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The Aftermath & Encouragement

I had trouble sleeping last night. The Expert and I got into a minor tiff right before bed… regarding the hefty registration fee from my craziness that is Ironman Coeur d’Alene.

“I asked you if I could register!” I said.

“I know,” he said, “But you tricked me.”

“How did I trick you?” I asked.

“You didn’t say it cost that kind of money.” (Not true. Just the day before, we had discussed how ridiculous it was that IM fees were double the half IM fees. But then came to the conclusion that half the race requires half the fee. ….Anyway, yes we discussed it.)



So I couldn’t sleep. The minor money tiff made me think, I wonder if he’s going to get mad when I am gone for ridiculous bike rides.  Like the race registration fee, “I knew the training would be hard, but you tricked me!” And then the Swim Bike Kids… I will do my workouts at Sick Early O’Clock, but I will miss them.

Hurmph.  All the doubts.  They started to creep in…..

[The dear Expert and I are fine, today.  Don’t worry, Mom.]

He’s the best. He is incredibly supportive. Thanks to so many emails from many of you, the Expert and I had discussed long ago about my IM dream, the time commitment, and what it meant for our family.  So he’s “on board.”  It was a tiff about money because we owe the IRS money that I shouldn’t have sent to the World Triathlon Corp.

So… I have a supportive spouse, and I’m a lucky tri ducky.

And while I am certain that my evil Ironman “trickery” won’t come without its troubles, I am striving for balance and hope that my kids will hear “mom is an Ironman.”  Because really, I want to prove to them that moving forward… matters. That dreams (not matter how virtually insane (and tricky!)) really do… matter.

I wondered if I would wake up this morning sick to my stomach after the registration move. But I didn’t. I woke up incredibly hopeful. Happy. Focused. And as I ran this morning, people came up to me on the treadmill and said, “Congrats!” and “We’re doing IM CdA too!” and “Yay!”  8.5 miles on the treadmill later, I was beaten. But not broken.  It’s going to be a tough journey, but I’m going for it.

I am in awe of the SBM support and cheers.  You guys are really, the best.   I hope you know that I am cheering for all of you too.

I had a conference call yesterday and I was telling my triathlon tale when one of the callers said, “Well, your story is more than just triathlon. It’s about inspiring others and telling people to live their dream.”

Okay, I think that is part true, yes.

But what I said in response brought tears to my eyes, because it took me back to the reason behind all of this, the reason I tri and the reason I write.

I told her, “I write … because I do not want any woman in this world to feel the way I felt back in 2009.  I was sad, fat, angry, and isolated. I had two (very) young children. I was working my super fat ass off at job that was about to make me jump from the roof, and for what? I was hopeless. I hated myself, more than I hated anyone else.  Sure, I write to ‘inspire…’  But more accurately, I write because I need people to know… there is better out there for you.  You are better than you know. You do not have to feel this way. You are not alone.”

And it’s true.

I believe in you. I may not “know” you, but I know where I have come from.

And if you are there —- in that sad, angry and isolated place… then believe me, I know you.

Registration for my first Ironman is insane, yes. I get that. But living life as an overworked, tired, fat mother was way worse. Triathlon is a mother.  But fat, tired, overworked, motherhood is the real mother.

We all must find what makes our eyes light up… we must take the steps towards those dreams. And just click “register” or say “yes, I will” or show up to the day.  Whether it’s triathlon, cross-stitching or hula hoops.

From the moment you DECIDE to change… things around you begin to change… and eventually, you will be forever changed, too.

So much love to you all.  Together, we will all just keep moving forward.  Thank you, again.


  • Lisa Brautigam

    August 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    So excited to hear you are doing IM CDA! I know MANY who have done that race so if you have questions let me know – and maybe we will finally make the trek to be spectators next year and be there to watch you – it is an AWESOME race!

  • Jennifer

    August 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hang in there and don’t let anything keep you from moving forward! Though I have just started my tri journey – I too struggle with the guilt factor and the “Oh I didn’t realize that” and “your “going to the gym/biking/swimming/running again” comments. I work full-time and struggle to make sure I am spread completely thin throughout my family. After going to CrossFit last night I was completely wiped out (after running a 10K race Sunday morning and swimming 1000yards on Monday evening) and yet I put the toothpicks in my eyes and snuggled up with my 11 year old baby to watch Grimm.

