Its only October, but I feel that I can say with definiteness that 2017 sucked.
Alright, maybe that statement is a tad over dramatic. In all seriousness, there were lots of good things about 2017 (so far). Ivy is freaking adorable and funny and opinionated and ridiculous. All the things an almost 14 month old should be. Ryan and I raised almost $12,000 for the Adirondack Medical Center and Ryan had a really good race at Ironman Lake Placid. We put on four successful races (Quarter, Retro Run, Solstice and Hogsback) and are gearing up for another solid series in 2018. I helped several athletes reach some amazing goals this year including long fought PRs and first time Ironman finishers. All good things. Even with all the good things, its always the stuff that doesn’t work that sticks with me. I want to be better and to do better and its not always possible.
In 2017 training and racing sucked. Really sucked. I was never able to get into a rhythm. Some of it was bad luck including not one, but two partial tears of my MCL and a nasty series of respiratory infections this fall. Some of it was scheduling. Nursing and caring for a little one coupled with a full time job didn’t always leave enough hours in the day. Some of it was inertia. When I did have time the idea of training just wasn’t appealing at all. I feel like a sloth or a quokka or maybe a spiny anteater. While it was nice to go out and complete the Cranberry Triathlon, I don’t really want to race without being prepared and I know that for me being the best possible athlete involves drinking from a fire house of volume (damn you people who respond well to high intensity).
As Ironman Florida approaches, I have such mixed feelings. I’m sad but also relieved that I’m not going to be on the starting line. Most of all, however, I’m disappointed in myself that I couldn’t get my shit together enough to be a position to race. Cranberry reminded me how much I love racing and how much I want to be out there. Training and racing is not something I want to give up on, it gives me way too much joy. I want to believe I’m going to do better in 2018 (side note: I now have “the village believes . . .“from Moana in my head). I really do. I’ve signed up for way too many races to let 2018 suck too, but I think I’ve learned my lesson and there are no 140.6s on the calendar for me.
In 2017 my weight sucked too. Ivy was born with both a tongue tie and lip tie. For the first month of her life she didn’t gain any weight because she wasn’t stimulating me to produce enough milk. Once we figured out what was going one we started to supplement Ivy with formula and we had the tongue and lip tie fixed. Unfortunately the window on increasing my milk supply had closed and I was put on domperidone (motilium) to increase my milk supply. As far as milk supply goes, domperidone is a wonder drug. Because of it, Ivy is almost 14 months old and still nursing. Unfortunately one of the side effects of domperidone is weight gain / inability to lose weight (another side effect is skin issues and I’ve been struggling with eczema since I’ve been on it). I’ve always struggled with my weight but 14 months post-partum I still weigh what I did when Ivy was 6 weeks old. I am officially obese (I’m also officially jealous beyond belief of everyone who is able to lose weight post baby). Part of my struggle with training and racing is that I just feel like I’m too fat to do anything. Mentally its a horrible vicious cycle (I feel too fat to get my butt out the door but also feel that I’m fat because I’m not getting my butt out the door enough).
Now that Ivy is over a year old, I’ve finally made the decision to wean off of the domperidone (a patch of eczema on my forehead was the final straw) and I’m hoping that once its out of my system the weight will be able to come off. While I’m looking forward to having my body back, I’m also sad that it likely means the end of nursing Ivy. Nursing is my special time with Ivy, its something no one else can do for her. I’m emotional about it ending. I’m also worried about what will happen once the domperidone is out of my system. What if I still can’t lose weight? I’m having a really hard time accepting that this might be my body, rather than just the temporary inflated body I’m living in for the moment. I’m hoping 2018 will be bring positive changes in my weight, but I can’t know for sure.
Finally in 2017 I sucked at showing myself some grace. Being kind to myself is so incredibly hard. I still can’t wrap my head around why its so easy for me to encourage others while ripping myself to pieces. Negative self talk comes to me so very quickly. I would never dream of thinking or saying the things I say to myself (you’re fat, you’re lazy, you’re disgusting, you’re useless) to others but I repeat these things to myself on a daily basis. While I “know” many of these thoughts are untrue, my conscious self and my unconscious impulses don’t always agree. I need to (and I will) continue to work on showing myself grace. Some days are easier than others, all I can work towards is more graceful days in 2018. Maybe come October of 2018, I won’t be making that statement “2018 sucked.”