If there is one 'fear' that I have before any race, it is the unknown
of if my body will give me what I want it to on the day. Nerves I can
deal with. Anxiety will always be there. I know I prepare the best I
can, do all the right things, take adequate rest, and stay off my legs
the day prior...but despite all these things, there is always that
question mark of, even though I know I am 'ready', will the legs be
there when I need them? As with nerves, I try to push this worry aside
since it is out of my control, and most times it is a non-issue. This
past weekend, unfortunately, it was 'the' issue.
I woke up, ate my usual breakfast, and laid back down at 5am. (We were set to leave then and I am pretty anal when it comes to race morning arrival). I was just so damn tired. But again; nothing major was happening. A gurgly stomach, a lack of appetite and some fatigue. Big deal. We headed out the door, it was a beautiful cool morning and the sun was about to rise. This is an incredible locale to race; hilly, green, and a clear clean lake to swim in; my favorite. But the energy was just not there and it was pissing me off to say the least.
I've had a few comments from people like "ah, we all have shit races." It's true. I have told myself, that's life. Life isn't easy, it isn't fair and you sure as hell cannot win them all. But that doesn't mean that it didn't upset me. I thought I was being too hard on myself, but Derick wisely pointed out, "Kelly you are upset because this means something to you...that is OK..." The frustrating part for me was that some of the best 70.3 women were here, and I wanted nothing more than to see how I measured up against them; toe to toe. How did I measure up? They spanked me, hard. That stings. But, after a few days, I have come to realize, I feel as though in a strange way, I needed this race. I knew that it could be ugly, and it was, but isn't that racing? Every time we step up, we put ourselves on the line. We'll either succeed brilliantly, or we'll fail miserably (or of course fall somewhere in between). That is part of it. It is nerve-wracking, it's scary, and especially if we have doubts, it's even more daunting. But how do we learn how deep we can dig if we quit or even fail to start? I knew if I had pulled out just because 'I had doubts', I would never be able to forgive myself. So, I stepped up, and I got it handed to me; but that was all I had, on the day, period. And I had no choice but to accept it and move forward. You have two choices: you can let a crap result define you, or you can let it motivate you. I am trying to do the latter.
I've said it numerous times. The mental fortitude it takes to finish on these days is exponentially greater than on the days you win, no matter how hard you have to dig on those days! When you feel good, you have adrenaline...you're pushing and your body is letting you...you are in that zone, even if it hurts like hell. On these days, you go through mental battles constantly "I want to quit. But I can't quit. But my result will be shit. But that's ok, you're human. But people expect me to win. But that's not realistic all the time. But I want to win, I am here to win. No, I am here to give it my best" etc etc. If not for days like this, we'd never realize how great it is when it all comes together. I gave it all I had, and for that, I am proud of the effort. On this day, it was all Mirinda, Heather Wurtele and Angela, who were all stellar; they deserved the podium and fought hard for it. Thank you the hard-working Rev 3 crew, who put on an awesome event as they always do; to my sponsors and Derick, who both support me endlessly through the ups and downs, and my mom who allowed me to cry my eyes out to her post-race (we can only do that to our moms, right?!). I think I have learned more about myself from this race than I have any race thus far this season. So on that note, let's raise a beer to the character-building races!
Thanks for reading, see y'all in Muncie.