I broke down this morning…on my run.  I broke down and found myself in tears.  Some of you know that I have been training really hard for a sprint distance triathlon that is coming up this weekend.  My mornings are spent swimming or running or both.  I have been working super hard on the swimming part of it because that is my biggest challenge of the triathlon sport.  The distances for the race are 750 meter swim, 12 mile bike, and 5K run. 

This morning I got up and put on all my gear to jump in the lake and swim.  It really wasn’t what I wanted to do but I knew I had no choice.  I found myself standing in waist high water not wanting to take the plunge…literally.  I learned to swim just last year and I am still learning the technicalities of the stroke and breathing and rhythm.  I really wish I would have learned how to put all that together many years ago.  It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks…though it is possible.  I hired a swim instructor over the past couple weeks and have learned so much from her. 

Back in 2006 I was diagnosed with a hole in my heart.  It is a hole that is there while in utero but is supposed to close shortly after birth.  There is a small percentage of the population that has this challenge.  I constantly push my body to it’s limits.  Because of the hole, some of my blood skips the lungs and the oxygenation process and so my body ends up with a lower oxygen carrying capacity.  I have a challenge improving my running times and biking times because I can only breathe so hard.  Then I add the variable of the breathing process while swimming and only being able to take in so much air per stroke.  I end up running out of oxygen quickly.

This morning my swim felt awful.  It was hard, I had to stop a lot and I got really frusturated when I am found myself gasping for air…yet again.  I got back to my dock, switched to my running gear and took off with the dog for a little over 2 miles.  It was a simple run and a beautiful morning however I was so stuck in frustration about my swim that I had the thought “I am not going to be able to finish that swim on Sunday.”  Admitting to a limitation is a very difficult thing because there isn’t much more that I want but to be able to swim with ease, especially with how hard I have been working on it lately.  It is frustrating and I allowed myself to go to tears for a few moments. Then I realized that I cannot run and cry at the same time so I better pull it back together…which I did and finished my run easily. 

I came across a quote last night that I will keep close to my heart this week.  It goes something like “Strength isn’t doing something that you know you can do, it is doing something that you once thought you couldn’t.”  I will keep practicing and on Sunday, August 19th, ready or not, at 8:00AM I will be heading into the Traverse City Bay and swimming 750 meters, followed by a bike and a run.  I will be in a shorty wetsuit because it will allow me to, at the very least, stay buoyant and warm.  I will put one arm in front of the other, and be grateful for my two arms, and kick, and be grateful for my two legs, to propel myself forward for those 750 meters.  If you are reading this right now and you think of it when you wake up that morning, send me a little prayer of strength and endurance. 

I have completed a full marathon (ran 26.2 miles) however this is a pretty close second when it comes to anxiety before a race.  I do a lot of races and push my limits on a regular basis just to see where those limits are.  I am motivated by the feeling of completing them and being awarded a medal, to look back on, for participating, although some races do not hand out medals.  I never expect to win and I look at completion of the race as the win.  All I have to say is there better be a medal at the finish line of this particular race.  I broke down this morning, but I will keep my chin up!

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10 Comments and Trackbacks

  • Posted by Amanda on August 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Keep that chin up! If anyone can do it, you can! Much Love!!

  • Posted by L.B. on August 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing- I have beenfacing some things as well that I am unsure wether I can do. Your story inspires me to push onward. Thanks! And also will definitely send a prayer up for you on Sunday. Thanks again for continuing to push yourself which in turn inspires others!

    • Posted by Dr. Erica Peabody on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Thank you for that feedback! I appreciate hearing how my stories are effecting other people’s lives. Also thanks in advance for the prayer…I am going to need all the help I can get!

  • Posted by Tino on August 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Encouraging words and motivation for our triathlon next year! Thanks and good luck on Sunday…you will be awesome!!

    • Posted by Dr. Erica Peabody on August 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you! Yes, after this weekend I will have a little more experience to help others with their process. Looking forward to it!

  • Posted by marit on August 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    thanks you for sharing.
    I just know that you will succeed, you are an inspiration to many of us.

    • Posted by Dr. Erica Peabody on August 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you for your kind word Marit! I really appreciate it!

  • Posted by Boykstrocity on August 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Interesting quote about strength I will try to repeat that all week, pretty slammed with work & play, so I feel exhausted at times.

    I hope you had a great Triathalon.

    • Posted by Dr. Erica Peabody on August 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks Boykstrocity! It was an awesome experience!!