I ran my last triathlon almost two years ago. It was in the top 5 most challenging eras of my life. I had recently separated from my husband and requested no contact, so I could focus on getting the healing time I needed. My adult children were unhappy and barely talking to me. My youngest son was still in high school and really struggling. I was leading a team of 35 people through an organizational transformation. It was highly dependent on technology from a different team and it was significantly behind schedule. This was causing my team incredible amounts of stress and anxiety. My team was very unhappy, and morale was low. I was working anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day and traveling to NY for two weeks then home a week then NY for two weeks, etc. My house was in various states of disrepair with a leaky roof, unfinished rooms, a barely working heater and no air conditioning.
So, I did what I had always done. Kept smiling on the outside, decided I could gut my way through anything, and tried to manage my stress by working out. I started training for a sprint triathlon. I bought a bike in NY and stored it at the office. I found a hotel close to a park and next door to a rec center with a pool. My coach at home gave me virtual workouts and tracked my progress through my Garmin results. Then she adjusted my workouts based on how I was doing.
I met with a therapist when at home and checked in via phone while I was traveling. I did my best to continue letting my kids know I loved them, no matter what! I worked tirelessly with my youngest to help him deal with his anger, stress, and anxiety. I worked hard and trained hard. Finally, the day came for my sprint triathlon. I wanted it to be a statement. Proof that I could do anything I put my mind to. A message to myself and others of victory. A story of triumph.
I was nervous that morning. While I knew I had given my training everything I had to give, I wondered if it was enough. I worried that most of my training was at sea level and we were at high elevation. Honestly, I knew I was tired. I wasn’t worried about the swim. I am not thin, so I have plenty of buoyancy. I love the water and the race was in a lake. I love open water swimming. The race started and I moved with the crowd into the water and started the swim. After several strokes and what felt like constant people running into me, I started to feel like I was swimming in quicksand. I didn’t grasp what was happening until someone stopped and asked me if I was OK. I looked around and realized I had hardly moved at all. I was one of the last swimmers. My heart was racing, and I thought to myself, “I am having a panic attack”. I worked to relax and get myself in a rhythm, thinking about how good the water felt and what a beautiful day it was, to calm myself down. I turned onto my back, but I don’t like the backstroke. I much prefer the crawl it is more relaxing, so I just tried to swim slow and breathe relaxed. Finally, the swim was done, and I was walking out of the water. The swim had taken almost twice as long as the last time I had done this triathlon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make up that kind of time.
My mindset changed from getting a PR to finishing strong with the best bike and run I could muster. I got my bike and pushed hard through the 12 miles, changed over to the run and worked as hard as I could to get through. I was one of the last ones finished. I was tenth in my age group (not many 53-year-old females) and it took me 2 hours and 50 minutes. I was so disappointed. I tried to find comfort in the fact I had finished. But I was disheartened and exhausted. The 60-minute drive home was so lonely and long. I paid a huge price for pushing myself that hard. I ultimately ended up having to take a six week leave from work and had trouble doing any kind of exercise for several months.
Finally, I was able to start walking again. But every time I would try to jog my joints and muscles would scream out in pain. I couldn’t go fast enough to get my heart rate up. I hired a personal trainer and we worked for three months on trying to build my strength to try and compensate for the pain in my back and knees, but I hardly made any progress at all. With all the stress and inactivity, I gained weight and the increased weight just made everything harder. I was starting to feel like there was no hope. Then a dear friend introduced me to B3 bands. I was skeptical for sure! But I started using them. I have only been using them for three weeks and for the first time in almost two years I was able to slowly jog almost two miles. I was elated. I finally feel some hope again.
“The B3 Bands are based on a scientific discovery in exercise that uses BFR (Blood Flow Resistance). While doing light exercise with the B3 Bands on my arms or legs, the blood exiting out of the venous system back to the heart is slowed down. This reduction in blood flow while doing exercises causes the muscle to fatigue quicker. When a muscle fatigues, a signal is sent to the brain which results in a surging hormone release. These hormones then send a signal back to the muscles to stimulate them to adapt. This hormone release has many other anti-aging and rejuvenating effects on the Body.” Dr. Mike DeBord
I wanted to wait and share this information with you after I had started losing weight and was able to run further but I am so happy about getting stronger that I can’t keep quiet! I feel so blessed to have been given this new tool. If you want to learn more about B3 bands or try them out, please message me or checkout my website – B3 Bands. I am looking forward to keeping you posted on how I am doing and have my sights set on doing an Olympic triathlon once again!!
Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned but there is always a lesson that eventually will become a gift to get you through the next big thing and help you on your journey going forward. You may have to take a different route but never give up.
2 thoughts on “My last, not final triathlon!”
well! I for one think you are one of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever known!