September 28, 2015

Half Ironman 70.3 Augusta - One Year Later

One year ago, I completed Ironman 70.3 Augusta, my longest endurance race to date. The race is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run = 70.3 miles. It took me 7 hours and 32 minutes. I trained for 7 months, 4 of which with a triathlon coach, and all with a swimming coach. I hated my training by the end, but loved my race, which means I did it right. I still think back on the race as one of the happiest days of my life. I LOVED my race.

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my race. It was also the day of both IM 70.3 Augusta and IM 140.6 Chattanooga. Because I had friends competing in both of those races, my Facebook feed was full of race-related posts. Early in the day, I was reflective of my experience and excited for my friends. I monitored them throughout the day, tracking them online and checking Facebook for updates. Again, I was a little reflective, but mostly I was proud of my friends and grateful to the spectators for keeping us updated.

At some point early in the evening, my feeling a "little reflective" turned into feeling a little sad. I started seeing finish line pictures from Augusta and it made me cry. Was I crying because I was proud, sad, or bored from being home on the couch? Did I feel left out because everyone was doing something I wasn't? Did I regret that I wasn't out there racing? When I opted not to do IM 70.3 Chattanooga, I didn't feel anything except glad I wasn't there. What was different about yesterday?

This post isn't for anyone who raced yesterday. I am so fucking proud of all of you that I can hardly stand it. This post is for anyone who did a really big thing once that they got a lot of attention for, and then never did again. Now when other people do that really big thing, you feel kind of weird. And you feel super shitty for feeling weird.

I am genuinely not interested in doing a 140.6 mile race. And as I sit today, I am not interested in doing another 70.3 mile race. I still love a half marathon and sprint-distance triathlon, but that's it for me.

I think yesterday felt like an expiration date, that I have to quit talking about my race now and that makes me sad. I remember on my one-year wedding anniversary feeling like I had to take my wedding pictures down from Facebook, that the time to talk about my wedding had passed. Maybe I need to give myself permission to keep talking about that big thing I did that I'm really proud of. Man, I hope that's it because if I'm just a victim of FOMO, I'm going to feel so lame.


Tracy said...

I just found your blog and am loving it so far! My first half Ironman is in 2 weeks and I can honestly see myself feeling the same way afterward. The training has been much harder and more intense than I ever imagined it would be, and I can't say I've enjoyed all of it. It's been going pretty well the last few weeks and I'm excited for my race, don't get me wrong, but it's definitely left me questioning whether I want to do this again (or do any longer distance). Looking forward to following along with your adventures, whatever they end up being :)

The Blonde Mule said...

Hi Tracy! I just read your blog and am loving it so far, too! First of all, good luck and good taper! Which HIM are you doing? Maryland? I'll tell you what so many told me, now is not the time to make any decisions about future races (contrary to the barrage of emails you're about to get from Ironman). No one thinks straight during a taper, trust that. You're also not going to be thinking straight for about 2 weeks after your race. A month or so after my race, I signed up for another HIM and ended up not doing it. Going from doing one in September to doing another one in May seemed like a good idea because I would stay in shape, but it was a terrible idea! My body was exhausted and I was so sick of working out. I couldn't make myself go to any of my training workouts. I basically took about $500 and set it on fire. But lesson learned! Good luck at your race! If no one's told you already, wear a headlamp to transition on race day and when you get to the finish chute, keep smiling and don't look down or mess with your watch. Keep me posted!

Tracy said...

Thanks, Kim! The race I'm doing is Beach2Battleship in Wilmington (not IM brand). I really wanted to do IM Princeton 70.3 but after 4 months of waiting for registration to open, they announced earlier this year that it was canceled. So no official IM for me, but maybe I'll just save that for the full thing (if I ever get there) ;) So no race signups before or after the race, got it! I have a couple 10ks I'm signed up for in the weeks after, but I'm planning to run them completely for fun. I have the same thoughts as you about being ready for future races...I've run marathons back-to-back like that which SEEMED like a good idea at the time, but I had the same experience with training. Definitely something to think about for the coming year! And yes, I think half of my finish line photos are of me looking at my watch so I need to be careful of that haha!

The Blonde Mule said...

Tracy, Yeah, after I typed that I remembered that you said you were doing B2B on your blog. That race is great! You're going to love it! I haven't done it, but a lot of my friends have. Good luck and have fun on your race day! Come back and let me know how it went!


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