This year was supposed to be a year of amazing accomplishments. A year to start fresh, find new levels of fitness, set new PRs, complete another Ironman. This year was supposed to be a lot of great things. Trust me. I had it all figured out. That is, until this year actually happened, and as it turns out, it’s been nothing like the dreams in my head or in my heart.
If you’ve followed my blog this year, you’ve read about my ups and downs and my will to keep fighting. This year has certainly been that. A fight. A constant struggle to stay positive and motivated when everything around me seemed to be crumbling. One thing was certain. I wasn’t going to give up – at least not easily.
It was just about three months ago that I began my training for IMLOU. Behind schedule by nearly two months in my training plan, yes, but I was up for the challenge. Despite weight gain and a loss of fitness in the earlier part of the year, I did everything in my power to rebuild what I had lost. Every session was a challenge, but I was thankful that I could get out there and swim, bike, and run. I had a lot of rough training days followed by the occasional days where I could feel things coming together. Still, I didn’t let up. Little by little, the fitness returned and new goals for my upcoming races were determined. My excitement began to build.
Somewhere around the end of July, though, things took a dip again. I just didn’t feel like I was recovering from my training sessions. I felt constant fatigue. I didn’t feel like me. I had feelings I had never felt before. Before I knew it, I was noticing things in my health that just didn’t seem right. I brushed it off for a while, blaming it on a lack of sleep and the fact that school was starting back and I was busy and perhaps a little stressed. Then, my tune-up race happened. And that was my wake up call – the moment when I realized that maybe I really was ignoring some very important signals that my body was giving me. I convinced myself that everything was okay, because I so badly wanted – needed – to cross that finish line at IMLOU. I wanted to prove to myself that, even with the year I’d had, I could still come out on top.
However, after having several vials of blood drawn at the doctor’s office today, spending much time in conversation with my doctor, and being hooked up to a holter monitor for the next 24 hours, I know for certain that Ironman Louisville is out of the question. While my doctor isn’t exactly sure what is going on with me just yet, I know it’s time to stop fighting. Even if whatever is going on with me isn’t serious, I know it’s time for a break. It’s time to really take care of me, especially after the year I’ve had.
While it’s difficult for me to know that I won’t be at the starting line in Louisville (my first DNS), I’m thankful that I realized it was time to take a break before something serious happened. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. While I’m pretty much over 2016, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons this year, and these lessons will only help me grow.
Here’s to taking time for healing and to coming back even stronger than before!