This year has been a challenge. I started it thinking I was in the best shape of my life, coming off an amazing NYC Marathon and feeling invincible on runs. Life has a quick way of reminding us of how much we still have to learn and grow as quickly it became clear I’d overstressed my body and needed eight weeks of no running to heal a stress fracture.
During the downtime I went through every stage of: denial, frustration, anger and then finally optimism. Not running brought me back to the pool, one of the few doctor sanctioned activities that was allowed. It helped me get out of a very raw place because I now had a focus: it wasn’t how strong my knee was or wasn’t, it was about how fast and efficient my entire body could move through the water. During this period I knocked over 20 seconds off my 100 yard pace (at 2-mile distance) and logged a 1:04 best. I also just wrapped the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier swim, which I shaved 23 MINUTES off of my prior year’s finishing time. The more I reflect on the beginning of the year, the more it becomes clear that I needed that break to refocus my mind on what is important and to remind myself that injuries only limit us if we choose to let them.
Post swim race, I started thinking about what I’d do next. My running is improving, my fitness is pretty much where I hoped it’d be this time of year, so the options are endless. I considered everything, including seriously considering some ultramarathons. Then, just the other day when I was rummaging though the drawer that I keep my bike kits in, I found my 2016 Tri Siesta Key medals. A finishers medal and an AG 1st place medal. It stopped me cold. Seeing the date, “2016” emblazoned on the front, it occurred to me that it’s been two years since I’ve raced a triathlon.
To be fair, a lot has happened since this race and my first place was in a total field of 50 competitors and only 2 in my age group. I placed 11th overall but instantly felt the tug of endurance racing.
So here we go, 15 weeks until race day and plenty of work to do! I’m going to do my best to share my journey, so please check back often!