“Fear is gradually replaced by excitement and a simple desire to see what you can do on the day.”
As I type this post, I am waiting for my husband to get ready for our trip to New Hampshire. I figured this would be a more productive use of my time than nervously drumming my fingers while breathing down his neck. My original hope was to be on the road by now; however, my hubby works second shift and runs on what I affectionately term “California Time”. Thus, I expected when he agreed to come that we would get a late start. It’s a small price to pay to have his undying support. (At least that’s what I tell myself when I start to feel stressed…)
At this point, I have packed, unpacked, laid out all my gear to double-triple-quadruple check I have everything, and re-packed. I am pretty sure I will still forget something, but at least I know I have the essentials. Plus, it’s not as if we are traveling out to the middle of nowhere. Anything I’ve forgotten beyond my gear (which we’ve established is all accounted for… 4 times) we can replace when we get there.
Lucy would like you to know that she helped. She’s such a good girl!
The hubs is currently installing a new derailer on his bike. No, he’s not racing, but he’s bringing it with him to spectate. Therefore, it obviously needs to be in PERFECT working order. Yes, this is the best time possible to fix it. No, I am not freaking out. Instead, I’m distracting him with awesome videos like this:
Aside from being behind on our scheduled departure, I am ready to go! I went to the chiropractor yesterday and got stretched out and taped up.
I also had my parents over for dinner last night to celebrate both their anniversary and my Dad’s birthday (which happen to fall on race day… Is that a good sign or what?). I surprised them with fresh cut flowers from my garden and they surprised me with this:
Having an awesome family also helps…
Then before I went to bed, I completed my triathlon pre-race ritual and made sure I had some fire on the outside to match the fire within…
Sky Above, Earth Below, Fire Within… Ready for Go Time!
All that being said, I am set to go! I have put in the work, now it’s time to reap the reward. Sure, I didn’t expect to go into my big day with an injury, but I am certainly not going to let it dampen my mood or detract from the experience! I earned my spot at that start line, injured or not. I am ready to take on those miles and enjoy every wonderful/awful minute of it. I am an endurance athlete. This is what I do. It’s what I love. I get to spend an ENTIRE day outside swimming in a beautiful lake, riding my bike, and running my favorite (running) race distance. I honestly cannot wait to get out and start!
This a dream that has been over a year in the making. It’s required more grit and determination than any race I’ve taken on to date. A year ago I didn’t know how to swim or even own a rode bike. I had to grow tremendously as a person and athlete to become a triathlete. It’s been an amazing journey which has been a roller coaster at times. (Triathlon mirroring life..) There were so many points when I felt so close only to have one set back after another. Yet, I stuck with it, and now it’s really happening. This will truly be my biggest physical challenge to date, and I feel 100% ready to take it on.
The great thing about chasing a dream like this is how much it forces you to grow and change. The person who arrives at the start line is not the same as the one who started training. Nor is she the same as the person who crosses the finish. The whole process is a crazy metamorphosis. I know I will finish that race a different person than when I started. I am already so far removed from the runner who dreamed of an Ironman. I am now a swimmer, cyclist, and triathlete. Tomorrow (God willing!) I’ll be a Half Ironman. It a huge step on my journey to Ironman.
The best thing about chasing a huge (and at times insurmountable) dream is inspiring other people to do the same. I never hid how much I struggled with the swimming or cycling or how terrified I was. I wanted to show that it’s ok to suck and fail as long as you don’t give up on your dream. Failing is part of growing. It’s a sign that your are truly challenging yourself, and there’s a lot of value in that.
There’s a chance that I may fail tomorrow. I could get sick or crash or have my injury get the best of me, but I won’t give up. I’ll find another half. I’ll keep chasing my dream, and I will get there. Regardless of how the day goes, I’ll be grateful for the experience. I’ll be thankful for the opportunities triathlon has given me and the personal growth that has happened as a result.
More than anything though, I’lll be delighted to be finished tapering! I miss all the high volumes of swimming, biking, and running! Plus, I have a great game plan to get Ironman ready. 🙂