Here we are again, back in Chattanooga!
As we were driving into town on Tues evening, my stomach felt a little funny as it felt strange to return to the place where my fainting setback left me with a smashed face and an unfulfilled feeling for my last race of the season. But I didn't let this feeling get to me because I returned back to Chattanooga with Karel with excitement and gratitude for another race opportunity by my body.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I have emotionally moved on from my recent DNS at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship but physically, a big part of me feels like I have some unfinished business here in Chattanooga.
Knowing that stuff happens and we can't control the future, the only way that I could move on from my last race experience was to make sure that my next racing decision was not for anyone else but myself. I wanted to do a race that made me happy. After giving my next race a lot of thought, I couldn't be more excited to turn my letdown into an exciting new opportunity. You better believe that after I received the OK to race again, I wasn't going to move on with a sad ending to my last chapter.
And now I turn the page for my next chapter in my book of life.......
Putting things into perspective - Understanding that I experienced a freaky accident (with very bad timing), I have accepted that the circumstances were not in my favor but I will not let this define me as an athlete. Within 48 hours of my vasovagal syncope issue, I had several doctor appointments and lab work to receive confirmation that my body is in good health and I don't have to give up on my athletic dreams this season.
Reflect - Like with many things in life, setbacks are a necessary part of the path towards success. Although I was sad, upset and frustrated while sitting in my rental home 2 Saturday's ago, instead of racing, I can now look back and with a clear mind, evaluate the situation. Although I should have slowed down in the morning and paid more attention to the woozy feeling in the body, there was not much that I could have done differently. I feel lucky that my fall only left me with cuts and bruises and with all things considered, it could have been a lot worse.
A new focus - Whenever an athlete experiences a setback, it's important to figure out what's next. Do you want to accomplish the same thing or accomplish something different? This question was on my mind for several days after my DNS as I felt like I worked so hard to prepare for the IM 70.3 World Championship and I was not able to show off my fitness. But more than racing, I missed out on the experience of racing and that is what I love so much about the sport. I missed out on being around other inspiring athletes and doing something incredible with my body.
While driving home from the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Karel was already quick to give me some ideas for my next race. It's funny because we both had different race ideas for what I should do with my trained body. My thinking was to find a challenging half ironman and Karel's idea was for me to do an Ironman. We tossed around a few ideas over the next 48 hours and after I received permission to race again from my doctors, I was ready to commit to my next race.
Karel knows that the Ironman event suits me so well and to be honest, I wouldn't have trained much different for an Ironman versus a half Ironman since we don't do a lot of high volume training. I train mostly with Karel so as he prepares for an Ironman, my training is very similar. The half Ironman distance takes me far out of my comfort zone and that is why I dedicated this season to half Ironman racing. Because the Ironman distance always feels right for my style of racing - I can be steady and resilient all day long - it always feels right when I get to the start line of an Ironman
So after much discussion with Karel, we decided on my next and last race of my 2017 triathlon season.
I couldn't be more excited to finish my season here in Chattanooga for 144.6 miles of racing! I get to share the course with 15 of my Trimarni athletes (including Karel), along with several familiar Greenville faces and this decision feels so right. I have nothing but excitement and positive energy building inside of me for Sunday. This is a no pressure, have fun and enjoy the experience type of race but I'm sure my competitive spirit will come out on race day.
Thank you Karel for helping me through the past two weeks and for encouraging me to get right back into training. Thank you to all the Trimarni followers who kept me motivated to get back into racing and for all the support and encouragement from my Trimarni athletes and friends/followers.
Let the countdown again....I am doing my 12th Ironman on Sunday!
Thank you body!