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Every Medal A Memory....Big decision....

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have reached a crossroads where I have needed to reflect. I display my medals in my office, not to show the world how great I am or that I am something but rather they hang as a reminder of something I have discovered about myself. I am reminded of David in the Bible where he kept the sword of Goliath in his tent. I would imagine that when times got tough where he began to doubt himself or his faith, he would reach under the bed and touch the cold steel of Goliaths sword and re-live that moment where a young stripling triumphed over impossible odds.

This is my way of reaching out and touching the sword of Goliath, MY Goliath. I wanted to share them with you, not to put ability on display but I guess as a way of reminding myself publically of lessons learned. The reason why will be apparent.

Eagle River, WI - 5k.. I learned about the perils and foolishness of overtraining and still managed to finish.. had to swallow my pride... hard.

Sault Ste Marie, MI 10K.. I got lost on the course and wound up in some subdivision. I learned to not take that stuff so seriously and laugh it off... I also witnessed real courage on display that day with a woman who was not only last but was REALLY last.. by a wide margin. She never gave up, never got discouraged and because I got lost, I had the privilege of running with her for the last 1/2 mile to the finish. I still don't know her name. My loss.

This is her

Mackinaw Island, MI First Half Marathon - I learned to tough it out. The first 3 miles were pavement, the rest... hilly trail run. I had to give it all I had to finish... i didn't do my homework very well and didn't train accordingly..funny I didnt remember signing up for the Marine Corps? That was a tough first race.... 'nuff said...

Green Bay , WI Half Marathon 2011
This was supposed to be my first marathon but because of injury, I didn't train much at all. I downgraded my registration to a half and rolled the dice. I was totally surprised by how much fitness I had retained through non running activities. I learned to just try and don't just assume you cant do it.

Rochester, NY first full marathon 2011
- So many lessons it would require me to finish my blog series... The big lesson... Knowing in your heart that you not only have the courage to start but the will to finish. I started out too fast at the beginning and it cost me a painfully tight hamstring at mile 8. I had to nurse it for the next 18 miles stopping almost every 1/2 mile to mile to stretch to get some relief. i never gave up and gutted it out to the end. never regretted it....

Ashland, WI 2011 Half marathon.
I was still so sore after the marathon a month earlier that I almost didn't do it. I learned to define success by your present condition. My present condition demanded that I just let go of my pre conceived ideas and just finish even if I had to walk all of it. Who cares? just enjoy the process. I walked the first 4 miles then run/walk intervals afterward. turned in a time not too far from my standard 1/2 marathon time. who would have figured? just relax and let the expectations go... just do it.... just finish.

Green Bay, WI 2012 Half Marathon
Race was cancelled due to extreme heat. People were falling out after 2 miles. By the time race was officially cancelled, I had made it to Mile 11. Lesson learned- I am tougher than I think. In spite of the extreme heat index, I held my own and would have finished under the harshest conditions I had ever raced in. I have what it takes.

Iron Mountain, MI - Northwoods Triathlon.
I was so afraid of open water swimming and just swimming in general. I was ok with biking and running but swimming left me paralyzed. When I started trying to really swim, it was like a bird trying to fly for the first time.... lots of false starts. one lap turned into two. Then two laps turned into a quarter mile. Out of 46 male participants, I was 24th out of the water.

I can do it.

Now I can swim a mile...

I said all of that to say this. I have taken time to reflect on what I have managed to do, not because i was perfect but i was determined and would not take no for an answer. Because I demanded more of myself and believed that I could deliver.

I am about to buy my time trial bike.

This is where my dreams of preparing for a Half Ironman Triathlon go from mere mid life crisis day dream to reality. I am putting my money where my mouth is, and more accurately, where my heart is. i have dreamed of this day for a long time and now it is soon to be a reality. there will be a big learning curve but so has everything else that has been worthwhile on this journey. The only way to succeed is to first be willing to fail, to be vulnerable, to let your lack of ability be seen so that it can then be refined.

This is what my bike is going to look like.. this is not my bike yet but these are pictures of the model I am getting .. will post pics later of MY bike :)

This whole purchasing process has really made me stop and think. Am I really ready for such a huge undertaking? Will I follow through? It is one thing to talk the talk, it is quite another to produce. A 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run is a massive undertaking.

Am I ready to begin making this a reality?

There is a quiet yes coming from within........

