes. it has made the rides much more fun when i just cruise along on my mountain bike.
Thank you for the unsolicited advice 🙂 But yes! My kids are only just really learning to ride but I do the same and go riding for the fun of it, like I did on the Cape. The only bike I had there was my triathlon bike so I felt a little odd with it on the rail trail but, at home? Mountain bike and patience are all I bring with me. Thanks again!
You continue to inspire me! You indeed are a superwoman! See you at Body Secrets
That means a lot to me Dawn! Thank you and yes, I’m coming in for my massage soon and I cannot wait for you to rub away some of this tension!!
Sounds like you have done a ton of soul searching, and came out of it with a lot more clarity then I am sure you had in the beginning! I feel like time of year always reminds us of what is important as the craziness of life slows down a bit and more quality family time takes place.
I still think your the most kick ass woman I know and I am confident this new path will end up taking you down a new path that you never even thought of and you’ll feel that intense passion and purpose that has driven to you to obtain amazing things! xoxo
Thank you so much Jess!! And yes, this is definitely the time of year to focus on what is important and I’m having such a better time doing that 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you and spending some of that quality time together!!
You are an inspiration, I love training when I have good supportive COMFY shoes and my BTS Pro wireless headphones! Music boosts my mood so much and helps me stay going. Keep doing what you’re doing it’s amazing! 🙂
Thank you so much! I’m actually finding that running without headphones is best for me right now but, during training, I use the music to motivate me!! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Dedicating this year of your life to your mom is so sweet… Obviously every single day you’re alive is dedicated to her, but this year… Just means THAT much more. I like to live as if there were no tomorrow, however, I know I don’t because well, I can’t necessarily do that. But I love that you are trying to the best of your ability to do everything that brings you immense amounts of joy!! And I am glad you listened to your body and decided to forego the triathlon!
Hey woman!! So nice to see your smiling face here and thank you so much for your words. If only we could live each day as if it were our last, however I sense a lot of burned bridges for me – LOL!!!
I’m late to the game in responding to this post but I can only imagine the relief with the decision…as well as the agony that went along with making the decision 😉 One thing that I’ve really taken the heart since Wilder is asking myself the question, “What do you want to do?” and it’s amazing how many times what I was planning on doing isn’t really want I wanted to do. I’m happy for you friend and ENJOY the rest of summer.
P.S. All I really want to do is lie down too.
Thank you Christine! That is definitely the only question I have been asking lately and let me tell you – the answers have been surprising…and scary but they are true. I’m desperately trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer! Hope you are too… #JustLieDown