Friday, January 8, 2016

Don't take this sidewalk...

Well, here it is, I have absolutely dreaded writing this post for months now.  Nothing is more embarrassing, heartbreaking, and disappointing then admitting failure.
When I started this blog about a year ago now, I was excited and confident in the year ahead of achieving my 4 year singular goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.  Had only I known what lie ahead....I most definitely would not have decided to share it so publicly in a blog. I tend to be a more private person by nature, and this was humbling.

Here is a quick overview of my 2015:
  • January - GAME ON, big 1/2 PR, on track, building mileage and strength - very excited!
  • February - Sprained Ankle on Trail Run, no problem, not a break, just a sprain I'll be back.
  • March - DNS LA Marathon (Qualifier #1) - that's ok, I'll get 2 more chances!
  • April - Spinning wheels still not running; learned I did not sprain ankle, I tore BOTH ligaments on inside and outside of ankle.
  • May - DNS Eugene Marathon (Qualifier #2) - no big deal, I only need one shot, I will get it in Chicago
  • June - Just starting to run!  Not enough time for Chicago, so no problem, CIM it is!
  • July/August - AMAZING RUNNING - 2 races, 2 PRs, feeling GREAT!  Ankle is strong!  Its going to happen!
  • September - Pulled Hip Flexor from compensating on ankle for so many months - DNS Chicago 1/2
  • October - Pulled Hamstring/Glute from same ankle injury - DNS Chicago Full
  • November - Tore top of achilles/soleus doing rehab for ankle.
  • December - DNS CIM
I could be flippant and tell you oh  but it was all worth it!  I learned so much about myself, yadda, yadda.  But the truth is, I would not wish this year on anyone, ever.  And I didn't learn anything I did not already know about myself.  I am a fighter, I never give up, I am sickly driven.  But, what I did come to grips with is....that's life.  No matter how grand your plans are, they do not always pan out that way.  And sometimes the best you can do is just to get up every morning and keep plugging forward.  Anything less is unacceptable.
I think the hardest part was swallowing the fact that I would not even get a shot at something I had dreamed, worked, and dedicated my life to for 4 years.  Not even a shot?  I went from shock, to anger, to depression, to finally acceptance.
So the ironic part of all this is the name of the  blog - Where the Sidewalk ends....You choose where to go next.  And that is exactly what I have  been doing the past 2 months.  I pretty much vanished from social media, I just needed a break - from everything.  I threw myself into work big time, and just focused on rehab, swimming (just in case a miracle happened and I could run at RNR AZ), and thinking.  A lot of thinking.
This morning I got up before work at 5 am and rode my bike in the pitch dark, in pouring rain (yes it has trained 5 days in a row in AZ), to go swim 1.5 miles, and then rode back soaking wet in pouring rain.  I was so cold by the time I got home my whole body was purple.  I don't think I stopped shivering until 3 pm.  Later as I sat at my desk eating breakfast, shivering, and scrolling through email tears started rolling down my face.  Why do I do this?  It doesn't matter anymore, you blew it.  Hang it up.  Go be normal.
And that is when I realized why.  Because it means so much to me, so much that not even my biggest supporters understand.  I have to chase this because of what it means to me, who I am doing it for, why I want it.  I know even those closest to me think I am crazy, but I am sorry :( It is who I am, it is my mission in life, the journey is my life.   There is probably one person who truly believes in me, sincerely because he always shoots straight with me, Adam.  When I finally had to admit it  -  that it was over - there were 2 people whom I literally heard  their heart drop on the phone.  My mom (which was heartbreaking in itself) and Adam.   He ended the call with - no doubt you will be qualified in 4 years.   And so I will qualify for the O trials, I will do it.
And so down? Yes.  Out?  No.
I am excited for what 2016 holds.  I plan to be running, and with confidence by next Friday, I am almost there, but just taking the extra time because there is no rush.  We have 3 very specific goals for 2016.  And then we will build from there.  I have an amazing supportive team to accomplish great things with, I have an exciting year ahead in a job I love with people I love, and I get to marry my best friend in June.
So I guess the sidewalk not only ended, the concrete pretty much sunk in - - but I am stepping over it (carefully so I don't sprain my ankle), and going to run through the field instead.  It still gets you to the O Trials, just a little different path....

This is the field, after the sidewalk ends....you can see the starting line if you look way out there...it's there ;)

And for good measure...Our Christmas Picture this year, lol!  Note my once a year red pants :)