Some of you already know this story.
Mr. Tea and I have been remodeling our house for an eternity. This week, I was packing up the "health and fitness" section of our library; which is a fancy word for the bookcases overflowing with books: books piled on top, books sticking out from shelves, books everywhere.
It became a walk down memory lane as I found a treasure trove of old binders. Before the days of the internet (and then before the days of online tracking such as TrainingPeaks), there were binders. I kept track of nutrition, training, moods, etc.
I found a book of triathlon training plans with hand written notes:
Swim test with results of 2:30 per 100
I found a training plan from Runner's World from 2011.
That got me wondering what race I did. I had no memory of running a half marathon in 2011.
I decided to check my results on Athlinks. I don't really keep athlinks updated very well, but I thought it was worth a shot.
Athlinks has my results back to 2003.
I'm not sure if it is a complete list, but it's good enough.
This is what I want you to see. I regularly talk about coming from the back of the pack.
This is why I am who I am.
This is why I encourage people constantly.
THIS is why I take the time to answer questions at races.
I have been there. We have all been new to a sport. Some of us have to learn how to swim or get on a bike for the first time since we were kids. Some of us, spend more time (than others) at the back of the pack.
The first time I went to Nationals, I almost lost my shit. I was so nervous. I looked at all those super fast women and felt like a poser.
I don't belong here. It was a freak accident that I qualified.
At my 1st nationals, I met BD. BD is always ranked somewhere in the top 20 of my age group. I think she could tell that I was a nervous wreck. She spent time with me explaining the course, explaining rules, explaining how things were done. The last thing she said to me was, "You qualified for this. Take it all in".
The next year at Nationals, we met up again. I took the opportunity to thank her.
The story continues......
I'm happy to say that I will be heading to the back of the pack this year as I venture into new races. This time around, I'm doing it with a new found appreciation for what it takes to get really good at something. I am going back to racing for the sheer enjoyment of racing with no regard for where I place.
This doesn't mean I won't be competitive. This doesn't mean I won't be giving everything I have.
It simply means that I respect those who have worked for many many years to get on that podium.
Maybe I'm not starting at the begining, but I am starting all over again.