I often find when I’m struggling to digest my feelings after a race, it’s best to write and just be honest; with myself and with the world of my friends, family and fellow tri-people. It seems in this world we live in, we love to broadcast of all the great; social media allows us to put out the persona we choose, to make our life look to be ‘something’ that it may or may not be. But we often post what is appealing, positive, and feel-good inducing. I tend to prefer to talk to people personally, and I like to communicate what is “real” as much as possible.
I went into Coeur d’Alene 70.3 somewhat haphazard; not in my lack of wanting to perform well, but in my preparations. Some of this was due to extenuating circumstances, but some by choice. I took a good rest after Ironman Texas which was needed. I got back into training but did so in a relaxed manner, still dealing with some foot pain. At times I opted to ride with friends rather than hammer alone for hours on end. It was fun. We took an amazing vacation with friends to Sayulita, Mexico. I learned to surf. I then had a few weeks to do final prep work. I hit most of it, but not all of it; but I enjoyed myself, was a bit less structured in my approach, and was hoping to bank on cumulative fitness and passion to put together a good day. I knew I’d done a lot for Ironman Texas, and figured maybe I would be better under- vs. over-trained. Needless to say, it was an epic failure. And I can’t use ‘my foot’ as an excuse; I was able to shut off that pain and race, but my body wasn’t willing. The truth is, the demand needed for me to be in the mix was too much for what I was able to give.
It’s a balance, we often say. I’ve always been one to thrive on a plan, structure, and tasks. Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. Derick can attest to the fact that I love to have a training schedule; a layout of my races, a vision of my week, to be able to track and tick off progress. Where am I, and where do I want to go. This year it has been race-by-race, and to some extent day-by-day; which has been tough. It can get challenging to stay motivated when your body isn’t fulling cooperating; it isn’t firing for you as you’d like it to. However I’ll always go into a race with expectations; and I’d be lying if I said “it’s just to give my best”. No, I’m a competitor and I like to compete. It was quite the ego-check to just be moving backwards in the race with no choice in the matter.
And of course, we all think about quitting when this happens. And I did consider it. But my counter thought was “Integrity. Maintain your integrity, and give your best on the day Kelly. You chose to put yourself here, so finish the job you started and stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
And sometimes in life, we don’t get what we want but we get what we need. I had already slated myself to go to Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute in Sugar Land, to consult with a group of people I know, who know me, whom I trust. I wanted to go to Coeur d’Alene, try to take some chances, and let this foot get worked so we could see what is really going on. Well the joke is on me…I definitely worked it over, as I found myself hobbling through airports 24 hours later!
But my body is more than just a tool that I use to be a professional triathlete. It allows me to satisfy my passion each day; my passion of movement. This issue has been talking to me for a while, and it’s time I listened; fully listened. And I want to address it beyond competitive sport; but life. I’m not willing to destroy my body at all costs to fulfill a career. I long to hike, run, swim, ski, paddle, surf, play and explore for many years to come. So as I’m often asked “What is next?” Right now, it’s all about doing whatever it takes to heal myself up. And I’m already on that track, which is encouraging. And don’t get me wrong, there are races I’d like to get to sooner than later; but I’m going to let my body decide when that time is right.