Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rev 3 Portland 2011

I did it! The 2011 goal was to complete a triathlon. Seems so minor from where I was a year ago. Seems so BIG from where I have been this past year. (reminder posts: here and here)Who would have thought? Would love to say I did the race to prove to myself “I am back!” but really I am so far from that (but will use that as a blog title someday!).




I did this race for ME. I needed to know that I could do this sport again. Yes, it is incredibly challenging to go to a start line with not even half the fitness I had currently displayed, especially with a little “P” marked on your left calf. The “P” represents professional, a choice I made when my health was at its best for months. But at the end of the day, life is too short, and I wanted to play. I didn’t want to wait around until my fitness surpassed where I was in July of 2010 just because of the “P” status and the expectations that are placed on you while “displaying” it.


This race brought more tears to my eyes than any athletic event I have ever participated in. Everything truly felt surreal.


It is challenging to write this report because it felt so unusual than any other race in my life. There was no second or third gear, there is no pushing the pace, and there is very little fitness to pull from. It was a race of staying steady and making it to the line on both feet. This made it incredibly challenging to “race” as it was nothing of that sort for me.

Although it may sound dramatic, the truth is, my mind could not stop flashing back to the days in the hospital bed (total of 7 nights, over 10 ER visits, and one only 2 weeks prior to this race). To the days of taking 50mg of Prednisone and 3 vicodin for over 5 months (and tapering off these medications have been even more of a challenge). My training is half of what it used to be, simply because the recovery time is twice as long for any workout. I need two days off a week, and typically have 10 hours + a night of sleep. When the going got tough I would just smile thinking about how lucky I was to be out on a beautifully sunny day, with 31 TNM athletes, and countless supporters out there cheering for me. I was awe-struck by how many people had really followed this journey back to health that did not even know me.



I did not need this race to show to me or anyone else how weak I have become (losing over 8 pounds and I can tell you it was all muscle), I needed this race to know exactly where my body is now, how much recovery time is needed, and to help coach and I move forward with my upcoming plans. I needed to just get out there again, experience living, and doing what I love. I got all this and more.
You will probably not see me at a triathlon for the remainder of the year, Coach and Mark and I have developed a plan as my fitness and health improve to get me stronger. With this intact, I am accepting of the strategy to taking a few more months off of triathlon racing. I got my fix and am satisfied….for now!


To my amazing supporters (a little story first):
My swim coach growing up (Dick Hannula) would, along with emphasize the importance of our fitness and health, would also highlight the priority of friendships and the relationships formed in sports. His words were “Your best friends in the world are with you during your highest- highs, and your lowest- lows”. He would reference this as our teammates sharing the same experiences during every practice, every swim meet, every great success, every hardship. And that they were!
It takes a true person, a true company, and a true heart to support someone during their most challenging times to date:
Thank you to TYR, Gerk's Issaquah, RUDY Project, Cyclops, Lululemon,Brian Perry, Peter Schmidt, Mom, Mark, all my teammates, tri-buddies, coaches, doctors and family.

With you guys......anything is possible!

16 comments:

Beth said...

You are just so brave Teresa! Thanks for being a great example for us all!

SSB said...

Congrats on the comeback!

Lauren said...

Congratulations, Teresa! It must have felt so good to be out there again. You've come a long, long way.

Christi said...

Congratulations! I am very happy for you and I continue to send you positive healing vibes. You are coming back from this and that is very inspiring!

Molly said...

Congratulations!!! Great accomplishment just to get back out there again :)

elizabeth said...

I am SO happy for you TN!! You got out there and DID it :)) now keep trying to get healthy. xo

Jill Costantino said...

So happy for you! Congratulations! I think the body markers should've added an "I" for "inspiring" because that is YOU!
Cheering with you at IMCanada is going to be such a blast!
Congratulations again:)

Kiet said...

Well played and well stated. And you welcome. See you in Canada, so awesome how much our paths have crossed this year.

LaVonne said...

Everyone has expressed in the comments what I am thinking. Congrats on getting out and racing! Sounds like the right thing to do to focus more on healing and getting stronger now. You will be back...and better!

Rebecca Kelley said...

Yaay T! So proud and stoked to have seen you out there racing. You're my inspiration and role model. I wouldn't be in this sport if it weren't for you.

Kim said...

way to go friend! so so so happy for you.

Libby said...

you are such an inspiration and I am so in awe of what its taken to get back out there racing. I'm so proud of you for your patience and so incredibly happy for you that you got your racing fix. congrats girl, huge smiles for you :)

GoBigGreen said...

Congrats, and I think you are back. Back to what you love, the results will come, but for now fun to see your smile!

Steve said...

Hi, My name is Steve. I have seen you around with your comments. I have had in you in my list for your last couple posts I think, but never commented. I don't know your whole story, but I remember you were ill... and yeah not at your best.

I don't do triathlon or anything, but I try to help support people who help support others. You are one of those people.

Good luck with your future, and you know that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. It may not make us stronger in racing, but if it makes us stronger in life, than that is a good trade off.

Wish you the best. I know I hardly know you, just from a couple posts, but wish you the best. :)

Matt said...

congrats, this race showed how tough you are! Looks like may run into you in canada as well..

pdxgirl said...

what you are doing takes a lot of strength and grace! i saw you at the swim start and at the finish - you are amazing.