How do you prefer your oysters?

finish

Hello, old friends. It has been over seven months since my brother and I crossed the finish line in one of our greatest accomplishments to date.

So, where are we now?

You know that star QB on your high school football team who is now 30 years post-grad, cracking open a Budweiser or Coors (heavy, of course), still wearing his State Championship ring and letterman’s jacket and talking about “the glory days” when he threw a 60 yard pass to the end zone? Yeah. That’s how I feel.

My descent from the Ironman finish line has been a rollercoaster of fun, stress, exploration and confusion. You might remember my post about making a plan to help me through what I knew would be a tough transition back to “real life” after training. My plan consisted of competing in 4 half Ironman races in 2014. Delusional much?

bike

It has also been over seven months since I’ve been back on my bike.

I quickly realized that the prior year of dedicated training took a lot out of me emotionally, physically and mentally and I needed to put the brakes on triathlon training for the next year to regroup, enjoy other things Colorado has to offer and perhaps even get a career on track that will afford me the opportunity to compete in another Ironman down the road.

marathon bib

Of course, I couldn’t take the year off all together. I’ve already completed my first solo full marathon, which was a great accomplishment, and I have another one lined up for October. Ironman most definitely changed the way I think and operate on a daily basis. More so than ever before, I have become someone who thrives on having a big goal to work towards. My mother will laugh when she reads that because, well, I’ve always been that way. Sometimes to a fault.

But, the greatest thing I earned from my Ironman is confidence. Now, everything simply seems possible, not only in a physical/training aspect but in my relationships, career and aspirations. I’m not saying I was a timid, “woe is me” type before, but confidence was certainly lacking. I doubted what I had to offer my relationships and my ability to keep up with coworkers and classmates. Looking back, I don’t even recognize that person and those thoughts of doubt are incomprehensible.

mountain

The world is my oyster, if you will.

And, with that, I want to do everything. Now. The constant desire to set and accomplish new goals is a great drive to have which I hope I never lose. Understanding the importance of proper timing and realism is key, though.

Coming off of this race and struggling with new goals, I’m starting to understand the concept of building a bucket list and gradually checking things off. Sure, I’ll do another Ironman, but does it need to happen tomorrow? Nope. And do I need to continue to prove to myself that I still have it in me by lining up marathon after marathon; cycling race after cycling race; running 5 miles to the gym, working out and then running 5 miles home just because I can? Nope. That’s just a sure fired way of burning out, injuring myself – or worse – hating it altogether.

I’m signed up for one more full marathon this year. Other than that, maybe I’ll hike my first 14er, learn to fly fish or cruise around Boulder on my bike a few times. Whatever it is, it won’t be part of a training plan.

It’s time to get back to the basics and enjoy some oysters.

oysters

-Live Every Day-
Cecily

  • Ed Baker

    Oh, and i just got back on my tri bike … 4 years, yes 4 years!!!, after my last race. It was unreal to acknowledge how long it had been. I did lots of other stuff in between, but I still can’t understand what kept me off that bike for so long. The need for oysters, probably, allegorical and otherwise.

  • Ed Baker

    Cecily, I work with Adam at SRP, think the world of the Fullers (based on my knowledge of them) and adore this post. I’ve done two Ironmans, 12 solo
    marathons – including NYC – and continue to be amazed at the insanely non-linear progression most Ironman finishers go through. What qualifies as an impenetrable goal one day won’t even measure up another. Throw kids or a friend or family member in severe need into the mix, and the formula becomes even more skewed. That said, I like what you’re getting at here: Ironman teaches us we can break the seemingly impossible goal into manageable parts and get there – to a satisfactory finish. It’s a lesson that has paid dividends time and time again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Cheers, Ed

    • Cecily

      Hey Ed – Thanks so much for the nice thoughts! It really is incredible what the process of training for an Ironman (or any other big race/life event for that matter) teaches you in terms of accomplishing those big goals. You never really know how much you’re capable of until you push yourself past your comfort zone. I think a lot about Adam who dove right in to conquering the GMAT after our race, and friends I have plugging away at studying for the Bar. So much is possible with true commitment.

      Congrats on getting back on that bike! I’ll be clipping back in next weekend and I have a feeling I’ll wonder what kept me off for so long, as well. Take care!