Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.


    ON2VICTORY   47,159
SparkPoints
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
 
 
Forgiving myself and having hope...

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Forgiving myself:

It's been 4 months since my 70.3 and there are some things I never really got over from that event. It was a huge success and I learned a lot about myself and how far I am willing to go to see things through. There were also things that went very wrong during that race, things that really caused me a real feeling of shame. Real or perceived, I felt it for a long time afterward but now, I feel like I've given myself permission to move on.

Let me explain...

For those just "tuning in" here are links to the original race blogs...
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5458814


www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5455679


I trained HARD for this race and put my heart into it. The 1.2 mile swim was cakewalk and cycling was my strength. The 56 mile bike leg was going to be tough but I was no stranger to the distance. I had trained on hills around here, hills that were steep enough that I was able to clock 38-42 mph going down the hill I just climbed and did that over rides going as far as 60-70 miles. I had it down, my race nutrition was spot on and I felt like I was going to do well.

That was until I got on the actual bike course.

The only way I can describe it is the feeling you get getting dunked under water until you almost pass out then allowed a quick gasp then thrust under again. The hills came hard and fast and kept me totally off balance until I hit the big one at around mile 26-ish. The gears on my bike couldn't go low enough to take such a steep ascent. That followed very quickly by the leg cramp from hell and I was forced to dismount.

I wont rehash the total experience here, you can read it at the blogs linked above.

The part that stuck with me was the feelings I had while marching up the hill in my race shoes (like walking in wooden Dutch clogs). I felt alone and in deep panic, feeling like my dream of finishing was vanishing very quickly. It's hard to describe unless you've been there. I was pushed to my extreme limit, I choked, I sobbed silently slogging up the hill, I was in pain, and I was totally alone.

I felt like a failure and I was fighting the urge to quit. For those that know me... I never quit. It would have been so easy to do. I made it up the hill and got hit with several more then I finally felt like I got back in the race at around mile 35-40ish and actually began to race like a triathlete.

I never forgot that day, I felt like I really got a black eye so to speak. I've never been driven to tears before...ever..by any race I had ever done.

When I got home, the damage to my bike was apparent. It needed TLC in the worst way. I got it fixed and my bike, the one that I was so proud of, even felt like it was an extension of me (it's a cyclist thing), was parked in a corner and promptly forgotten about. I didn't even want to see it. It's hard to convey this in a way that is easily understood but there were just some bad memories that were too fresh. I even avoided my triathlon magazines... there are several issues I haven't looked at...collecting dust.

Yes I finished but I wasn't totally proud of myself like I should be. I felt, in a way, like I didn't really earn it.... until today.

I watched the 2013 Kona Ironman and during the race, I saw something that gave me a sense of release... I saw another athlete walking in their bike shoes because the cramps made it too difficult to keep riding. It sounds so silly, but for me it was a pivotal moment. I felt like it was ok now, I could let it go.

I have officially forgiven myself and I am now on speaking terms again with my bike and I brought it out of the back room and it is now in my office ready to be set up once again on the indoor trainer.


My goal for next summer is to execute one or more Iron-distance rides (112 miles)


Having hope...

As most of you know, things have not gone well for me over the last few months. It has been a perpetual downhill slide since the big race and the two half marathons following were dismal and painful....then came the diagnosis..
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5558052


I fell into a slump and really felt like I had lost my identification as an athlete and pretty much over-reacted and found myself scared to get on a treadmill for any reason so I shut down completely. The reality of the situation is that although distance running is off the table until I get my orthotics, I can do 5k pain free, it's when I go beyond 10k that there is a problem. After such a dismal end to the racing year, I just divorced myself from all endurance activities because I was tired of hurting.

I hopped up on my treadmill today and did a 30 min run/walk at an easy pace today and while I struggled a little, it felt really good to be back in control. I am not pushing myself or stressing my foot but I am simply getting in some much needed fitness. No pain or problems...except the gasping from several months of detraining.

Today, however small of an effort this was, I FEEL like a runner again.

I feel like I'm back.

Feels good.
SHARE
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMPIAN 3/1/2014 10:51AM

  Good attitude. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHANECODER 1/8/2014 10:15PM

    I'm sooooo glad you got in a better place. I've learned, from experience, that the individual in the race is that individuals most critical judge.

I did a half triathlon last year also, my first also. It went OK, but not as good as I had wished. It can be hard to let go of, but we have to so we can grow!

For what it's worth, reading you're race report, made me gain a higher level of respect for you. The transformation you've accomplished is amazing, and I have a lot of respect for you. Being in a race with bad things happening, wanting to give up, feeling embarrassed, but pushing on took that respect to a higher level.

