“These dang shorts are so tight!” I said. “Did you put them in the dryer?”
“You probably put them in the dryer, Ash,” Justin said.
He’s right. I suck at laundry. I make a killer dippy egg. I don’t mind cleaning the bathroom. But please don’t make me do laundry.
I stepped toward the hallway.
“I mean, honestly – why are these shorts so tight?” I asked.
Justin walked over.
“They don’t look that bad, babe,” he said. “I think they are fine!”
“They aren’t fine!” I said. “My legs look like biscuits – getting ready to burst out of a can! What’s happening?!”
I threw myself on the bed like a dramatic toddler who wants to watch another episode of PJ Masks. Hey, it’s a familiar scene.
“Aren’t they supposed to be tight? So they don’t ride up when you run?” Justin asked.
“Yes, probably,” I said. “I don’t know. But I’m not sure they should be this tight…”
I was getting ready to start my period, which is easily the worst day of the month for most women. It’s especially terrible if you have PCOS.
The pain. The bloating. The mood wings. The depression. The anxiety. The cravings (I’m pretty sure I ate 45 turkey sandwiches yesterday).
I sent a picture of my tri suit to my aunt, who has been my long distance training partner, coach, and mentor.
Her response warmed my heart.
She wrote back: “I think your outfit looks great. Us women that have muscular thighs stick together. I know exactly what u are saying. You would be surprised on how others see you. Muscular legs! That’s what they see.”
I thanked her for the perspective and pep talk. Then she reminded me about something very important.
“They will carry u through the toughest part of the race.”
I put on those tight shorts for my bike ride and walk – which turned into a run when Bandit and I got chased my another dog. Granted, this dog was about 1,000 years old. But he looked mean. And serious. I don’t doubt for a second that he was running toward us with every ounce of energy that he had…
Maybe we wanted a bite of my leg biscuits? Ha!
You see, I have bad days too. I can get in my own head and question myself, especially when I’m doing a race with elite athletes. At times, it feels overwhelming and I start to worry if I can actually do this thing…
But then, I go back to all the hours I’ve spent training. All the times I’ve cried, fallen down, or wanted to stop. And I remember what it took to fight through that mental roadblock. I remember how great it feels to fly on my bike going 24 mph – and run at a 9:13 pace.
I’m a few weeks out for this incredibly important race. And on Saturday, I have my first sprint triathlon in Indy.
How do I feel?
I feel every emotion possible. But I simply can’t wait to put all this training to work.
I have learned that endurance training is a beast and requires a different perspective on your own strength. And most of that strength is mental.
I have learned the songs to sing when I am hurting.
The songs to sing when I am happy.
The people to think of when I want to give up.
And the people to thank when I am done. I have learned the true meaning of never giving up.
And I have learned that the best way to find success – and to be successful – is to be happy. I don’t wait for success or a certain finish time to define me.
I am happy with my journey.
I am happy with how far I’ve come.
And I’m happy that I have this opportunity.
The finishing part is just another step in the journey.
Until then, I’m going to love my leg biscuits, rock my crazy hair, and live off coffee & carbs!