IRONMUMS athlete Ruth tells us about her trials and tribulations of IRONMAN racing.
At the request of The Coach, I am reluctantly writing a race report for Ironman Cairns. She believes that sharing my story will assist myself and others in dealing with races that don’t go to plan…there is always a space for learning new things. We will soon discover if writing it actually benefits me as promised!
I don’t look at this report as being particularly pleasing or inspiring - but rather this is a piece of work that is self reflective, and explores the concepts of battling demons, loss and genuine suffering. So buckle up, put a straw in the wine bottle and get on the roller-coaster of my day that was Ironman Cairns 2018.
For many reasons, both known and unknown to me, I have struggled emotionally, mentally and socially since late 2017, leaving me feeling isolated and unbearably sad. The reasons for these issues may be obvious to others…and maybe I’m just missing the signs; a problem I experience frequently. It could be the bullying I experienced at work (to an extent where I had to weigh up whether I wanted to work or whether I wanted to live, dramatic I know, but I’m afraid true), or maybe it is my unstable epileptic teenage daughter, the social isolation I have experienced or my husband and I looking for aged care for his mum. And maybe the reasons are deeper, more hidden and less clear than these. In any case, my mental wellbeing has suffered greatly in the past six months.
Despite these issues, I pushed on as we women do. I did a bit of training, more for the comfort of routine and structure, and rebelling against the mental health issues than anything else.
After a period of fighting, arguing and conflict , I found myself without a couch and essentially without any friends by the end of January. I discovered that I was back again, battling demons. My uncontrollable tears and deep sadness was something I had never been confronted with, and more significantly, a role reversal for my hubby! Poor bugger.
I went in search of a new coach, put some feelers out, and after lots of tears and emotions, I found Naomi! It shocked me when she agreed to take me with all my crappy baggage and it was then that we began the journey towards Ironman Cairns.
Challenge Melbourne was the first race Naomi coached me to. We had no plan, just see where we were. I did say that morning that a sub-6 hour finish would be nice – and nice it was when I saw I