Over the last few years, I've worked out a lot with about 6 different people regularly. After reading your race report I told the whole group your story. It was unanimous that you were AWESOME for having the drive to finish!

That's just us though. That's insignificant when compared to your opinion of yourself! Again, I'm so glad you're in a better place!! Keep your head high, get your ankle better, and get back out there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SGCSVCEEC 1/7/2014 5:45PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 1/7/2014 12:57PM

    I'm so glad you were able to reach that important point of self-forgiveness!!

This will be pivotal as you begin to move forward again.

Will you be able to get your orthotics soon? I hope it will be very soon, as I hope it will make the difference that will help you heal and get you back to your distance running.... when it is OK for your foot and body to do so.

Glad you are back! This journey really is quite a process!!!



Report Inappropriate Comment
SIMONEKP 1/1/2014 10:31PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGELBELIEVER 1/1/2014 10:28AM

    I just found your blog that was featured. I want to read more of your experiences. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAYBER 12/31/2013 11:14PM

    great blog with insights into what you experienced
keep on moving you will succeed
one day at a time

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRABBIT 12/30/2013 11:37PM

  Way to go!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JMARIES51 12/29/2013 11:34PM

    All that self discovery is amazing. I understand why people become addicted to pushing themselves to the limit. I think it may be about finding out where the walls are and what is going to take to push beyond those limits.

I hope your healing goes smoothly.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JERICHO1991 12/28/2013 10:51AM

    Great goals, and great attitude.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EFFRAYECHILDE 12/27/2013 9:04AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEANMEAN2 12/24/2013 6:00AM

    Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHITEANGEL4 12/22/2013 10:45PM

    Great blog

Report Inappropriate Comment
JIBBIE49 12/22/2013 2:18AM

    Happy Holidays

Report Inappropriate Comment
JRRING 12/21/2013 12:48PM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACTIONHEROFOX 12/21/2013 10:05AM

    You are a sparkpeople hero. A hero isn't defined by times and distances, but by mere resilience and determination. You've got a lot of spunk. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUENOSE63 12/21/2013 9:52AM

  Robert

The sport of triathlon is not for the feint of heart which you have learned over this year! Now that you have experienced the best and worst of racing, your mindset will be totally different and the next big hill will not be so daunting. I think most of us are afraid of failure or what we perceive as a failure. Remember this....if you have left it all on the course, then you can ask no more of yourself! It may not have been the finish you wanted but my God man, you did it. Did you ever envision yourself participating in a Half IM when you were at your highest weight. I learned this year that every little victory is a mini finish line and that is how I now approach racing.

From one IMer to another! You came, you saw and you kicked its ass! Onward and upward to the next endurance race -- in whatever form it may take

Hugs

Cheryl
]
Bluenose63

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUDITUDI2000 12/20/2013 10:09PM

    emoticon I have spent 7 solid months this year either injured or sick or both...its no fun. I am sorry its been so rough on you! I'll be lifting you up in prayer! You are a rock star and I know you won't give up...you have fought too hard! Don't forget it! You are totally worth figuring this out and pushing through to victory!

Comment edited on: 12/20/2013 10:10:46 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEORGE815 12/20/2013 8:11PM

    Glad you got it going!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSRIGS1 12/20/2013 11:31AM

    Little by little, one day at a time! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEPTUNE1939 12/20/2013 10:33AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MJKRESS 12/20/2013 8:05AM

  Whether walking or running, we still have to "put one foot in front of the other." Congratulations to you for taking "the first step" on resuming your "personal marathon" - you know, the one called LIFE.

Continued success to you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PANIK257 12/20/2013 1:23AM

    Welcome Back. :) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAYARTIST 12/19/2013 9:27PM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DELLMEL 12/19/2013 5:38PM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEMT 12/19/2013 3:39PM

    Robert you will always be my everyday athlete no matter what even if you are a triathlete! Take it slow and let us know how the orthotics work when you get them!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTERFLY-1976 12/19/2013 3:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINA180847 12/19/2013 3:09PM

    Dear Robert, a lot of us are maybe a little more invested in your success than we should be. I felt after that race that you pulled back from us (your fans) and now I understand why. You dear soul, of course walking is great. You are so amazing as you are and that is with all the little warts and all. You are no longer 18 and muscle cramps seem to come with the territory. My DH whom I adore was cut back in a medication keeping his muscle cramps at bay and when I realized how much pain it caused him I went to work to find a solution for him. Pain is scary for us all. We love you as you are, don't forget that. Enjoy the season, keep the treats under control and allow yourself to be proud of you as you are. I'm allowed to send you hugs as I am an old lady. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHERYLHURT 12/19/2013 2:36PM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAB7801 12/19/2013 12:10PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISA_FRAME 12/19/2013 11:59AM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SJKENT1 12/19/2013 9:59AM

    Glad to hear that you are battling that mind battle. You are commited, you are seeking victory and you will hop back on that bike.

