4 Weeks to Ironman Chattanooga

 “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!

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88 Days to Ironman Chattanooga: Staying Positive

 

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The past few weeks have been great!  Summer break has been exactly what I have needed so far.  I’ve had time to focus on me and my training without stress and exhaustion from work.  I can sip coffee all morning long and then head out the door for training at my leisure.  And, compared to last summer, the heat and humidity haven’t been a complete killer yet.  Yet.

This will be the 5th Ironman I’ve trained for, but I feel like this time everything is so different.  And, not just because I started training for IMCHOO with very little fitness and a 20 lb. weight gain.  That’s definitely made this journey different from my past IMs, but I’ve really tried to change the way I look at things.  Like, really change my thought process, and so far, that’s been my biggest motivator and accomplishment in training.  The power of positive thinking truly is amazing.  I’m working on counting my blessings more than focusing on the speed and fitness that I lost during 2016.  I’m also focusing on staying in the present and not worrying about the yards, miles, or intervals ahead, which is completely different from what I’ve been known to do.  And, you know what?  I’m actually enjoying much of the training I’m putting in so far.  Maybe not the swimming so much, but I’m working on that. 🙂  Don’t get me wrong, now.  Not every training session ends with a rainbow and a unicorn, but when things don’t go my way, I’m trying really hard to not let it become my focus (heaven knows I have in the past).  There’s something positive to be said after each swim, bike, and run, even if it’s just that I stuck with it or that I’m still alive.  I’m really trying to be thankful for every minute I get to spend in this sport.  No matter what the clock reads when I cross the finish line in Chattanooga (God willing), I want to walk away and be able to say that I did indeed find joy and happiness in this journey.

 

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