Short story: I didn’t compete this year, due to a stress fracture in my left foot. This blog shares what I’ve learned.
Longer story: My current completed Ironman record of 6 for 10 really bothers me. Friends who don’t understand competing in Ironmans say “All that training! All that money!” And the comment that really gets me wound up, “Maybe it’s time you stop doing them.”
Friends who get it say “Fix the problem and register for another one.” That’s what I intend to do. In fact, I have a big year planned in 2018, including Ironman Wisconsin 2018.
How have I missed FOUR Ironmans in 10 attempts? I could whine about it, but instead, I’ll share what I’ve learned, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. If you have any to add to my list, just comment below or find me on social media.
1. Don’t taper too soon. Ironman Wisconsin 2006: This race was 18 months after my third child was born, I trained like mad and felt great. Then, I tapered for three weeks. I got a sinus infection the week of the race and was sick for a few weeks.
2. Get out of stressful situations before your health is affected. Ironman Wisconsin 2011: Just four weeks before this race, I had surgery to remove breast cancer. In retrospective, I know the huge stress levels I allowed in my life caused this illness.
3. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Ironman Arizona 2015: Just four days before this race, I had two spectacular work opportunities that required a lot of my energy in the weeks leading up to that week. By the time I flew from my event in Orlando to my house, packed for Arizona, then flew to Arizona the next day, my throat was scratchy and I was warm. An evil virus hit me; I was barely able to make it on my flight home let alone race 140.6 miles.
4. Listen to your gut. In the spring of 2016, I carefully, slowly changed to radically different running shoes. They felt great. But there was a part of me that wondered why shift if the current shoes work well? Because they were sexy and felt fun! Then, I fractured my right foot in Ironman Wisconsin 2016 After healing the fracture, I began running in the sexy shoes again. Oh, they were so fun, but I did wonder over the months of ramp up if they were the best for me. But I ignored that doubt. Just six weeks before the race, I had a stress fracture of my left foot. So, both feet, same bone, one worse than the other…it all adds up to not listening to my gut.
Watching the 2017 Ironman Wisconsin marathon on State Street was difficult, but irresistible all the same. I can’t stay away from it. All these determined people achieving a great goal. I was able to change my energy to encouragement for good friends and great I Race Like A Girl teammates. Generosity has a way of healing sadness, hurt, anger…
So, I’m fixing the problem. And I’m registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2018. Because I can’t stay away from it.
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