2012 – DNF; 2013 –DNF; 2014 – DNS…….I remember the date not because it was the day I made the decision not to show up at the start line, but because it was the same day we lost Lucy – my little sheltie princess I adored. It was Tuesday, February 25th. I had knee surgery in October and was doing better for a while, but then reinjured it in early January. Nevertheless, I kept going. I was feeling really great otherwise, was eating healthy, was at my lowest weigh in ten years, and loved my new bike and especially my power meter. A few weeks earlier I had gotten a promotion – it came with A LOT of hours and considerable stress but it was a great career opportunity. That morning I was at the end of a strength session with my "trainer" and I couldn't gracefully get up off the floor. He looked at me and said "Deb, what are you doing?" He wasn't referring to the one-legged dance that got me up off the floor. "Take the year off. Focus on the new job and give yourself time to heal." This wasn’t the first time I was hearing "stop" but I had refused to listen. I drove back to my building on campus to get ready for work. I put the car in park and it finally sunk in – I was done; my third attempt wasn't even going to be an attempt. In the middle of my sobbing, my new boss pulled in to the parking lot. WTF? I pulled it together and slipped down the back stairs to the locker room, totally focused on work and not looking back……for months!
It wasn't a conscious effort to forget. The new job just lent itself to the option of being totally consumed. I stopped working out – totally; not even one walk around the block. I stopped being on FB – that's where all my tri-friends were. I stopped going to tri club meetings, stopped watching the videos, stopped reading the list serve and stopped worrying about what I was eating. The only thing I did was work. By June I was in the worst shape I'd been in four years. I'd gained……ok, I'm not even going to say how much it is so embarrassing! It was at about that time that my coach dumped me. LOL – she didn't really "dump" me - I mean after all, I hadn’t been doing her workouts for months. She had asked me if I wanted to continue but I waited nearly two-weeks to reply and she missed the email. One day I didn't get my automated workout reminder email. The same day I realized that I hadn't gotten any list serve emails in a couple of days. While I wasn't actively looking for them, I clearly knew they were there – like a safety net of sorts. I freaked out! It was the wake-up call I needed. (Of course, she probably knew that – they always know!)
I slowly started to get in the water and to get on my bike – not so much to train, but because I wasn't going to Lake Placid, even as a spectator, in the shape I was in! And I had to go to Lake Placid because the house was rented and it wasn't like we could get our money back. And I had never officially withdrawn; therefore I was getting my [VERY EXPENSIVE] swag! So I tried to getting used to the fact that I would be on the side lines – probably for good. This would be a good time to go make peace with it all and move on with other goals.
The Wednesday before IM I got in the car and headed north. I thought it would be hard once I got there but something unexpected happened on the way there. I started reliving 2013 in my head and every bit of it made me smile. IT WAS A GREAT DAY! Despite the lack of a finish line experience, there was absolutely nothing to be sad about. I was good.