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BTURPEN3721 8/15/2012 12:49PM

    Wow...that's amazing

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LISAINMS 8/7/2012 3:20PM

    Awesome progression! I bought my road bike last fall and plan to stick with it for a HIM next year. The area where I live is very hilly and TT bikes are built for speed, not so much for hill climbing. If I like the HIM distance and plan to do more than one or (gasp) an IM, then I'll add a TT bike. Or if I am more competitive next year and the time savings would put me on the podium more often, lol. Very excited for your committment to continue in triathlon. It's such a great experience!

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RUNNER12COM 8/7/2012 1:22PM

    I am proud of my medals. They are for me, not for anyone else. So good on you for enjoying your own pride a bit!

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    Thank you so much for sharing. Putting small steps into perspective to see the whole picture is something that we all need to do from time to time. The step back and look at what we have accomplished instead of what we aren't able to do yet. I needed this and it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so very much for sharing. I will run. I can feel it in me. I will do a marathon of some sort. Small steps will be my method and if it takes me years to get there, that is just fine.

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PATTERD707 8/4/2012 10:21PM

    I like that you physically put your fitness memories on display. I'm going to do this Monday at work too. Thanks for the idea.

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FITBY40-2015 8/4/2012 9:54PM

    every medal is beautiful and well deserved. good luck with your ironman training! emoticon emoticon

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DUXGRL1 8/4/2012 3:56PM

    Very inspirational!

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STACYJANE77 8/4/2012 1:02PM

    emoticon That is awesome- Thanks for sharing!

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KELLER0203 8/3/2012 6:00PM

  I think it is great. We all need reminders of how far we have come. I was deployed over seas to Iraq, and I have the certificate to the award that I received in my office as well. Just to remind myself that no matter how hard I think something is, or that maybe I am not happy with the way that things are going, but that I have the ability and the strength to make changes to affect each outcome of my life, and that I have survived much worse.. So good for you and what you have accomplished.. Keeping going for the Gold and don't let anyone tell you different.

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LESSISMORE2010 8/3/2012 5:06PM

    You ABSOLUTELY are!!!! Look at how far you've come, and you have proven to yourself time and time again that you DO have what it takes. Fantastic!

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FORBANDE 8/3/2012 5:04PM

    AMAZING blog!!! I love how you relate your medals to David. And like David, you are finding the holes in your armor. Not to break yourself down but to believe in yourself and all you are capable of.

Thanks so much for sharing! Your will, determination and story are WONDERFUL!

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MANILUS 8/3/2012 4:07PM

    Go for it! You are amazing!!!

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KAREN_NY 8/3/2012 3:46PM

    Besides your general fabulousness, thanks for sharing the pics, because now I realize I have to come to the Mackinaw Great Turtle run -- that's a terrific bit of bling!! emoticon

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JULIA1154 8/3/2012 3:16PM

  Thank you for sharing your beautiful medals and lovely stories.

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NEWSTARTNANA 8/3/2012 2:20PM

    Sounds like you have had many exciting experiences. I'm sure your new bike will provide you with many more!

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DR8561 8/3/2012 1:54PM

    emoticon for sharing your experiences with us. Finishing a marathon is on my bucket list and you make me feel that it is possible for me.

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TMOORE073 8/3/2012 1:48PM

    Great goals you have set for yourself! That is really the only way we know what we are capable of doing. I really want to do a Triathalon myself & reading your post just inspires me even more. I starting swimming lessons because I didn't know anything about swimming. Boy what a work out swimming actually is! Now I am starting to love it! Thanks for posting this!

emoticon emoticon

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THEIS58 8/3/2012 12:52PM

    Wow way to go

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IN102WIN 8/3/2012 9:24AM


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DOTTY7267 8/3/2012 9:19AM


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TERID816 8/3/2012 9:18AM

    Such goals attained warrant being displayed and revisited! Thanks for sharing them!

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CASPIAN3 8/3/2012 6:48AM

  Wishing you the very best !!!

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MARGARITTM 8/3/2012 6:28AM

    Wow well done-

ps love the bike = trying to convince myself that I need a great road bike myself!

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PENNYPACKER3 8/3/2012 3:53AM


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KATHIC2 8/2/2012 4:13PM

  I love your medals. They inspire me to go get my own.


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OPTIMIST1948 8/2/2012 9:22AM

    Listen to the voice inside. Its smart.

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LINDAK25 8/1/2012 11:15PM

    What is that called? Personal fortitude. That's what you have.

