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Why We Tri

100 Days. Well, 99 days until Ironman Lake Placid.  (But who’s counting. I started this post yesterday). I remember how I felt 100 days before my first Ironman in 2013.  Unsure of what I was doing (even though I had a coach).  Unsure of why I was doing it (the Expert had lost his job, I wasn’t having any luck with my health or my body).  Unsure if the payoff would be worth it.

All of these revisited emotions have made me re-ask myself the questions.  Placid will be my third 140.6 (Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2013, Beach 2 Battleship non-branded 140.6 distance)

Why bother tackling another Ironman in 100 days?

With all the crazy things that are going on in life. Why oh why am I really doing this?  And Placid? Lawdy…

With the 100 day countdown to 2013 Coeur d’Alene, I broke up my training into 10 day “dedication” blocks.  I dedicated each ten day block of training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, starting at Day 100, to important people in my life. Having someone to “thank” during the hard workouts made me more grateful and kept me going.  If you care to go back and read, the links to those 10 dedications are listed on this page.

I thought about doing another round of the 10 day dedications. But I honestly can’t possibly handle doing that again. Those were SO stinking emotional. I cried writing them. I can’t have another layer of tears happening every 10 days. 🙂

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But it did make me think about going for a third Ironman is different.

And it is.  There’s less real uncertainty.  Less fuzzy-happies about the finishline. For me, it’s more about going out there and doing a job now… in a good way. (Since I will never qualify for Kona, Ironman Legacy may be all I have. That requires 11 more of these puppies (plus one in the Legacy year)… so a minimum of 12 more total. Whew.))  So it’s a bit of a job. But I don’t mean a job like I dread it.  (Or make money at it!)  But a job in a positive way. I show up every day. I do work. And that’s just what I do.  It’s a wonderful consistency for me.

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And I really like Ironman training.  I like the crazy long runs and rides. I like the double workouts. It overshadows and balances out my tendencies for depression and anxiety… truly.  Who knew riding 80-100 miles on a Sunday would help anxiety. Ha!

Truth time.  I also very much train to run away from my problems.

I train and run away for bits and pieces of time… so that I don’t run away from my entire life. (Seriously.)  It’s flipping HARD to be working woman and mom and wife with real responsibilities, ten jobs and 100 bills.  Man, it would be so “easy” to walk away from it all, build a lean-to on a beach in Puerto Rico and say, “I’m done,” where is my Wilson volleyball to keep me company.  So literally, I take training as my escape—so I can come home and live my life with a wonderful sense of gratitude.  It makes me grateful and see things for the GOOD in them, not the STRESS, if that makes sense.

I also like that I can’t just show up and “wing” an Ironman.  I mean, you shouldn’t show up and wing ANY race, but a person would be clinically insane to never train and do an Ironman.  So it keeps me motivated. Eye on the prize stuff. Recognition that skipping a really long run or ride will not help my endgame.

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But if I woke up tomorrow and Ironman was forever “out” and “off the table” for me, for whatever reason… that would NOT stop me from tri-ing.  I love the sport at all distances. I love the three-sport training. I. Love. It. All.

I put myself through Ironman because it holds a special place in my heart.  But it’s more than that, really.

I think I do triathlon for one simple reason.

To prove to myself and my kids that I can do anything I set out to do.

Afterall, on paper, I am a very unlikely triathlete, as I am often reminded by my Dad.  He’s notorious for being shocked at every triathlon I finish (but in a good way… like WOW YOU ROCK!  Not “that was impossible.”)

Every finish line reminds me that I am worthy, awesome and an example for two little munckins who are all eyes and ears.

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Each finishline does not remind me that I am fat or slow or lazy or sorry or weak (though I may feel that way entirely too often).

A finish line, no matter the distance, makes me feel worthy. Awesome. Like a badass.

And that… is…  important.

Just this week, Ironman and #WomenForTri launched the #WhyWeTri campaign.

