The Sacrifices

I think it’s interesting the way this blog is unfolding. The story I’m telling retrospectively is of course not going to start from the beginning but rather in the order that the whole experiencing is affecting me right now. You’ll get bits & pieces of it until I’ve painted the details for you 🙂 Funny thing is, I don’t even know who my audience is or if there even is an audience. It just feels good to know that this is being documented somewhere because surely there are many details that I don’t want to ever forget. 

“The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”
Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

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I was working plus in training mode for so long (20 weeks or more if you add the journey to half ironman that preceded this all) that I have forgotten what it’s like:

  • to have free time. Training 6 days/wk meant that my only free day was for resting & recouperating
  • to not have to go to sleep at 9pm on Friday  nights & wake up before the butt crack of dawn Saturday morning for a long training day
  • to accept invitations to dinner parties
  • to get out of work & have time to cook/read/lounge around
  • to have to take care of the doggies
  • to eat whatever I feel like without having to choose what’s best to fuel for tomorrow’s workout
  • to not worry about what’s for dinner, whether it will provide the nutrients necessary, & how little prep time it will require
  • [the list goes on…]

Sacrifice = giving up the things we cherish above all else

I’ve been thinking about the sacrifices that I’ve made & the sacrifices the people who surround me have made in these past 5 months that have made my Ironman journey possible.

  • My parents missed me dearly, but I didn’t go home to visit because I couldn’t miss a training ride. I missed my mom’s 60th birthday (this is a big year in our culture) & felt pretty horrible about it.
  • My parents took care of my fur babies (Keiko & Miso) after the Chevron in January so that I wouldn’t have to worry about taking care of them. Though it was lonely without the babies, that was the only way to ensure I got as much sleep as possible & to enable my twice a day workouts on the weekdays & full day training rides/related activities during the weekend.
  • Whenever we did century rides, I would leave the house before the sun came out, ride, run, eat, & wouldn’t make it home until dark. Entire day gone, just like that.
  • I gave up eating big tasty dinners on weeknights because I’d get home too late after my evening workout that I’d either have a small light snack or just a protein shake & go to sleep.
  • I turned down invitations to birthday parties, baby showers, etc… because they would interfere with my training schedule.
  • My boyfriend had to put up with my attitude when I wasn’t sleeping enough, when I got cranky after long training sessions, or whenever post-race depression hit me.
  • When training was in full swing, it was normal to get 6 hours of sleep a night… normally I’m a 7-8 hours a night sort of girl. Most mornings I would be in the pool or out running before my mind even knew what the hell I was doing. Pool heater broken? Jump in & get it done. Cold? swim harder. Numb? just tri. It became mechanical but what must be done will be done.

I missed out on a lot while I had my head buried in triathlon. But I chose to be  a loner, it’s simply the nature of the beast. And I don’t regret it because in that solitude…

  • I found that the people who matter are still around waiting patiently in the background for the opportunity to share their enthusiasm
  • I found that by making those sacrifices I created inspiration & most importantly, possibilities
  • I found my strengths & mental fortitude
  • I became mentally prepared to endure the long race alone.

Aside from the team, these are my #1 supporters. I am so full of love for all of you!

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