Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey Quitter...

Did you ever quit anything?  Totally just toss in the towel and give up?  Not stop and restart, just quit.  I did.  And the moment I did never faded, because quitting haunts you if it's not your usual style.   I quit Ironman CDA in 2010.  On the beach before the swim start I cried to my homestay family, in the freezing swim I cried behind Matt Lieto's feet round lap #2, I did one loop of the bike and promised myself I could stop after the 2nd loop, then I quit. No marathon. Done.

Just like that I became a quitter.  You can make excuses, I did.  It was cold, I got hypothermia in the swim, I was sad because of a break up with the first boy I dated after my divorce and couldn't get my heart straight, I missed Kainoa, oh I had so many excuses and reasons.  I ran a mile and just quit, called it off as, "I don't need to prove I can walk a marathon".  THEN... in an attempt to resolve my quitter-ness, I went to a sports psychologist thinking he would be able to help my body run despite my brain saying, "No, you suck right now".  Guess what, nobody can help you not be a quitter but yourself.  And so, after a few sessions with the sport psychologist (all very good learning steps for sport), I discovered that you have to have a reason to keep going or quitting is very easy to do.  That goes for everything in sport, life, and love.  You can just quit when it doesn't feel good, feel fast, feel right, or feel easy...

Next month I am returning to Ironman CDA and the demons of that freezingness, that down hill bike section that freaks me out, amongst other things that have haunted me over there, I am going back to un-quit what I once quit. Oh, I've already pep talked myself and prepared myself that Ironman CDA is not a warm, tropical beach.  There are no pretty fish in the swim, the bike is not an easy breezy, warm ride, and the run...well, I only know the first mile.  There is no pretending, the "fake like I love it", will not be my plan, I am preparing right now to find a way to be strong and brave...

Training has been really good on the island.  You know, dolphins, plumerias, beaches, and papayas.  It's been hot, sunny miles, lots of them  Yesterday was a breakthrough day for me, just over 8 hours of swim-bike-run.  My mind saw a few ugly places, the dark ones that you can choose to "quit" or slow down, and I welcomed them with open arms, in fact I need them, to learn how to  overcome them so when CDA gets here I am ready.  Tomorrow is designated as my "Ironman CDA" day.  I pretty much took Hawaii and mapped it out (minus the cold and giant Christmas looking trees) and made a practice Ironman for tomorrow.  It will have some of the similar hills, some lonely sections without a giant cheer squad, and one section should be cold and maybe rainy. It will be good for me...not to mention, long.

Um... that L is how Kainoa's says, "Love you", it's sort of been my secret humor of  motivation this week though.  I have to laugh and call it "loser" as it reminds me to not quit this big training week, because when we quit we are guaranteed to lose.  So take a deep breath if you must, go back to the drawing board, a little time out if you have to...just don't quit.  Alright, gotta sleep, tomorrow is going to be a big day on the island.  Just me, myself, and the little DNF (did not finish) demon, have some work to do...



ltlindian said...

Sounds like you are in a much better place mentally now--there will be no quitting! only finishing! :) (and maybe winning!!)

Love that last bike photo.

Lucy Francis said...

If it's any consolation I too am scared of those steep descents, specially with a bend when you can't see what's around the corner. They freak me out.
And swimming in cold water, well, it's much nicer when it's warm. I'm going to give you some tips that have been handed down to me form English channel swimmers:
when you get in cold water and submerge your face, the body goes into shock and it takes your breath away, cough a few times to help loosen up the muscles around the chest and bring your breathing back to normal :-)
Good luck with IM CDA, you're going to do great as you're are in a far better emotional state now.
Good luck with the long training day


Been there... in fact at a race you did pretty good at IMLOU in 2010.
With blisters on the balls of my feet and cramping to the point of crying, I stopped at mile 9 of the marathon... and I can remember vividly... looking back from where I came... looking at my watch realizes 17 hours was in doubt...and then saying "Shit" (excuse my French) realizes it would be best to fight another day. The worst part was sitting there for 45 minutes waiting for a SAG wagon.

But 9 weeks later I PRd at IMFL. Lessons is life are to be used to improve in the future... if not, they are just wasted.

Don't worry, I will cheer you up as I figure we will pass each other on the course at least 3 times. (granted I will be many hours behind you, but still..)

Michele said...

Hi Bree - Love Love LOVE your writing and your honesty. I am a slow AG'er and I did IMCdA last summer (2012). You do know they changed the bike course from previous years, right? While there was a descent that was scary for me since I'm not as experienced on my bike, my Kona-qualifying AG friend who saw the same course last year said that the ride was much less treacherous than her 2009 CdA. No significant turns right after mad descents. I'm not saying it's not hilly or not challenging, just that my experienced friend repeatedly said how the bike course had improved and that was echoed by CdA veterans I met while there.

The first little loop of the bike course goes around the town and lake and is simply stunning. You run that same little loop twice, and it's just really a pleasure (because I am not near as fast as you, I had plenty of time to look around and soak it in).

I will be reading and hoping the best for you during your training. I saw you win at IMKY and I will be following you on race day to your next triumph. Thank you again for sharing your inspiration and your passion.


JC said...

Have a fantastic training day Chica. Xoxox

Bree said...

Even in quitting we still win, when we are present and welcome the learning that unfolds. Accepting ourselves and our decisions made is self-love at its most beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Kathy said...

What a GREAT learning experience you have now! What to take advantage of the situation. Looking forward to following you (but I'll leave the cold water to you. there is a reason I live in the tropics :))

Bre said...

You said that you had to prepare to be strong and brave so I thought I'd share this quote as it's always my go to before a race. It just reminds me that I can get through anything that race day is going to throw at me and at the end of the day I'm going to be bigger, better, stronger, braver than I was when I stood on the start line.
"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside your head that yells "CAN'T" but you dont' listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper, "can." And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for one you really are."
Love your posts so very much- thanks for writing them.