A year full of sunshine and rainbows, and a lot of smoke and mirrors on the rainy days. We even had thunder and lightening cast over us in San Diego. And over my life too.
This week, Moment Racing lost our two most active female racers. And I can't help but reflect that loss to myself. There is probably much more to their exits, and I know it's selfish to turn the spotlight back to me, but I am hurt. It's not their fault, nor do I wish to reflect any negativity towards any of my prior teammates. I realize this event is just the last one in a series of "woe is me."
So I'm going to cleanse my feelings through writing and press restart.
The problem is, I'm a strong individual. The first born. A Midwestern. Stubborn and a bit sassy. So identifying when something is internally wrong doesn't come immediately for me. I think I'm pretty good at mitigating my stress levels. I have a handle on these crappy situations. But what's happening are those levels become maxed out, and the next stressful event fills my already full arms. My internalization of emotions and events makes me look strong from the outside, and asking for help seems weak and unnecessary. I got this. And the extra tip of the scales suddenly makes that load unbearable.
Looking back, I've had a great year statistically.
Top 5 placing in 14 of 16 races
Red Trolley W123 - 2nd
Valley of the Sun Criterium W3 - 1st
Valley of the Sun Road Race W3 - 5th
Valley of the Sun Stage Race W3 - 4th
St Patrick's Day Crit W123 - 4th
Tour de Murietta Road Race W123 - 5th
Barrio Logan W3/4 - 1st
Hancock Twilight Crit W3/4 - 2nd
Hancock Twilight Crit W123 - 5th
Avenue of Flags Crit W3/4 - 3rd
Avenue of Flags Crit W123 - 7th
California State Championship Crit W3/4 - 4th
California State Championship Crit W123 - 5th
Manhattan Beach Grand Prix W3/4 - 1st
Successful Category 3 -> 2 upgrade (points)
Here was my write-up to a teammate gathering info on the season:
"I had an awesome season racing with teammates! We had a blast coming up with race plans and executing, and whether they succeed or not, we always came to the next race with the fire to try again. After racing as a solo racer for most of my career, it was very rewarding to share my successes with teammates, who sacrificed a ton to get me to the line every time. Every one of those results was a team effort. It was a fun season of not only endurance but mental growth, learning to push past pain doing multiple races in one day/weekend. In my last season as a Cat 3, I was afforded the opportunity to both learn from the big girls, and lead the newer racers."
Deja vu all over again. None of that matters when you don't have anyone to celebrate with. I lost almost all my teammates in 2010, just after my first racing season, when they left to start another team. I should have learned back then that nothing is forever in this sport; loyalty is only good till the end of the season.
I'm a swimmer and a triathlete, which are individual sports. I was a marching band nerd and a synchronized swimmer, but I liked those team activities because they were so reliant on each individual's performance. I thrived knowing I put forward my best for the team.
Amateur bike racing is unique. The results in the end are who crossed the line first, but the process to get there and how a race unfolds isn't so simple. Teamwork is a beautiful thing when it works, and is what keeps a team together. Second place through the last rider keep coming back to race again. The lure of the line isn't the only reason people race. Maybe I've been blinded by that.
This summer I had just come off a great road season, ready and motivated to kick butt at Tahoe half ironman this fall. I was happy with my fitness at SDIT and ready to build upon it. We went to Lake Tahoe for my swim relay and Kyle's first long distance mtb race and came back motivated. Only to have our car break down and Kyle to go into SVT two days later. The string of stress started to unravel. Training suffered.
September 2014 was probably the most stressful month of my life. Highlights (and lowlights) included Tri Classic work craziness, immediately followed by Interbike, my cousins wedding and our fall Tahoe trip. Immediately followed by my race cancellation, Kyle's SVT, watching him get shocked 3x and subsequent overnight stay in the cardiac ICU in Reno. Immediately followed by my worst half ironman, my car dying again of the same problem, and Kyle's mandatory pre-deployment retreat on his 30th birthday. Immediately followed by his 2nd ablation which took much longer than expected, but yet she expects it to be a non issue. Which was said after the first round. Immediately followed by the exit of teammates. Oh did I mention we are under the two week countdown to his second deployment? Can we just get a break already? Déjà vu all over again.
|before the race that didn't happen|
|yep. 247. garmin said so.|
|not a comfy ride.|
|oh, this again?|
|that was not fun.|
In college I went through a similar low eb during my sophomore year. I was dealing with a sidelining back injury, working on a not yet diagnosed Crohn's disease, and a failed relationship where I was heartbroken. I had just finished my worst swim meet and called home to cry to my dad. In his ever amazing talk to calm me down, he explained how my siblings and I were finally voted into our Chippewa tribe! Did I mention this was the only semester I got a 4.0? Ahh, silver linings.
It's not as if this is "just a funk," as I kept telling myself. And I know I'll be okay. I have an amazing husband, I live by the beach, I love my job.
I'm not motivated by swim bike run anymore. I need to step away from the sport until it finds me again. It felt very forced this season, and I don't enjoy sport when I'm "forced" to do it. I'm not a pro. This isn't my livelihood. My college tuition is paid. Triathlon is something that used to make me happy. This year I kept finding it left me feeling guilty about missed workouts. It left me feeling bad about my body image and my slow (for me) times. It actually made me hate swimming.
Phew. That's a lot of negativity. I'm a positive person. I like to smile. I've lost who I was and I will find her again. I am a swimmer, lost in transition. But I am a native and I always find my way.
I'm looking forward. To training as "one of the guys" again, and racing as I have before, solo. I know this will be a challenge as a Cat 2. I know I have a lot of work to get my body where I want it to be. Strong and balanced. My sherpa is going on an extended "trip," yet he'll be back before I know it. Time for a winter of #willsdynasty.