Navigate / search

The Day The Tri Died…

2012 is the first time in five years where I didn’t have a full training and race season. When I took up running in 2004 after my mom died, I thought it would be something fun to do to get out of the house. I also thought it would bring me closer to my then-husband, ‘The Runner’ and that we’d do races together. You know, the couple that runs together and all that jazz.

What happened was that I found that I liked running just for myself. I loved lacing up my sneakers and strapping on my watch and going out to run just because I could. In many ways, I think I enjoyed running so much because I didn’t look like the runners I saw – I looked like me. I still had hips and tatas and a big booty – but they were moving along against the wind and it felt good.

After ‘The Runner’ and I divorced I wrote about how I stopped running because I thought it was his thing and that I shouldn’t keep doing it – like I had to let him have it back in order to find balance in the universe. The truth was that I was afraid that I wasn’t a runner – that maybe I was only someone who ran, and by then I was also biking and swimming – I was afraid I was no good.

I didn’t tell anyone that’s how I felt because I don’t think I realized it until a couple of years later. By then I was back in training mode. Last year I had a busy season of training and races and I had already started to think ahead to what this year would look like.

And then the Poconos happened. And I lost something.

While I was trying to figure out what it was that felt different I did lots of things – Moved A back to college, took a new job, started a business, wrote more – but the running and biking and swimming didn’t come easily anymore – my body felt kind of, I don’t know, sad.

So Zoe, the wonder Trek, sat semi-unused. My new pink Asics – the fast ones – were hidden away near the chair by the window and I didn’t bother to get a new watch even though my other one died a wet death doing pool laps.

Then it hit me – after my Poconos race I had to come to terms with not finishing. I’d never not finished a race – before last October I didn’t even think that was an option. How obnoxious of me. The best athletes have DNF moments and here I was stewing about one race in one city on one day.

And as I stewed I lost the connection I had with my body. It’s not that we don’t speak – on the contrary – we speak every day. But I didn’t feel the same about her. I felt like in some ways she couldn’t be trusted to finish something – very unfair, by the way.

The more I thought about this the more I wanted to do something about it. The more I wanted to do something about it the more unfocused I became. How odd – you think and think and think and then realize you aren’t really having any coherent thoughts.

And all this brings me to this afternoon. I’m still sick because this flu thing sucks. That means I’ve had a lot of time to organize things (because clearly relaxing isn’t in my genes) and I’ve decided on two things:

  1. I will run the More Women’s Marathon in Central Park next April. I’ve always wanted to run this race because I am a sucker for the all-women’s races;
  2. I will find a new triathlon to do on the East Coast – I still think Zoe and I can compete in 70.3 distance race and now the goal is to find one and begin training as soon as this flu is gone.

How can you help? Kick my butt when you see I’m slacking off. This blog will have 1 weekly check in starting next weekend (in time for my new video blog!). That’s right – the Type A queen is saying she needs help.

And, if you know of a great race in your area that I should consider, let me know. As long as it’s driving distance from NYC (because Zoe doesn’t like to fly), I’ll consider it.

Me and Zoe are ready to roll into 2013.

Follow on Bloglovin




OK – let me get this straight. You had a bad day, an off day. If I remember right –
there was no swim because of bad rain
And Zoe broke. And somehow you were supposed to know, predict and change all of that before it happened ?

Girl – you are amazing – but even you have no control over some things. Would you have gone and finished – or given it your absolute best try if Zoe hadn’t been uncooperative? You aren’t fussing about the no swim – but you couldn’t control that decision – right? (see where I am going?)

Completely understand that feeling that comes when you don’t have the control of the factors on the day- it’s terrifying, especially when much of my time is spent trying to prepare, adjust and eliminate the unexpected. And just when you think you have everything covered – the gods laugh – and throw something more in there. And you adjust. And allow a moment of wallow – cosmic irony sucks. But – then, you learn what can be controlled. You learn how to manage that recalcitrant voice that says you can’t – and use it to motivate. And you learn to let go – and just move forward, Because the only thing worse than not doing is giving up because something you couldn’t control got the best of you.

And you said it yourself – there isn’t a single high-level athlete, in ANY sport, who hasn’t had their moment(s) of crisis, you can’t even get to the DNF if you hadn’t started the race.

<- always in your corner –


When I was a kid, there wasn’t a lot of ‘controls’ in my house – or at least not consistent ones. As I grew up I always said there were certain things that I wouldn’t take with me into adulthood. I always pay my bills, I always have food in the house, A never has to worry that I won’t be there for her and I always have a backup plan. On race day, I didn’t have a plan other than to finish well. I thought I had learned enough from my other races and didn’t put too much emphasis on ‘what if’ when it came to certain things. Not a terrible way to live, just happened.

And yes, I did let that disappointment cloud my thinking about being ready. Was I really ready to start and complete and Ironman? Again, not saying I didn’t have a reason not to finish – but I let the doubts take the lead over the earlier confidence. Perhaps Susan is right and I did need the break. Maybe life sometimes gives you a red light when you won’t pay attention to one yourself. I dunno. I do know that like with the running, I gave up something I really loved because of a fear I created and that admission feels like the start of a new thing. A good thing!


Haha, I guess the London marathon’s out then? I do look forward to cheering you on someday. I was hoping that the autumn-2012-that-never-happened-trip would coincide with a race – you’d posted something about one in DC in September, and I’d promised to visit a friend at Georgetown and check out the medical school – but oh well. There’ll be many more years to come, I’m sure. I’ll be in the line for butt-kicking if you slack off, too. I’ll bring pompons.


No, I don’t think Zoe could take the chance of being lost en route :) I’m gad you said you’d bring pompons – those won’t hurt if you throw them at me :)


A few of folks were there that fateful day and were just as upset as you were. But I’ll say this… I think slacking is a good thing sometimes. I think you slacking on training this year helped you focus your efforts on other things, like getting that new job and starting that new business. Slacking also helps Type A personalities become more balanced and healthy Type B’s. Try it :)


Type B? Gasp!? Me. I tried that when I had my hysterectomy. It didn’t last once the morphine wore off for some reason.
The thing is that when I do slack off for, let’s say, a few days, I get so antsy. Maybe there is a prescription for that.

Got Something on Your Mind?