But in the meantime, as I count the days down to my wedding, I got to sit back and "enjoy" going back to my race in images. I love Bear Chase photographers cause they get a million pics. I found 40 pictures of me... some with smiles, some without them. And it was "fun" to see how my race went from the comfort of my living room. From high spirits and smiles, to tough times that challenged my brain, to a disappointing finish that made me feel incredibly accomplished. And yes, the pictures show all emotions.
I'll talk about it in detail in my race report, but while I ran this race with a cold and tried to push through it as much as I could, my body called it quits at mile 17ish. Mentally it was tough, since I knew I had basically half way to go... and I guess you question yourself what I think of when I say I dig deep.
I've had to dig deep in races in the past, and most times, I toe the start line with a list of "happy thoughts" that are just there... ready for me to use when things get tough. This time, with a cold and with 14 miles to go, my "happy thoughts" were not enough. Not only did I need happy thoughts, but I needed inspiration.
Most the times I talk myself into walking even if my heart tells me I should give it my all and run. My brain overrides my heart and says it's okay to walk. This way, I can think clearer. I pushed through to mile 21 where I ran into Woody. While he may not know it, I think I was trying to find it in my heart to find some words of encouragement, but it's hard to talk yourself up when you feel defeated. This is when my crew usually comes in handy, but I didn't have anyone... so having someone randomly say: "Hey Gaby, how can I help you? Do you need anything?" Poor guy, I think all I did was point at a huge pile of bags and said: "I want my bag". All I heard was: "Uhh, yeah... which one is it?" Oops. Delirious state of mind. My apologies.
As I was seating there trying to find my inspiration, he came back with my water bottle and a piece of watermelon and stretched out his hand to say: "Hey, I'm Woody!" I'm gonna say, that was pretty awesome. I am ALMOST positive he got a smile out of me. It was impressive he recognized me from nothing but what I've posted in this blog. That was enough to clear my mind and realize I only had 10 miles to go.
I can push through 10 miles. My coach pushed through the last few miles of his Ironman with a busted ankle. I remember "following" him when he was racing and just as he hit one of the splits, I saw his pace had significantly slowed down and while it kept slowing down more and more, he kept going and finished. It truly blows my mind when people just call it quits and decide that a DNF is better than pushing through pain and digging deep when things get hard. So off I go.
Two and a half hours later, I finished my race. So thanks Woody for being my support crew and for giving me clarity, and thanks to coach Eric for the inspiration... because inspiration is one of those few things I look for in a coach. Who do you look up to? Who inspires you when things get tough out there?
And now, for giggles... this is how hitting the wall looks like (Lindsay will LOVE this):
|You can tell I was trying to focus on what my Plan B should be|