i lost my ego somewhere

– it’s been humbling not having it.

How do I identify myself without my achievements? How do I stop myself from needing to win? Who am I without my reputation?

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I ran the BMO Half Marathon today.

I wasn’t ready but I ran it. Training has been hindered the past few weeks – blood work highlighted very low iron, so doctor prescribed me an iron infusion right away. I was ‘running low’ one could say. Low iron means low hemoglobin – which carries oxygen from every panting breath you take to your hard-working tissues. It also stores up oxygen in the muscles to be put to use when and where your body need its – swimming, biking, running, or just getting groceries. In short, when the body struggles to make hemoglobin through lack of iron, lactic acid builds up in the oxygen-deprived muscles, which causes muscles to fatigue prematurely during exercise = significant muscle fatigue, lethargy and shortness of breath.

But I ran. 91 minutes of a mental war inside my mind. For a large portion of the run I wanted to quit, I saw giving up as an option. (Which is an attractive option when I didn’t feel like I was running in tar…but more so feeling like tar was running inside of me. Sticky. Heavy.) I looked up each of the roads we passed by along the course and contemplated just hanging a right and walking up that road – I would find someone’s cellphone to use and call my parents to come get me. (My parents waiting at the finish lie for me. My parents who got up at 5:00 AM to come support me.)

I thought about this as I ran. And passed by the 4 KM marker. While I pushed through this frustrating pain.                So I was forced to come back to focus on lessening that pain. I focused on my form – relaxed in to the innate words from my coach – and I felt better.                       

Then I’d see a trail I could easily duck into – escape into the maze of Stanley Park trails. And again – I would have to find someone’s cellphone to use to call M & D.

I thought about this as I ran. And passed by the 8 KM marker. While I pushed through this frustrating pain.                      So I was forced to come back to focus on lessening that pain. I focused on my form – relaxed in to the innate words from my coach – and I felt better.

I thought about sneaking away at the 12 KM mark. The 14 KM mark.

I thought about this as I ran. While I pushed through this frustrating pain.                                          

But suddenly the 17 KM mark caught my eye and I finally settled down. I was OK. I could make this. I could hang in there. And I did. Simple as that. But not so simple as that…

I’m never always motivated.

Today I ran on willpower. And thank god willpower is a learnable skill – like a muscle, you have to work on it – to strengthen it. I was like the incredible hulk today I tell ya!

Triathlon season is almost here… I’ll be ready. The comeback is always stronger than the setback.

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