Monday, October 7, 2013

Sliding Into Home...Almost

I honestly thought the work was over, the training was "in the bank" and I was gonna be able to slide right into IMFL in good enough position to hit my goal of finishing it come November 2nd. Apparently I was wrong. I have two more hard weeks of training, two more century rides, a few more open water swims, and some more long weekends away from my family. I've had to chew on that since this morning when I missed my 5000yd swim workout. It's not over. Not yet.

It's been a year of hard training for me. Couch Potato to Ironman. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The mornings I get to sleep in again. The weekends I can spend doing other things I also enjoy. I almost get giddy sometimes thinking about how else I am going to spend my time besides training. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike it. Training has kept me focused when life got difficult. It helped me lose weight. It helped me build confidence. It strengthened many friendships. But let's face it. I'm tired.

Once I got over the initial realization that there was still hard work to be done, I accepted it and re-focused my efforts. I had to remind myself that I have invested way to much into this journey to not see if through to the end. I am ready to take on the end-game and in many ways just want to go out and give it everything on that day. I know I will. What I struggle with is having to give it everything to just get through the next few long rides when physically it just hurts so badly. I know I've got enough in me for that one day. I question whether I have it in me for three. 

I rode alone today and thought a lot about the journey thus far, and just how far I've come even in just the last year. My confidence has blossomed, my fears have diminished, my skills have improved. I have proven to myself that I can be mentally tough and push through challenges. I've persevered even when I didn't want to. I've stuck with it, and didn't quit. My training has been far from perfect and I've dropped the ball plenty of times, but ultimately (and with some persistent encouragement) I've managed to pick it up again. When I think of all the things I've accomplished, I'm proud. Getting through this final push will be my last huge endeavor before the race. I'm going to buckle down and give it my best.

I am entering into unknown territory this month. I'm on an emotional roller coaster. A few weeks ago I had a complete emotional breakdown, mostly over the state of my injured foot and how it could impact the outcome of this race. I'm plagued by crazy non-sensical dreams where I'm missing the race cut-off by minutes while my friends are singing in Do-Wop bands and I am eating lots and lots of ice cream. I am sent running to the bathroom just from reading the Athlete Guide and thinking about the bike course or swim. As crazy as it all sounds, I know exactly what it means. The race is nearing. 

I'm a bit worried what else is in store emotionally. I know the anxiety will hit again as race day approaches. I know there will be tears shed in the days before the race. I'm hoping all of this is somewhat normal for a first-timer. And if it's not, then I'm hoping I will handle it and move forward, one step closer and stronger to finishing this journey.

To all those who lovingly surround me these next 3 weeks, God Bless You All.


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