2.4 mile swim -T1- 112 mile bike -T2- 26.2 mile run
2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run = 140.6 miles
140.6 is the distance I'll be spending the next 10 months training for, and planning my meals and schedule around. Ever since my first triathlon in 2014, its been an incredible whirlwind of learning how to surpass personal limits, learning what happens when failure hits hard, and experiencing new abilities I never imagined possible. As I reflect on past races, I believe the culmination of all my short comings in past triathlons are what is motivating me most to complete a full Ironman.
One moment that sticks out to me in my time competing in triathlon happened at Ironman Timberman, August of 2015. I was nearing mile 51 of the race in northern New Hampshire and my legs started feeling more and more fatigued by the second. It felt as if my legs had eyes and were staring right at the approaching uphill with terror. Race day was my first time on the course so I wasn't too familiar with it. In the first quarter of the bike ride, you come up to a the steepest hill on the course that can rob you of significant power if you don't treat it carefully. It robbed me good. And now on mile 51, I was regretting not taking that first hill a bit easier.
That critical moment reminded me of the Ironman veterans who told me that people don't just sign up for an Ironman and bang it out with no training. Granted, I'm sure there are a few that could. Ironman veterans who warned me that race day will tell you how well you trained. Mile 51 spoke to me loud and clear. Mile 51, with a snarky voice, reminded me of all the times I ended training a little sooner than planned, or times when I could have rested longer before jumping into another training session the following day. I needed that snarky lecture. I needed to have my ego ripped apart to truly understand what it takes to complete one of these races in an intelligent and safe manner.
A few loud grunts, a couple tears and comical self-talks later, I was dropping my bike off at T2 and headed for the run. The run was a bit more manageable having the community cheering everyone on and knowing that I was on the third leg on my way to the finish line.
Triathlon keeps me on a schedule. Triathlon keeps me honest more than any ever has in my life. Triathlon is hacking away at an ego I've created in the past 10 years that is seems to require 25 meals a day. Triathlon does not fear confronting me for trying to wing it. As prepared as I believed I was for Timberman 70.3, mile 51 taught me that improvements are only going to come from core changes a the type of discipline that it takes to complete a full Ironman. A type of discipline I'm finally starting to get an understanding of.
The person I'm trying to overcome is the guy who would love to just show up on race day with little to no training, finish the race struggling, for a large does of accomplishment. I'm aching to experience the grueling training process it takes to be ready and fit for a full Ironman and finish with only tears of joy when I cross that finish line.