DAY OFF: A TIME FOR REFLECTION
man oh man, this is a welcome day off. peeps, i don't even know where to begin. for one, as Bold explained to me a while ago, your training doesn't start to get really serious 'til you're at about 112 days on the countdown, a day for every mile on the bike. yeah, take a look at the little polar watch over in the left column. UH HUH......it's for reals now. and i say BRING.IT. i just can't believe where i'm at. i can't believe i'm actually getting through this. not that it hasn't been difficult, or even painful, but surprisingly IT HASN'T BEEN IMPOSSIBLE. i know, i know. all you IronPeeps out there are probably sayin' to yourselves "silly little Iron virgin. you just don't know what's ahead for you. you're gonna get your ass served to you on a platter." and maybe so, may.be.so. but remember that this isn't my second season in this sport. nope, this has been a slow 7 years in the making. in fact, when i first started in triathlon and even up to my first oly distance, i never EVER saw myself doing a full Ironman. i just didn't even entertain the thought, but the more and more i raced, and the more people i met in the tri community, i got the bug. BAD.
two years ago while dickin' around looking at race calendars and results, i discovered that there was a Half Iron distance race in New Hampshire that would fall on my 35th birthday. yep, the actual day i was born 35 years prior, and at just about the same hour too, as i was born into this world early in the morning. what better way to celebrate my 35th birthday?? so i got a coach, and he gave me a schedule. up until then, i'd just trained when i could, and it seemed to work for me. during one phone consultation, he asked me if i was considering a full Ironman at some point, and i laughed. oh no no no. this would be my resting point in my triathlon career, the Half IM distance, thanks though. then he laughed, "oh, i bet you'll change your mind."
training for that first Half IM was life altering. everything i knew or thought i knew about fitness and my limits just got turned UPSIDE DOWN. somewhere along the way, i began to think more and more about the FULL DISTANCE, and then i really started to freak. what if i found the half distance so difficult and traumatic that i would never want to do a full one?? suddenly, i wanted to pull out of the 35th birthday plan altogether. i wanted to just skip ahead and go for THE FULL MONTY, but coach talked me off the ledge and promised me that with the training i was doing, there was no way i'd have a bad half. then somewhere along the way, in a shorter training race, an aquathlon no less, i went and did something REALLY STUPID and qualified to race for Team USA at ITU Worlds in Lausanne, Switzerland. now not only was i racing my first Half Iron distance tri on my birthday, but 10 days later i would find myself traveling to Europe for the first time ever to race for my country. IS THIS FOR REALS??? I MUST BE DREAMING!! I'M DREAMING RIGHT?? OK, JOKES ON ME. YOU CAN ALL COME OUT NOW.