I’m “In Training” now. The words hung heavy in the air as the reality set in. My mom was right (per usual). I wasn’t just getting in shape/being healthy anymore, I was IN TRAINING. I had set my sights on a “revenge body”- on getting healthy and looking great. I hadn’t planned on this kind of a goal. THIS is serious! This is hard; this is real! This is the first time I’ve had a goal of this nature in a long time, as long as I can remember anyway! I’m reaching WAY outside my comfort zone, on a daily basis, for something I talked about (perhaps half jokingly) for years- and now I’m doing it! I’m terrified, but loving every minute!!
With this reality setting in, I can see it all more clearly. The trainings both with the group and individually have become something I look forward to and still fear (a little) all at the same time. But I keep going and am so proud of myself when I finish each one, even if I’m not as fast or graceful as someone else. I still did it!
It’s been an incredible experience to be doing this during the Olympics; to be able to watch the best athletes in the world compete in the trials I am working towards achieving, on such a small scale comparatively, is literally awe-some. It’s impossible to not find an entirely new level of respect and adoration for them all. I’m also so grateful to be able to study their technique (even if the swimmers are completely stressing me out as I realize what 750m really looks like!)
Being part of Empire, I am beyond fortunate to find great encouragement much closer to home. Having Chris Moser ride (ok blow) past me on Harlem Hill and (I think, it could have been my inner monologue escaping again) say “this sucks” (which it absolutely did) and then to see his incredibly inspiring Nike ad during the Olympics that night or a new friend confidently reminding me I can do it, knowing nothing about me other than the fact that I’m there and trying, or Brad, one of my cycling coaches, teach me how and when to shift gears (completely changing my world!) –all of these together show me I am part of something and yet competing only against myself. I can do this. I AM doing this! The team helps motivate me to keep going and believing in myself!
I accidentally missed the last group run, which was a much needed hill workshop, and am still beating myself up about it. But I didn’t just go home. I decided to face the lower loop that we ran for our bench mark 2 weeks back. It felt like 110 degrees with about 1000% humidity, but I gave it a shot. And I ran the whole thing- without stopping and shaved 58 seconds off my benchmark time!! I am still so proud of this improvement and can’t wait to see my progress as training continues!
I continue to surprise myself with each workout- I can push harder, for longer and go faster than I really thought I’d be able to and certainly more than I ever have before. I cannot only feel and see the difference in the runs, bikes and swims but I can recognize the mental difference. The fears are dissipating, though I’m still nervous, as I gain the confidence in myself. Thanks to the Empire team mentality, the fun is coming through as much as the work. And while it is hard work, it doesn’t feel like too much. In the beginning I would have said I could never complete this week’s mini tri (200m swim, 6 mile bike, 1.4 mile run) but I did- without stopping! It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And I know that as the next several weeks progress, so will the trainings. Come October 2nd I will be excited to check Triathlete (ok maybe an overstatement, but the Mightyman Montauk Sprint) off my list.
I had set a “by the time I’m 30” bucket list which included losing 80lbs and completing a triathlon sprint… well as we near my 35th birthday (gulp!) I am nearly 70lbs down and about to complete my first tri! By the time by birthday arrives at the end of October, I know I will have completed both!
Benchmark stats: 1.7 mile run- 18:02
-2lbs (though by Friday I am anticipating this will be closer to -5!)