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The campaign is: “Every woman has a reason WHY she competes and we want to know yours! Post a picture, quote or both on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about WHY you tri using the hashtag #whywetri. Women For Tri’s mission is simple: ‘To identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities.’ In keeping with this positive and empowering mindset Women For Tri is launching WHY, which is aimed at focusing on what triathlon adds to your life, not its perceived “barriers.” #whywetri is all about highlighting your WHY in hopes of getting other women thinking about how triathlon can add to their life too.”

I really love this idea!

But I do like thinking about what triathlon ADDS to your life… not what it TAKES AWAY.

Many women say that they are too busy or don’t have time or money or resources to tackle triathlon. Many have real fears and barriers… but they can all be overcome. People do amazing things in this sport.  And some barriers, we have to recognize may not actually be true.

Either way, I encourage women to knock down those barriers (and negative or perceived barriers:  I am too fat. I am too slow. I am not worthy.)  To take on the dream and make it happen. Figure out WHY you want to tri and then… do it.

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^From my first tri season.^

Need some resources for starting out?

Check out the tab “your journey” on this page for posts that might help you on your way! Also, a book and a free eBook here.

Join the “Army”

Please feel free to join in the discussion at the Tri-Fecta Facebook Group — we welcome triathletes (male and female) of all levels.  Also, the Women for Tri Facebook Page (women only).

And you can always contact me directly if I can help you in any way on your triathlon journey.

Finally, have a great weekend, friends!  (And don’t forget about the Roka Sports GOGGLE giveaway on this post.)

roka

9 Comments

  • Jennifer

    April 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Meredith, do you know how much I love you right now?

    “So literally, I take training as my escape—so I can come home and live my life with a wonderful sense of gratitude. It makes me grateful and see things for the GOOD in them, not the STRESS, if that makes sense.”

    This and so much more. My depression and anxiety have been getting the better of me and it is affecting my training. I have not been out on my bike or walked for the past week. My Dad is here from Florida and the weather has been crappy. I am making plans on going out after work and if my son has any homework for a nice long ride. First race is the 26th, next Sunday.

    Reply
  • Lenore

    April 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    A-freaking-MEN!

    Running away to train to come back to the family with gratitude versus resentment is TRUTH! I’ve a 9 week baby girl and while I feel guilty about going to swim after work, it keeps me sane and grounded. Working out the demons has definitely improved my coping mechanism and kept the depression at bay.

    If I don’t douse myself with chlorine and bubbles and that boring black line, I am a mess.

    Have a great training weekend and enjoy the 99 miles of sweat on the floor! (Sung to the tune of “99 Bottles of Beer.”

    Reply
  • Kafi

    April 17, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    As a mom of seven. I so get the statement that I run away for a brief while to come back so that I can have gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I just began this Tri journey and have been reading your blog because I truly feel that your path has been carved out for so many of us who are trying to TRI. Thank you for all the beauty and effort and transparency you put into this blog!

    Reply
  • cheryl

    April 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

    As a single mom when my kid was little…I admit to grabbing sitters and taking her to the pool while she slept in a carrier as I did my laps….I was a “better” more focused mom for it, I believe, and if that’s a rationalization, then so be it!

    Reply
  • Sil @ 42alos40

    April 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Hi Meredith! Great post!
    You may not remember but since I loved reading your stories about your first triathlons, I contacted you once and asked you if you thought I could start swimming from scratch (as if you knew me!) and of course you encouraged me to do it. Well, I did it. And I did two 70.3 already. Have a couple more for this year and I’m even considering training for a full IM next year.
    So, thanks 😉 you helped me that day and I’m so happy I discovered this great sport!

    Reply
  • RunningOnEmpty

    April 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I cannot agree more – every finish line makes me feel badass. From that first sprint (“what are you nuts? I’m not doing a triathlon…”), to, Olys, to (it better be this year…) Ironman, I love working for each new distance and feeling my body respond to challenges I never thought I could endure. My initial reaction to every new tri distance has been “are you nuts? I could never do that.” So proving myself wrong has been eye-opening and a real confidence builder in my life.

    Also, as has been observed before: you, Mere, are the epitome of badass. You’re amazing, funny, and a genuine inspiration. God knows where I’d be in my tri career without your encouragement.

    You’re a phenomenon SBM.

    Reply

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