I got email reminders from one of the race photographers today, reminding me to purchase my race photos from 3 races I did earlier this year. Race photos cost like $15 each, so we RARELY buy the pics, but they are fun to look through and try to pirate for Facebooking purposes.
As I was looking through the pictures, I became acutely aware of how much of my fitness I have lost in the last 5 months. Last fall and spring I made such HUGE gains in my speed and endurance. I had FINALLY found that thing that I never had that could make you push through the pain or quit...I finally figured out what it mean to push through the pain. I finally figured it out. I was finally racing to my potential. I still had some improvements and gains to be made, but I was finally doing what I always dreamed I could be able to do.
In the spring, I won 1st in my age group in a sprint tri (and PR'ed my 5K while I was at it), and then won 3rd in my age group in the olympic the next day...all while I was sick as a dog. I still can't believe it.
Then I PR'ed the 10K, a half Ironman and placed 4th in my age group at another sprint...it was an AWESOME spring. I never thought that any of that was possible. I had always been okay with being slow. But then, one day, I realized that I wasn't actually slow anymore.
Looking at the pictures today made me a little sad.
I am THRILLED (beyond thrilled) to be pregnant. I am so excited to be having a baby with my wonderful husband and best friend. I can't believe that we have been so blessed to find each other and to be able to build the life that we have now.
All that said, I am a little sad that I worked so hard to make such significant gains physically...and they are all gone. I mean, I can still run a 10K...just not fast. I can still run a half marathon...just not fast. I can still bike on my trainer for 3 hours...just not fast. I could probably finish an half Ironman if I wanted to...but it would take the full 8 hours.
The endurance is still there, but the speed - the speed I worked sooo hard for - is totally gone. I know I will get it back, someday, but it's sad to realize it's gone and it could be a long while before I see it again.
I miss my speed and I hate having to pee every quarter mile on a run. Oh the other hand, the wild woman in my belly goes crazy after a run, so it's totally worth it.
I know I will get it back. I know it will take a long time. I know it will be hard. But since I know what that "thing" is that makes me push harder now, getting the speed will be easier than before. I'm still sad.
With my workouts now, it's hit or miss. Somedays I go out there and feel like a million bucks and other days, 1 mile is all I have. Or 5lbs weights are all I can lift. Or 15mph is all I can muster. But the days when I feel like a million bucks are great.
It's been an interesting journey to say the least.
I haven't made a race calendar for next year - we are trying to see how things play out after the little one gets here - but for now, I think my plans are to do a sprint in August-ish and then another spring or possibly olympic in September-ish. I NEED to race. I miss the training, I miss my friends, I miss the schedule, I miss race day jitters...but most of all, I miss having that goal.
I'm excited, so excited...but also a little sad.