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I struggle with myself more than I struggle with anyone else.  With less than eight weeks less until 70.3 Miami, I am desperately trying to restrain myself from my typical modus operandi of self-sabotage.  But the truth…

I am starting to doubt this race.

For almost a year, I’ve been going back and forth with a hip injury.  This injury, which has been diagnosed as a torn labrum will require surgery at some point when I am done being stupid and triathletic.  For a while, there was almost no pain. After my big 13.1 miler two weekends ago followed by a day in ridiculous heels, I have been pretty much suffering through every workout (and every step to the breakroom, the bathroom, and all in between).

Yes, the pain is real.  The pain is present.  But I can’t help but think that I am using the pain as an excuse. I don’t want to do that.

“There is advantage in the wisdom won from pain” — Aeschylus “

At physical therapy on Monday, the massage therapist was digging into my hip and butt for trigger point therapy.  He hit one spot that immediately brought tears to my eyes: the “hurts so good” factor.

He said, “You are the first person in thirty years of massage therapy that didn’t scream, crawl away, or say ‘stop’ with that trigger point.”

“Huh,” I said.  “Well, I only screamed once in thirty-six hours of labor, and your trigger point wasn’t even close to as painful.”

He just stared at me.

So I have a high pain threshold. So what? Well. That means that my doubt issues fall somewhere in my head, not my hip.

I can physically tolerate the pain.  But the question is: can I mentally tolerate it? Am I mentally strong enough to make it to and through the finish (in under 8 hours) at Miami?

Plain and simple, I don’t have the answer.  At this point, I am just scared.

“Fear is probably the thing that limits performance more than anything – 
the fear of not doing well, of what people will say. 
You’ve got to acknowledge those fears, then release them.” –Mark Allen


  • Karen @ working it out...

    September 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I am thinking that if you could get through 36 hours of labor and only scream once, you have some built in mental toughness. You swim/bike/run, have a full time job and family – further evidence of your mental toughness. If it isn't something that would get worse by you continuing to train and race then it might just be a matter of how bad do you want to see this to the end? I am pretty sure you have this one 🙂

  • swrunneraz

    September 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Yeah, you can definitely do it and once it's over than you can take care of yourself! I just had a bad bike crash on Sunday with a concussion and whiplash… I HAD to rest the last 3 days but today I am going to swim and try to run… I also had hip pain several weeks ago but switched to the treadmill to make it easier on them, and it worked! This triathlon could just be a test to see what we're made of and what we're willing to overcome to make it!!! Let's do it!!! Mine is October 23rd (my first) and if I don't do it, I will never forgive myself, so let's do it girlie!!! 😉

  • TriGirl

    September 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    It's normal right? To doubt you can do something you've never done before…but you said it yourself, right up there: you need to 'just keep moving'. You've got this!

  • Donna

    September 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I don't know about you, but for me 8 weeks out is just about when I start having my roller-coaster ride. I come to the realization that there's really only 6 more weeks of training and 2 weeks to taper. I start going through my equipment. I go through my training calendar, and start calculating all the missed or traded workouts, then I start doubting myself. In my triathlon club we call that the race BuZzZz. The "BuZzZz" brings you up and down over and over again. You are strong enough, mentally, to ride it out. Know that it never gets easier. I feel if I don't go through this period, then I obviously don't care enough. I feel the same way now going into my 3rd 70.3, as I did my first… maybe even worse. I suspect this is because I care. We all want to do well for our first one. Or we all want to want to do better than I did last time. Coach says triathlon is 99% mental. So try and work the positive. Think about all the early mornings you were out there when others were still in bed. Think about your kiddos cheering you on every race that you've done in preparation for your 70.3 goal. Think about how much you've learned! You've been training, racing, practicing. The race is just your "victory lap" for getting through all the training effort. You're not a wuss… a wuss would have deferred already. You're a tough chick. And I know… I only read blogs for tough chicks. 🙂

  • Kristin

    September 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Hi there! I am slowly working my way through your blog and you are providing me with so much inspiration! I am glad you did this post on doubt because I am 4 months out from my very first triathlon and I can feel these feelings of doubt creeping in so you are making me feel more 'human' 🙂 I know in my heart of hearts that I will get there, and having read through a bit of your blog, I have no doubt that you will too! Thank you for writing so honestly and so well, I look forward to reading into the future.


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