The Body, The Numbers

She has two small children, a husband and a desire to go back to school to pursue a Masters degree, yet, she holds tight to her commitment-to-self to train. Sometimes all is copacetic.  But more often than not, she has an inner sparring match with her will and emotions as she prepares for her second and third Ironman of this still young season.

My friend Rauchelle posts insta-stories that make me choke with laughter and sometimes make me cringe from her unashamed honesty.  However, her unfettered candor about her multi-sport journey, is the reason I started following her on social media.  Because, it echoes my own.  In a world of “I woke up like this,” charlatains, her blunt confidence to show the ‘not-so-put-together’ portions of her world warms my heart and gives me courage to raise the bar in my honesty about being an age group triathlete.

Below is a post in her own words (reproduced with her permission) about her current mindset as she continues to lay down mileage for her next two races, IM 70.3 St. George (Saturday May 5) & IM Boulder (Sunday June 10).  Coming off of IM Oceanside three weeks ago, she is working to find her place of peace with training for her final two large races of the season.  But until she does...well, you can read about it below.

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No swim picture because Frost and I had the exact same emotional response.  My swim sucked today (I had nothing to give and cut it short) and as I started my mental self-flagellation of ‘why do you suck,’ I realized that this was the best decision for me today.

Ironman training has taught me so much about my body.  It’s taught me that if I listen, my body will tell me when to back off.  And the biggest thing is listening to MY body and not the numbers. 

I struggle with this.  I like the numbers.  I like the verifiable proof that I am an athlete.  I place a lot of my self worth as an athlete on the numbers.  I’m not proud of that, nor do I think it’s okay. 

I compare a lot of my numbers to everyone else’s.  “Look how far they swam this week,” OR “we had the same workout and they rocked it.” OR “look at their paces” OR my absolute least favorite - “I’m faster than them” (incredibly ashamed of this one). 

But it’s not about that.  It’s about the individual plan.  I’m at a different place than you and you than me.  I have my own plan and you have yours - regardless of the workouts listed our bodies are different, we recover differently and race differently. 

I went into this season too soon.  I was chasing that Ironman high and signed up with that finish line feel pulsing through me.   But that doesn’t change that I signed up. I’m excited to race St. George and Boulder. They are new courses I’ve never done and they’ll teach me a lot. So for the next eight weeks I’m going to continue to do the best I can and show up each day knowing that some days will be smooth and others will be a battle. But I’ll continue to be there listening to my body and learning with each session and race.  The numbers are a small part and being able to exercise is my lifeline to my emotional stability.  So with strength, determination and focus on my plan I approach the last legs of my season.

You can find Rauchelle on Instagram @tri2run2eat

Follow Rauchelle’s IM70.3 race in St. George, Utah on Saturday May 5, her bib number is: 394