20/20 hindsight is beautiful. Oh, what could have been.
Instead, I caught pneumonia. More than two weeks post-Kona, and three weeks since I first started coughing, I am still breathing with half a lung and can barely get out of bed.
"But you raced with pneumonia". "You did amazing all things considered". "Just think what you could have done healthy". Yes.....I do think of this. Often. And it doesn't help.
These are the facts. They are not excuses. I gave Kona everything I had, and came up very short of what I had dreamed. Frustrating, gut-wrenching, tear-inducing short.
It takes a while for these things to sink in.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have raced in Kona, twice. Every moment I had there is a gift, and any day that culminates with crossing the finish line on Ali'i Drive can never be entirely bad.
Being who I want to be is a delicate balance of goal setting, hard work, breaking down, taking small steps, failing sometimes, putting things back together and renewing those goals. A rebuild is needed, and warranty coverage has been called in.
Great things are not built in a day. Or a season.
My initial reaction was, of course, to immediately fill the void with racing, right away. Another triathlon, a road race, a marathon.....all kinds of crazy thoughts entered my head. Yet, I reasoned that reaction was just a band-aid - my disappointment manifesting into unproductive thoughts, and not reaffirming what is important to me at all.
So, the 2012 season is over, for me. And now there is time to reflect.
I am on the reserve list until at least January. And this forced rest for my body will require me to use my head instead. It get to think, really hard, about who I am, what drives me, what I want to succeed and what goals I want to reaffirm.
I get to catch my breath, look inside (even at the things that scare me) and invest in my potential. Rest. Recover. Dream.
Down time also creates space for me to accept failing as a catalyst to reaffirming my path and not a final destination for my dreams. Failing in Kona had nothing to do with my will, or determination, or drive. Some days are just not meant to be my day, no matter how much training and planning has been invested.
But I know exactly what it feels like to have the race of my dreams. How great it feels to set a goal and crush it. And that memory is far stronger than any failure.
The pieces of the 2013 puzzle are slowly coming together. Stay tuned.....