So it's not like I did the marathon, collapsed back on the couch with a pint of Chubby Hubby and never looked back. And it's not like there haven't been challenges to share here. A visit to the medic tent after the half-marathon and a new injury that might be shin splints or might be a stress fracture. So there's plenty to share.
And then I realized why as I sat here on the sofa with ice on my shin, unable to run tonight.
Sitting on the couch and being a couch potato, even if forced by an injury, is not in my makeup anymore. There is nothing more I'd rather be doing tonight than running on a treadmill or on a path around the lake. I see hills...Hills!...and I wish I was able to run up them and work on my intervals. After all this time, my mindset has truly changed. I don't envision a time in my life when I'll ever give up on fitness again.
And this is why I agreed to do a sprint triathlon with an ocean swim with virtually no training.
About a month ago, I flew down to California to spend some time with my sisters. I had extended my trip for a few days longer than originally planned because I wanted to be there to cheer them on as they did the Carpinteria triathlon. My sister Nancy picked me up from the airport, and no sooner did we start driving up the 101 did she inform me that our friend Kerry had to back out of the triathlon due to a back injury, and there was a space for me to do it.
My first thought was that I hadn't been on a bike since the Danskin in August, and I'd never done an open water ocean swim, and oh by the way, aren't there sharks????? So I ducked it and said, "Love to, but I don't have a bike."
"We have an extra one you can use."
"And I don't have a wetsuit," I said.
"We have an extra one of those too."
"I've never trained in the ocean." I was grasping for anything at this point.
"We'll get you out there today if you want."
I was running out of excuses. "But there are sharks! I don't want to die!" As I said, I was grasping.
But here's the thing, and my sisters don't even know this. Not only did I know I'd do it from the first minute she brought it up, I had actually planned my trip to stay and "cheer them on" in the hopes that maybe I could find a way to do it too. It didn't even dawn on me to not participate. I didn't really want to be on the sidelines. And that is such a huge mindset change from where I was when I started this fitness journey almost 10 years ago. I didn't finish with my fastest time, but it felt great to do it, and even better to share that experience with my sisters.
This mind shift to fitness as a lifestyle has been life changing, and I hope that I have good health late in life so I can continue taking on fitness challenges for a long time to come. I like the person I've become, the people that have come into my life because of it, and the much-needed confidence it has given to me.
Oh, and you'll be glad to know that I used my "reluctance" to do the triathlon and parlayed that into a challenge for my sister, Nancy. One that she reluctantly accepted.
I said, "Okay, I'll do your triathlon if you do the Napa Marathon with me in March." All of a sudden, me doing the tri didn't seem like such a good idea. And once I stepped foot in the ocean on the day of the tri, she knew she was committed.
Good thing she didn't know that I was gonna do the tri anyway with no convincing.
Next up: Training for Marathon #2: Applying Lessons Learned