Although I may be about 2 weeks late on my race report, the day is still very fresh in my mind. Grab a beverage (or two) and settle in. Here’s my story of Ironman #4…. Race Week: Race week is … Continue reading
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it is officially race week. What a journey this has been! I can honestly say that this journey has been unlike any other IM journey I’ve had. Crossing that finish line in Chattanooga (hopefully!) will most certainly be an emotional moment for me.
At the start of 2017, my original plans were to focus on losing weight and regaining fitness after my 2016 disaster-of-a-year. My heart wanted to go for another Ironman since I missed IMLOU in ’16, but my head and out-of-shape body said different. Luckily, a few good friends reminded me that life is short and we’re none promised another day, so with that, I followed my heart and registered for Ironman Chattanooga. When I registered for IMCHOO, my intentions were to just make it to the finish, and throughout training, my intentions have remained the same. I’ve definitely put in the hard work, but I’m just not where I have been going into some of my other IM races. This will be the first time that I am going into an Ironman without real “time” goals, other than meeting all of the intermediate time cut-offs and making it to the finish in the allotted 16.5 hours. If my hard work pays off with a reward of a PR, awesome!! If it doesn’t, I’m okay with that, too. Making it to the finish line of an Ironman is an amazing reward and accomplishment in itself, and this finish will certainly hold a special place in my heart. Instead of focusing on my time during the race, I’ll be focusing on these three goals:
1. Be present – Focus on where I am rather than focusing on what’s to come. Enjoy the good times and embrace the bad ones. It’s part of the journey.
2. Be patient – Racing an Ironman makes for a long day. I know how many miles I’m up against, so my goal is to focus on tackling each mile rather than “wishing” them away. This will be especially important as the bike course at IMCHOO is 4 miles longer than a typical IM course. Be patient, be patient, be patient!
3. Be thankful – Be thankful for every moment, good or bad. Be thankful for making it to the starting line. Be thankful for completing every mile that I set out on. Be thankful for the strangers who will cheer for me and give me that boost of energy to keep going. Even in the darkest moments, be thankful for the opportunity.
I’m beyond excited to see what race day holds for me! I’m sure it will be an epic day filled with lessons and memories that will last a lifetime.
“You don’t play triathlon. You play soccer; it’s fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It’s the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?”
– Chris McCormack, Two-time Ironman World Champion
This quote really sums up what the past few weeks of training have been like for me. Okay, maybe not the puking by the roadside part, but I have certainly felt crumpled in a heap after some sessions. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was on the ground in the fetal position bawling my eyes out this past weekend. Twice. Ah, the joys of Ironman training!
The past 4 weeks of training have been half and half. Two weeks of solid, “I got this” work, followed by two weeks of me trying to be a weekend warrior. See, two weeks ago, I began my transition back to work and I seemed to have forgotten how mentally and physically exhausting it is to be a teacher. Combine that with Ironman training and you have yourself a concoction for a major meltdown. *Note to self: never sign up for an Ironman where peak training falls on the first two or three weeks of school.* (Sadly enough I feel like I have written this in another blog…in a previous year -HA!)
Over the past two weeks I’ve woken up exhausted and come home from work exhausted. I have literally struggled to get the training in. Even short sessions. This past weekend was probably the lowest and most broken that I’ve ever felt training for any Ironman. For the first time in the past 5 months of training, I felt no joy (my goal was to always find joy in the journey). I tried, but rest assured there was none. Luckily, I only have two more weeks of the really hard stuff, and then it’ll be time for taper! I think I can, I think I can.
Despite the struggles of the past few weeks, I know that all of this is part of my journey. And, as I know from experience, none of my Ironman journeys have been alike. Each one is different and I learn something new about myself every time. That, to me, is one of the rewards of taking on an Ironman.
I’m heading into this week feeling a little more rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the final weeks of training. Hopefully this feeling will continue, because bib numbers came out today. That’s a sure sign that race day is just around the corner!