Friday, November 6, 2015

It Takes A Village

I'm a bad blogger.  Good bloggers provide content on a regular basis.  I do not.

If you happened to live inside my head, you would find numerous cleverly worded, elegantly crafted blog posts about my past year of training.  But you don't want to live there.  Trust me.  Especially this week.

But just as any good Catholic must go to church on Easter and Christmas...even a bad blogger about triathlon must at least post a pre and post-IM recap.

It's almost here.  This time tomorrow I'll be putting bottles on my bike, dropping crap off at special needs, and wondering when they are going to announce if the race is wet suit legal or not (Spoiler...it probably won't be.  Glad I brought a swim suit.)

I've been working on this post in my head for a few weeks.  And it kept getting longer and longer.  I wanted to make sure I said something special about all the people who have made a difference on this journey to Florida. And there are many of them.  And there are a hundred different anecdotes I wanted to share about those people.  But then I worried that I would forget someone and then feel horrible.  And it would probably  be Ashley, and she's still pissed at me for not getting a screen shot of her crossing the finish line at Louisville last month, so no list of Thank Yous.

I wanted to write how the important thing is Just To Finish.  Well yes...that is important.  But I also want to do well.  I have been training with some amazing athletes this year, and although I know this is my race and my race only...it's still hard to not hold yourself up to them in comparison.  I don't want to just be the token (former) fat girl that they tolerate on group rides.  I want to be like them.

It's also hard not to hold yourself up to basic math.  I have calculated and re-calculated estimated times for everything.  I know what the times are for my worst case scenarios.  And I should be able to finish in under 15 hours.  So that is what I really want to do...finish this bitch in under 15 hours.

And this is where I start to freak out...

I freak out because I have 17 hours to finish.  And better, stronger athletes than myself have used almost all 17 of those hours.  Some have gone beyond that.  Some didn't finish at all.  If better athletes than I struggle with 17 hours...who the hell am I to think I can do it in less?

So I freak out at the unknown.  The X-Factor of Ironman.  Will it be the heat?  Will it be the swells in the ocean?  Will it be a mechanical issue with my bike?  What will be the unknown tomorrow?

Once again, I'm going to highlight how Ironman is like childbirth.  The pregnancy (training) seems to last forever until you are at the point that you know you are as ready as you will ever be and just want to get it over with.  You come to it with a birth plan (pace calculations on a post it note) and way too much packed in your suitcase (every piece of gear you own).  The nurses (anyone who has done an IM previously) will reassure you that what you are feeling is normal and that you are going to be fine.

But the first time is mildly terrifying...because of the unknown.  How bad will it hurt?  Will anything go wrong? Why did I think this is a good idea?

I won't continue on with this analogy because I have 4 children...and I promised Tom that this is the only Ironman I will do...

So that is where my head is at right now.  I know I've done the training.  I know that I can finish.  I know I am going to be an Ironman tomorrow.  I just don't know what I don't know.

But about that Village:

It really does take a village to get to Ironman. I really want to acknowledge everyone who helped me get here, but I really can't.  Not today.  I'm getting emotional just thinking about it.  If I swam, ran, walked, rode with you this year...you are part of this list.  If you reassured, encouraged, motivated or inspired me this year...you are part of this list.  If you watched my kids, let me off of work or covered for me while I trained this year...you are part of this list.  If you live in my house, are related to me in any way and I have neglected you this year...you are part of this list.  If you are my husband...you're at the top of the list.

But I do want to thank 2 different people that had the balls to be honest with me this week in a way I needed to hear. In different ways, they both told me that a year ago, they thought that there was no way I would go through with this.  They both told me that have I defied their expectations.

Mine too.


Bored on Saturday?  Feel free to track me at the following link: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/detail.aspx?race=florida&y=2015#axzz3qiBOHqqI

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