|Love this from a 4x Ironman champion!|
If you saw my post yesterday, then you know what my BIG goal is for 2014: Ironman 70.3 Augusta! Yep, I decided to go for it! It was actually my husband who summed it all up for me and helped me make that final decision. Here is what he said, via Instant Message on 12/30:
"You do want to do it.. If you don't, you'll regret it, feel like a failure, blah blah blah... However, if you do it and its not what you thought at least you committed, achieved the goal, and can strike it off the list."
Yep, he pretty much nailed it. I talked to the kids, and got their blessing for the extra training June-September. Well, I got Austin's blessing, anyway. Riley is just looking forward to me being gone more (and out of her hair) and Reece was too busy playing Zelda to really care what I was talking about (though she did say it was fine). I was concerned because in 2011 when I was marathon training and traveling for that, the kids got very upset with me being gone. But, as Riley (almost 15) pointed out: that was 3 years ago and they are much older and different now. I gave everyone until noon yesterday to object, and then I registered at 12:01! :D
My other two goals for 2014 are to complete the Olympic/International distance triathlon (yeah, I signed up for a HIM without having done the distance between that and the sprint. Oops? LOL But does it really surprise you? Not if you've been reading this blog for very long!) and to complete my 10th Half Marathon (which will happen to fall ON my birthday! FUN!).
That's going to be about it for 2014. Ironman is expensive and in order to do it, I will need to save up my race/training budget to pay for the hotel and other associated expenses. My husband gave up his last two days of vacation (cashed out) to cover the very high (Disney high) entry fee. I had already registered for the Half Marathon in April, and I sold running skirts back in the fall to pay for the Olympic distance triathlon(s) I am going to do before Augusta. Other than that, I don't think I'll be racing much this year - definitely not all of the 5Ks that I did this year. Those add up really quickly! But that's OK. I have my eye on the prize - and that's Augusta!
You may be wondering how I'm feeling about pulling the trigger for Augusta since I agonized over the decision so much? Well, the answer is: I feel great! I'm really excited! I'm going to train and prepare the best I can, and on the race day, I will give it all that I can. If I get injured and have to rework my training, so be it. If I get injured and cannot start, that will be disappointing. If something happens and I can't finish, that will also be disappointing. But that's life as a triathlete, and I've come to accept that. I can control the factors I can control - training hard while doing my best not to over train, get enough rest, eat fairly well, learn to take care of the emergency things that may come up on the bike like a dropped chain and a flat tire. But there is much that I cannot control like the weather on race day, an injury that pops up no matter how careful I am, an accident on the bike or run or really anywhere. And if I've learned nothing else in the last 2+ years since my ITB injury it's that I will live through it. The world will not come to an end if I try for Augusta and fail. Maybe I'll try again another time, or maybe I'll decide that it's not a goal I want to shoot for at all. Or maybe I'll surprise myself and surpass my wildest expectations! Either way, I am grateful for the opportunity to attempt it! I'm planning to enjoy the training, even when it gets exhausting and tedious, because it is a privilege to be able to push my body to extremes and I won't take it for granted like I did before!
Before I close out this post, I want to share something interesting that I realized as I was writing my Word of the Year blog post on my family/homeschooling blog. While on the trainer on Christmas Eve, I was inspired to make my Word of the Year for 2014 "Joy". I want to do my best this coming year to be more joy-filled and thankful and to handle the disappointments and challenges in life with more grace. I want my kids to think of their Mom as a person who tried to see the joy in the little things, even when things around are going badly instead of a grumpy, cranky, tired, and frustrated person who gets overwhelmed easily. Yeah, that describes me pretty well - and I don't like it. And I don't have to let it stay that way. God has shown me so well in the last few years that He loves me and that He can change the way I approach life if I trust Him and have Courage and Hope! No, that doesn't mean that life is going to be easy peasy and that I have to love everything that happens to me, good or bad. There is sorrow and sadness in this world for myself and people that I love. But I can still live a life filled with the kid of joy that is not related to the circumstances of life that surround me.
So what makes that so interesting? Well, as I was writing that post - I realized that I had chosen "Joy" and the same representative verse from James during 2011. Yeah, that 2011. The one where I was training for the marathons and got injured and was unable to complete my goal of becoming a Marathon Maniac. Was I joy-filled in 2011? Especially the last 4 months? That would be a resounding NO! My first thought when I realized that was, "Oh, that's a bad omen. I have a big personal goal in this year, too, and the Word of the Year is the same?? Does that mean that I'm going to fail this year, like I did in 2011?" That lasted for a few minutes, I will admit. But then, it started to dawn on me... I'm not the same person that I was in 2011. I have said over and over how much God used my injury to change me into a new, better version of the Niffercoo I was before! I am stronger - spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. I went through what I thought was the WORST thing that could ever happen to me as an athlete, the failure to reach a goal I had set for myself. But what I learned through that experience has marked me and changed me. So even if the same situation happens again - I do not reach my goal of completing Ironman 70.3 Augusta - it won't BE the same. It will all be fine. I know that the finish line is only part of the story. And as long as I do my best, as I mentioned above, it's going to be a great story! Hopefully, I won't be too tired to tell it! :)
Happy New Year! Thanks for letting me share my story with you!