  • Jillian

    August 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Great post! I understand so much about the being an overworked, tired, fat mother. I have been there. I believe our children are the same age (mine are 3 and 5, both girls). Bravo to you for turning thing around, the ironman journey is an incredible one, you are about to learn so much about yourself

  • Tina Olson

    August 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Congratulations!! It has been my dream to do the CDA IM!! I was an overweight cake decorator in a little town close to CDA. One year I made a cake for a finisher and I will never forget her coming in to pick up the cake- how she looked, how she talked of such great excitement and accomplishment. It was right then and there when I decided- I WANT TO COMPLETE ONE!! My parents live 30 miles from CDA and it would be such a great family get together for support. I am wavering on the entry fee – as HOLY SMOKES!!! Can you share your training regimen? Do you have a trainer, do I need at trainer?? So many questions…. I almost cried when I saw you blog and it said CDA IM, so I thank you for sparking my excitement.

  • Sarah

    August 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    So, I know it’s overwhelming. I signed up for Tahoe and I’m overwhelmed too. What I also know is that I have a single parent friend who did Ironman Lake Placid …. with a broken elbow. It is entirely doable when you believe in yourself. You will miss time with your kids. Or maybe you will run on the treadmill while you watch a movie together. Or maybe you will be on the trainer in the weeee early morning hours or the late night hours, but at the end they will see that you are an Ironman. And you too will see that you are an Ironman, and nothing and no one can take that away from you. (I say this because as a single Mom signed up for Ironman, I need to believe that its doable or I’ll never even make it to the start line.) We are Iron People… If we just believe…..

  • Steve Voiles

    August 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    You inspire me to no end. I hope to one day join you as an Ironman because I know it will happen in my future. My Half-Iron will be next year with Team In Training. I’ll Tri for those who can’t and with the support of my Team we will defeat blood cancers!

  • Elizabeth

    August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I LOVE your blog, your humor and candor are a fresh breath of air for me, when I feel all tangled up trying to balance working, mom-ming, writing, and training. I, like many, can totally relate to you, and identify with the struggles. Now to read you are going for an IM! I am so excited to follow you on your journey. I can only fit half IM’s into my life right now (I ‘say’ IM’s like I have bunches under my belt yet I feel like an imposter…I’ve only done one ‘full’ half one, the other two only were 2/3 of the Half due to raging rivers and heat waves –yes, this is ending up sounding like a math class… ANYWAY, keep up your good work on all fronts. And, THANK YOU for your great blog

  • Cindy Bryl

    August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    The link is to my latest post on Ironman training. I have 6 1/2 weeks till the big day. I will complete the Chesapeake Man a non-Ironman sanctioned event on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

    I have been training January and started a really detailed plan at 20 weeks to go. It is HARD. The physical training is obviously the hard but the harder part is keeping a balance. Family must come first. and like you that meant 0’dark early workouts, but even with that you will be gone for upwards of 5 hours at a time as you get into the thick of the biking and running. This takes a toll on even the most supportive family. I have tried to quit several times with my husband telling me “uh, no, this sucks right now, but we are not doing this again and starting over”. So, while I have 100% support, the support has needs too.

    You need to build in recovery time too and that can seem like the ultimate selfishness. ‘What you have been gone all day and now you’re going to take a nap?” However, sometimes it’s necessary. There will be days you have to scrap the workout because just getting out of bed and drinking coffee will make you cry.

    I don’t say any of this in a mean spirit or to tear you down but rather to encourage you to look at this from a larger perspective than a training plan full of workouts. You CAN do it. I truly believe anyone can if they are willing. It all boils down to your motto….Just keep moving forward.

    So you miss a couple workouts, get back on the bike and realize you are better for the rest.

    Good luck and I look forward to reading about your journey.


  • Jen

    August 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Awesome! I have verbally committed to doing an Ironman in 5 years. 5 Years is a long time, but I just started with sprints this year and just started running last year. I have come a long way, but have a long way to go!

