I remember training for my first marathon and looking at my schedule. I was given a 20 week plan in advance so of course I sat my butt down and scanned the entire thing.
And then I nearly had a heart attack.
You read or hear about what you have to do to train for a marathon. The typical 20miler. But seeing it on YOUR schedule as something you are supposed to do is a whole different ball game. You start to question yourself. How can I do that? How can my body do that. That will take forever, and so on and so forth.
I remember the first time I ran 8miles. And then it was 10, and 12. And finishing your first 26.2 is indescribable. It's surreal, it's amazing. I cried, I laughed and then within 24hrs I was planning my next one as I hobbled around the hotel. Funny how quickly we forget the pain, even while we are still in it.
When I started triathlon training everything was new. My first few years of were very random. I had no coach and had no idea what I was doing. I trained up to race distance for each event, or even less sometimes. I didn't do bricks. I didn't wear the right gear.
I remember my first 5k, 10, half marathon. I remember my first 50mile bike ride. It was just like a runner's high. A new level of achievement. OHMYGOD I can't believe I just rode 50miles.... My first century, my first organized bike race. Climbing Mt Lemmon.
When I finished my first half ironman I cried. I was 1 year post IT band surgery and never thought I would run again, yet accomplish a half ironman. They were tears of joy, of pain, and of breaking through a barrier I wasn't sure was possible. I had copies of my finish line picture made and sent to my surgeon, Dr. Lee, as well as my PT Matt Hubble. I owed them for getting me to that point.
When you talk to people who are training for their first 5k or 10k or anything really, and you have done some of these crazy things like Ironman or a stand alone marathon they try to compare where you are at. In fact, just last night I was talking to my sister. She is registered to do the women's only half marathon in November with and a huge group of girls (myself included). She was talking about how she is only running 4 miles right now, and how hard it is but she was going to try to run outside in the am. I told her it was much nicer this week than last but her response was, "but you are so much more conditioned..."
I thought about it for a minute, but while it true, I am in my peak Ironman training week that's not how I was thinking about it. I mean sure if I were this fit, and training for a half marathon absolutely 4miles in the heat would be a cinch. But that's not how I look at it all. She is exactly where I was 16 weeks out from IM Canada. Different race, different training, but same point in time for a goal. It's all a matter of perspective and we all have something and different achievements to be equally proud of. I couldn't be more proud of her for finishing her first half marathon in May, and registering to challenge herself once more. This time her "first" will be finishing her SECOND half marathon... :-)
I was thinking about all of this last night, and this morning because this year has been an incredible journey for me. I've been so fortunate to be healthy. My body is finally doing what I want it to and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I've done things and broken barriers that I never thought I would or could do. My coach is pushing me to do things I would have never pulled together on my own.
I jumped on my bike in April for 250miles in 2.5 days with climbing amounts I never thought possible. I pushed myself in a Sprint triathlon to hold on to first place by only 11seconds.
This weekend, between Saturday am and Monday night I rode over 170miles and ran almost 29miles, 23.5 of them in 1 day. I didn't doubt myself (too much), I just did. While I'm sure the physical benefits I will get come August 29th in Penticton Canada will tell the real story, I can't believe the mental benefits I got from the last 48hrs.
It was a true first for me running 23.5miles in 1 day, after riding 170miles just hours before. I wasn't sure I could do it, but I'm here to write this post, and I'll be here tomorrow. But, most importantly my mind knows what my body is physically capable and I really think that this time I can convince myself of anything out there in Canada!
I can't wait to be out there on the Ironman course, knowing that I CAN do it and I will for the first time, feel like my mental training is up there with all the hard work I've put into getting my body ready. It feels, really really good to think about!