My last blog post was my 2014 Ironman Arizona recap. Since then, this blog has been dormant, but I haven’t been dormant! I’ve raced in the last few years at the Sprint distance. I enjoyed the shorter races and honestly probably was relying on muscle memory instead of really training. For the last three years I’ve done a series of races called “Triple Threat.” Mostly I did it for the bling. In addition to medals for each race, you received one piece of the Triple Threat medal that all fit together with magnets. So cool! Also I did it for the discount. These three races were packaged together for something like $150. That’s a steal. The first year (2016) I did the races alone. The second year (2017) my friend, Anne, joined me. And this past summer (2018) Anne’s husband, Kelly, raced with me.
Perhaps the other reason this blog has been dormant is in 2015, my Mother passed away. It was a gut punch that put a giant hole in my soul. You know the scene in the movie “Get Out” when he falls into the sunken place? That’s what it felt like to me to lose my Mom. Suspended, can’t move, and in a dark, dark, place.
You might ask why the loss of my Mom wrecked me so much. I knew it was coming. My Mom was everything to me. We went through a lot of things together and she was more than a mother… she was a best friend, a confidant, a cheerleader, and supporter to me and my family. She loved her grandkids and would constantly be sending them things. Maybe they weren’t exactly the things they needed, but it was nice to be supported. We’ve lived kind of remote from other family for the last 25 years. My husband and I met in Seattle… had our kids here… and stayed.
So on a Sunday in April I met a friend to go for the first long outdoor ride of the season, partway through my Mom called me. She told me she was having trouble and they were taking her to the “Hospice Hospital.” Honestly I didn’t know what she meant by that. I told her I was literally on the side of the road on my bike and that I would call her back. I called later and although she sounded fine, her body was shutting down. Admittedly it all went very fast and if I had any idea how fast it was going to go, I would have caught a flight much sooner to be with her. We talked again on Monday, she told me she would look down on me as an angel from heaven. Still my Mom had had so many ups and downs with her health in the last 5 years of her life, I never knew if something was serious or not. By Wednesday, she could not talk on the phone… I decided to fly down on Thursday. I was able to sit with her for the day on Friday, but she was not coherent. And on Saturday, about 15 minutes after my siblings walked into the room coming from the airport, she took her last breaths.
Wrecked. I’ve spent the last 3 years working through a deep sadness and anger. I’ve had a very short emotional fuse. Of course getting back to training and racing has helped immensely. I have been kind to myself and in the beginning didn’t expect too much. Just going out for a walk was a win. But really, I’ve built back up to training and racing with the mantra in mind that I have to be thankful for this body that can do things in ways hers couldn’t.
And so we’re rounding the bend. In 2019 I’ll be turning 50. Time to turn up the heat one more time to long distance racing and see what this body, mind, and spirit are made of.