It's worth keeping your display of medals. What a wonderful way to remember your journey.

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LKEITHO 8/1/2012 10:28PM

    You can do it! You will love the Trek! Mine has already made a huge difference in my times.

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KEIPONY 8/1/2012 10:22PM



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DDOORN 8/1/2012 9:46PM

    Massive...?!?! WAY!

But: given what you've already accomplished...? You are SO ready to meet this challenge!

You must be from around the upper MI area...? I've got to get back there and head north one of these days. They have the Bike Route 35 running all up & down the west coast along Lake Michigan...have added it to my Bucket LIst. I grew up in the SW corner in Three Oaks and don't get back often enough. I'd like to do the Apple Cider Century at the end of Sept. ( but not sure I can afford the time & $$ to do it.

Your new bike looks AWESOME, even if I AM partial to my Specialized Tricross... :-)

Thank you for reminding me to remind myself of my accomplishments as a source of motivation to keep moving forward. Have been stalled lately.


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LIV2RIDE 8/1/2012 9:37PM

    shout it from the rooftops, Robert! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEMT 8/1/2012 7:55PM

    Thank you, I really enjoyed this blog. Good luck with your future races.

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KBRADFORD88 8/1/2012 7:54PM

    I am so in awe of that bike. Oh I want one but the money is not there right now. Enjoy it for me. emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/1/2012 6:38PM

    Good luck on the new race! Sounds exciting!

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MARITIMER3 8/1/2012 6:29PM

    Good for you!

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MOMMINATOR 8/1/2012 5:29PM

    You are totally ready to make this a reality.
You have come so incredibly far.
The guy we all know will let nothing stand in the way of his goals.


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FUNFROG79 8/1/2012 5:03PM

    Wonderful accomplishments! You gotta be proud! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/1/2012 4:58PM



emoticon emoticon

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DRB13_1 8/1/2012 4:58PM

    Great blog as usual...
the one award I miss seeing is that ribbon your wife found on the ground at the end of your very first race when all the ribbons had been given out and there were none left for you - the one you carried in your pocket and touched for inspiration, like Goliath's sword.
Forward! emoticon

PS After getting your new bike, I am sure you willk find all sorts of reasons NOT to drive the car, but to use pedal power instead. emoticon

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PIXIEMOM13 8/1/2012 4:11PM

    I don't think its showing off at all to display those medals... you earned them and as you can relate have learned lessons with each one.

and I believe you are ready..and the bike purchase is a reasonable one. You WILL follow through.

and I look forward to getting to meet you at the fall classic!

Comment edited on: 8/1/2012 5:22:41 PM

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WANNABFIT34 8/1/2012 3:14PM

    Of course you are up for the task!

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BECCA315 8/1/2012 3:09PM

    Thanks for sharing again. I don't think it's showing off to keep your medals where you can see them. Like when I write my weight on the calendar in the kitchen, where hubby and kids can see it, it's a way to affirm how far I've come; and a way to bolster myself up when I'm having a tough time. Keep up the good work!!

Becca emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/1/2012 2:45PM

    Yes, you can indeed do this. Not a doubt in my mind! emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 8/1/2012 2:33PM

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It inspires me to believe I can accomplish my own goals and dreams!
Congrats on all you've accomplished so far! I know you'll continue to reach new heights!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 8/1/2012 2:04PM

    Wow. That's a lot of medals!

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LYNSEY723 8/1/2012 1:30PM

    You ARE ready, and you can do it!!! Just remember all of the challenges you have faced in the past. You have done more than most people dream of, and you dreamed bigger than most people care to ponder. This is proof that you are crazy enough (I mean that in the BEST way), strong enough, and driven enough to take on such a wonderful and challenging dream! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 8/1/2012 1:20PM

    Wonderful, inspirational blog! Thank you for sharing.

Since the moment we put down the doughnut and signed up on Sparkpeople, we've been putting ourselves out there, tackling that steep learning curve and conquering. This will be no different! You CAN do this and WILL do this!

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TAMMYINPA 8/1/2012 1:09PM

    You always amaze me with your entries. I love reading them. They give me strength to continue on my own personal journey. Thanks so much for sharing yours.

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LTMURPHY7 8/1/2012 12:41PM


emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 8/1/2012 12:17PM

    I love the stories of what of what you learned from each medal. I only have 3 medals but I have my race bibs from every 5k I ever run also, and each one is a special memory. I know you can do this!

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