  • Abby Janssen

    August 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Okay SBM, you make me cry at least once a week with your posts and this one really did it. Just before I read your post I got an email from the organizers of the tri that I’m doing and like you said, the doubts crept in. (I know, I know only positive thoughts!) After reading your post I feel better. I am so inspired by you and feel so lucky to have stumbled upon your blog. Thank you for all that you post, all the encouragement and sharing all you know! You are going to rock the IM CDA and I am so excited to watch this journey unfold.

  • Nicole lund

    August 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I have done IMCDA and volunteered there andI’ll be doing one or the other this year as well, I’d be glad to offer help or advice or local perspective (weather or water temps 🙂 . Good luck and enjoy your IM journey!

  • Laura

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Trust me – it will all be worth it. I had the supporting role for my husband’s 2010 Ironman and despite all the extra laundry and housework I had to do to make up for his absence and exhaustion when he was around it was all worth it. I have never been prouder than I was of him when he crossed the finish line – it was overwhelming and I tear up now just thinking about it. The entire IM day was an amazing experience and if your kids get to be there too it will be just that much more amazing.

  • Tamara Bond

    August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Wow…flukey. I just registered for Ironman Cairns here in Australia. This post could have been me in slightly different circumstances. I’m 50′ been a stay a home mum for the last 11 years and tried to return to work to a career that, I am sure, would have had me on some sort of medication within 6 months. In the last year I have had a career change that almost literally makes me jump for joy….and entered an Ironman next June 18th. Nuts.
    I’m inspired, petrified, excited. I want to show my son and people my age what is possible.
    Thanks for the read. I’m going to follow your journey.
    Have a blast.

  • Amber Fowble

    August 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Way to go!!! You are incredibly inspiring and I just love listening to your stories. My goal is to do an IM as well. I am doing my first Olympic distance TRI next Saturday. I plan to do a 1/2 IM next summer and do the big race the following year(at 34). The thought of the training and the time away from my kids really freaks me out but at the end of the day our dreams are WORTH chasing and our kids will one day recognize this. More power to you woman!!!!

  • Melissa

    August 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Wow, I felt this post. My blog is totally not up to date on me right now, but I signed up for IMKY, and it is in 11 days! I signed up late to the game, training on the sly for it, so that it impacted my family as little as I could (I get 10 hours of daycare with my gym membership), riding the trainer at night, and doing long rides on Sat at insane times- starting a 60 mile ride at 3pm after my husband rode, took kids to b-day party, ect, and used other events as training. We’ll see how it goes. The money and the time factor have been those “you tricked me” things. I have been spending about $25 every other week on food for my training, and just had to replace a chain, not to mention the time I was gone for 9 hours when I rode the whole course, minus 2 miles b/c we parked a mile up from the start. It will be interesting to see how my hack plan plays out next weekend. Good luck with your training! It looks like you have a better support system than I do. I agree that triathlon is a coping mechanism. I need to do a big post on it, but I haven’t wanted to post anything about the IM until it is done.

  • Colleen

    August 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    This is going to be such an amazing journey for you. Take one day at a time. That’s all you can do. Some days it will be overwhelming. Some days downright miserable. But hearing “Meredith, you are an Ironman” will change your life forever.

    A lot of us have been in your shoes – the doubts that come with signing up and what lies ahead. PLEASE let us know if you have any questions, or if there is anything we can help you with. Even if it’s just saying “YES, you CAN do this”. 🙂

  • Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching

    August 18, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I think I’ve read everything you’ve written, and heard every word you’ve spoken to me (ok, that sounds kind of creepy stalkerish), but this post choked me up. You are SO on the right track and you are SO making a huge difference in lives of so many women and men. And yay for the Expert for making you a lucky tri ducky!

  • Tami

    August 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I am not sure how I found your blog but I did. This is a great post. I struggle with a lot of the same things, but in the end we all need something that makes us happy. My friend did ironman monttremblant last weekend and it was amazing to watch. While a full ironman isn’t something I want to do, I do know how much work it is both for you, your husband and your kids.


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