Thursday, September 4, 2014

ready or not

I’ve arrived in Madison for Ironman Wisconsin.  Tomorrow Kelly and I will head over to Monona Terrace to check-in and receive the coveted Ironman backpack.  We plan to jump in the lake to do a little swim as well.

I’m trying to stay calm and keep relaxed but it’s tough.  When I spotted Monona Terrace on our way into the city a little a little ball formed in the pit of my stomach and my heart rate increased.  In short, I’m nervous as hell.  Training hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped.  As it rarely does for me. Especially in the weeks leading up to taper and taper itself.  My swimming especially has suffered.

When I signed up for this race almost an entire year ago, I knew training would be a big commitment.  However, I don’t think I realized how much of a commitment it would turn out to be, nor can I wrap my head around it now.  I’ve missed out on a lot this summer – several weddings, weekend trips, quality time with my family, and time with Matt.  Yet I’ve still skipped long rides, runs and swims and cut other workouts short.   Weekday workouts have also suffered.   When I signed up I could not have predicted that I would be going through one of the busiest stretches I’ve ever had at work or that I’d be trying to plan a wedding or that Matt and I would finally be living in the same place. Trying to get in a workouts after 12 hour days at work seemed overwhelming to me and that led to skipped workouts.  And hanging out with my fiancé trumped going to the gym.  Ideal no, but after like 7 (8?) years of long distance and not being able to cook dinner together or watch TV together, it was worth it to me.

Gratuitous engagement picture 

Thinking about the race is overwhelming.  140.6 miles is a long ways.  My thoughts vacillate between, “There is no way I can do this” and “I’ve put in enough long distance stuff to do this”.  I really doubt there is a point where I could really say, “I’m 100% ready for this.”  I don’t think that exists. Training will never go perfectly.  Life will get in the way. Even if I would have trained more I would still be wishing I could have done more.  I wish I had gotten in a 20 mile training run and a 120 mile bike ride but it just wasn’t in the cards this training cycle.  I also wish I could be 15 pounds lighter so I going uphill on the bike was easier but I like eating ice cream so oh well.

They say it’s better to show up to the start line 10% under-trained than 1% over-trained.  I’m certainly not over-trained so I have that going for me.  I have a lot of doubts and fears.  Doubt in myself that I can finish.  Fear that I will have to DNF.  I’ve had more than one breakdown in which many tears were shed and Matt has had to talk me off the ledge.  But as Matt reminded me, if I don’t finish I will not have disappointed anyone.  I might as well give it the good college try.  I have nothing to prove to anyone else except myself.  

So ready or not, I’ll be in that lake when the cannon goes off at 7 am on Sunday morning.

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