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I realize what I’m about to say might make no sense at all to some, and in fact may seem like a giant contradiction to much of what you’ve read here or are about to read now. But that’s OK, because I’m going to say it anyway. I once had a co-worker told me that if you are excited about something, scream it from the rooftops, don’t worry about what anyone else may have to say. Not that I think any of you will have anything negative to say but…well just keep reading. It’s a pretty big leap, and I’m taking it. I took it.
I am burnt out. Or I’ve been burnt out. I’m on the tail end of getting over being burnt out.
If you’ve been reading my blog, following me on dailymile, or just know me , you probably saw it coming before it even happened. I know my injury is partially to blame, but really, that stupid log at the Warrior Dash and the resulting torn ankle ligament were just the last few drops in the river that caused the proverbial dam to break. It was bound to happen.
Yes, I am burnt out…or WAS burnt out, since I haven’t done much of anything but sit around for the last few months. But the burn out was not on running. No, just like the 8 year old who is shuttled back and forth between school, karate class, soccer practice, cub scouts, and piano lessons…I am burnt out on over scheduling.
I just don’t like sitting still. And the term “let’s be reasonable” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. I dream big, and instead of rationally thinking about how I should achieve them, I let those dreams carry me away. I want everything now, now, now. For example, going to school full time, working two part time jobs, raising two babies without any daycare (just their father, who leaves for work the second I get home), concurrently training for a marathon and my first triathlon, all while throwing in some volunteer work, travel, and random smaller races? And that was just January through May. I load my schedule so full I have to consult with my calendar to make sure I have time to shower.
A full schedule is hardly what bothers me. In fact I love it. Kids, school, and work, that’s just a part of life. I’m cool with it. What bothers me is the overscheduling of racing. I get so overwhelmed I don’t know where to focus my attention, because I’m pulling MYSELF in 8 different directions, and then I end up doing everything half assed. My brain goes a little something like this: “yeah yeah, I finished my first triathlon, I should be so proud, but I can’t help but wonder if racing today and skipping a long run is going to hurt my next marathon, man I really want to PR, but I could totally place in this 5k next weekend so lets sneak that in there, but I’d miss another long run, oh well you could totally place in your age group…oh and you’ve got that half marathon next month, better figure out who is going to watch the kids and did you book a hotel room yet? How is that going to fit into the training plan? looks like another long run might be cut short” Throw into that mess my other commitments, and well, you get the idea. It’s self inflicted running chaos.
And this is exactly why I say crazy things such as “I feel like a fraud” when it comes to my running, or how I can’t look at my accomplishments and feel like I earned them or deserved them.
Because when it comes to my running, I’ve never given myself the opportunity to give 100% of my focus to one singular goal.
Two days ago, I saw this quote, via runner’s world:
“It takes patience to become the best runner you can be. Top athletes realize that running is a long-term sport. It is set up for people who value delayed gratification and who like hard-earned success.” – Anthony Famiglietti
And I realized, that’s all I’ve ever really wanted from running.
I want to earn my success.
I want (and need) to find my patience.
I want to put everything (racing wise) aside and focus on ONE single goal.
I want to prove myself wrong…the negative part of myself that is always whispering that I’m too weak. Prove to that part of myself that I am capable of putting 100% into something. Prove to myself that I am not a fraud.
I want a race that I can not fake. One that I can not take short cuts through training. One that will humble me. One that I wouldn’t dare show up to the starting line un prepared for, as I so often do.
I want to cross a finish line, throw my hands in the air and scream “I FREAKING DID IT! I worked my ASS of for this race, and I did it”. And I want to know it’s the truth.
I want an Ironman.
Of course I’ve always known this, but it seemed like something I’d do later. When? I don’t know, later sometime.
And in a wierd series of events and emotions that I couldn’t even begin to describe here (it took a 90 minute phone conversation with my sister last night to get it all out) I’ve realized that “later” has arrived.
I don’t remember the exact conversation (because a good majority of them revolve around some sort of crazy endurance event), but at some point, I remember Holly telling me that one day we should go to Lake Placid together. She could face and conquer her DNF (though she has since conquered 140.6), and I could tackle my first Ironman. At the time, I thought “heeeeck no!” I’m a South Carolina girl, sea level at that. If I’m going to tackle an Ironman, I’m going to Florida. Flat is where it’s at.
But why not Heather? Why not? Go big or go home, right? Are you going to let some hills scare you? No. Have confidence in yourself. BELIEVE in yourself. . Besides, it was standing at that exact finish line, somewhere between the hours of 10:00 and 11:59:59 pm that I vowed to myself: I WILL do this.
And I will.
So I’m finishing out what I’ve already committed to. Irongirl in August, Chicago Marathon in October, Myrtle Beach Marathon in February.
And then I’m done.
No more racing, no more crazy ideas, unless it is part of training and will benefit my ultimate goal. The 50 states will always be there for me to race. Boston Marathon has been around for 114 years, I doubt they are going to cancel it any time soon.
No, my blinders are on. For the next 745 days. I’m starting from scratch. Rekindling my love for endurance sports and rebuilding my base endurance for the next year. No time goals. No disappointments.
July 2011 I will head to Lake Placid NY to volunteer at Ironman USA. And Monday morning, I will wake up, checkbook in hand, and sign the next year of my life away with a registration form.
July 29 2012, 746 days from today, the year I turn 30, I’m tackling 140.6
And I have a long, hard, crazy freaking road ahead of me. Believe me, I have no doubt about that, nor any misconceptions that this is going to be easy. Far from it. And not just the physical act of training, but the emotional toll of spending the next two years working towards one single goal. Of putting my other dreams aside for those two years. Of discovering that willpower that I KNOW exists, somewhere inside of me. Physical I can do. Mental? That’s my true challenge. Yes, I want an M-Dot medal. But more than that, I want to prove to myself, that I can set out to tackle my biggest goal ever, and I will accomplish it.
I won’t lie, after a crazy year of setting so many goals and falling flat on my face (almost literally that one time, haha) I was nervous to put this goal on a public blog. Fear of “the girl who cried wolf” I guess.
But do you know what? For the first time in a long, long, long time….I believe in myself. Not just a little bit, but with every ounce of my being. I WILL DO THIS. I believe. And I’m taking that feeling and running (and swimming and biking) with it.
Because this, this one is for ME.
This blog is going to get crazy over the next 2 years, 2 weeks, and 1 day….I can’t wait 🙂