We are pulling for you!! Spark on... you have too much to do Robert... too much to give up.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAKAY228 12/19/2013 9:17AM

    I felt that way over the one ten k race I did a few years ago Maybe not exactly the same but I kind of know what you mean. I did so much worse than I had planned. I could have quit but I didn't but I walked away in shame. It wasn't till much later I learned how much I had actually gained, When I recover from this stoke, I may work up to that again and maybe to a half. Who knows. This was really really hard on you but I believe you can bounce back and learn. No race goes the way we want it to, and some are really hard. But I believe you can do it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PROVERBS31JULIA 12/19/2013 7:33AM

    Seems easier for me to forgive others than to forgive myself...

Report Inappropriate Comment
RHOOK20047 12/19/2013 7:31AM

    Way to go, you are an inspiration to all of us. The hardest person for most of us to forgive is ourselves. Way to get back on track. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 12/19/2013 5:53AM

    emoticon emoticon BRAVO!!!!!

Comment edited on: 12/19/2013 5:55:48 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUPERSYLPH 12/19/2013 2:41AM

    That's great. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCERNEK 12/18/2013 11:43PM

    good for you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUPERDAD55 12/18/2013 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon
You are truely a great inspiration to many,
Keep up the great job and never quit!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/18/2013 10:18:39 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYJEANSL 12/18/2013 7:47PM

  Good for you for picking yourself up and starting from where you can. I hope you get your orthotics and are soon able to do more.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DESERTJULZ 12/18/2013 5:17PM

    You rock! Walking is fine. You completed the race and that is totally what counts.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWTINK 12/18/2013 5:16PM

    I am sorry it was so rough but I am very proud of you for letting it go and knowing that it isnt just you it happens to everyone ... congrats

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 12/18/2013 4:36PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REJ7777 12/18/2013 4:34PM

    It's hard to believe that such a remarkable achievement would lead to anything else but feeling really good about yourself! We can be so much harder on ourselves than we would ever be on anyone else. Thank you for sharing so openly about your experience. Wishing you a healthy and fit future, whether you choose to do marathons or not.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAREN_BLUEJEANS 12/18/2013 3:21PM

    Hey Robert,

I know it's been a dark and lonely time for you, and my heart goes out to you. You've got a lot of chutzpah coming back from all that. You're like Rocky. You can't be kept down. Keep pushing!

Your biggest fan,
Caren

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUPERMODEL2BE 12/18/2013 2:52PM

    emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/18/2013 2:54:01 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANNABFIT34 12/18/2013 2:39PM

    I honestly can totally relate. Chicago marathon was this for me it was not the day I wanted it was awful even though I finished. I wanted to reconcile that last year by doing a 70.3 and then that darn ankle took me out and I felt let down not because I dropped down to the Olympic distance but because I was too scared to try and possibly fail at 70.3 even though for me now that I have had time I know that it was the best decision. In 2014 I wanted redemption by doing an April marathon and the 70.3, now I am stuck in a bit of a rut not knowing when I am going to get my shots at redemption obviously the reason for the inability to complete these two things is a good reason I am still struggling with it and now feeling a huge twinge of regret that I didn't suck it up and muddle through the 70.3. I'm keeping in shape but I'm uncertain when these goals will become reality again. You are an inspiration in your courage to complete these monumental tasks but also in your courage to share your inner workings and the "downside" of things too. I think when you show resilience you inspire people, you inspire me. Take care buddy Merry Christmas.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESUISPRET 12/18/2013 2:27PM

    Way to pick yourself up by the bootstraps! I was pulled from Ironman in 2011 about 100 miles into the bike ride. It was devastating. I experienced a lot of the same feelings that you did. To be honest, I still haven't totally made up with my bike. It's hard to push through that kind of shame, but you did. Way to go! Keep racing and riding hard.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THOMS1 12/18/2013 1:04PM

    Boy, it's a good thing you went to see the expert. Many times we just push through the pain not thinking about the damage we are doing to our bodies. Good thing you had the sense to get a qualified sports medicine doctor. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RENATA144 12/18/2013 12:45PM

  emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post


Log in to post a comment.
Member Comments Page (150 total):  1 2 3 Next >