I will not let grief define me.

gini and bill.jpg

What was I thinking?

I am four weeks out from IRONMAN Chattanooga on September 30th and have started asking myself, “what were you thinking?” signing up for another IRONMAN. I then go back 10 months ago to the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In my mind I know I went there to finish the race, but deep down I was not pleased with my performance.

My son/coach has said, “you were in the best shape you could be considering everything you went through leading up to the race.” Once again, intellectually, that is all true. I look back now and realize I was just numb. Losing Bill six weeks before Kona was horrible, and I think I just went through the motions of doing the race.

I did some really dumb stuff in that race. I took too much food in my pouch on the bike, losing some of it in the first 10 miles. It was so hot that my second bottle of liquid nutrition was hot and tasted awful, so I gave it to one of the volunteers at an aid station. No wonder the man looked at me like I had lost my mind. I took a bottle of Gatorade from him, which to me, tasted worse than the hot bottle of nutrition. When I turned the corner to head up to Hawi it was really windy, and I wasn’t able to eat or drink. I didn’t want to let go of the bike.

I think the one thing I did do right was pour cold water over my face at every aid station. Oh yes, I stopped at too many aid stations. By the time I began the run I was dehydrated and  didn’t have enough nutrition in me. I slogged through the run.

But I finished!

Now I know what I was thinking when I signed up for another IM.

I want to fix what I think I did wrong last October.  

Training for Chattanooga has not been easy. I thought I would be able to train because I would have lots of time on my hands. I was retired and living alone. I did not take into account how tired physically and emotionally I would be from grief. I would say more than 90 percent of the time I have had to drag myself out of bed and out the door to work out.

Sometimes I felt good after a workout but more often I didn’t. I chose to continue to keep training because putting one foot in front of the other is the best way to keep moving and work through grief.

I will not let grief define me.

I will go to Chattanooga and do whatever it takes to finish the race.

Hopefully I learned from my mistakes at Kona. We’ll see if the extra four miles on the bike is going to make that much of a difference. My attitude is still they will have to drag me off the course.  I am not going to quit.

Of course the last mile will still be for Bill.