…or 14 days to the minute.
This time, two weeks from now, I will be (hopefully) finishing Mile 15 (or better) on the run course of Coeur d’Alene. Okay, so there are many variables between now and Mile 15 of the race.
Like if I am going to keep my sanity between now and then. If I am going to hold on to my confidence (what little there is). My joy. The joy I have found and struggled to keep over the course of training.
But even now. I feel joy.
Even today… as I woke up at the crack of dawn and swam with (or very far behind) a Coach Monster, Fish, and several other very fast swimmers… even as I roasted alive in the wetsuit (the lake is warm here now)… I felt joy.
As I laced up my shoes for my 5 mile run… I felt peace.
As I ran the 5 miles slower than I wish I did… with pain in my hips that I wish I didn’t have…. I felt wonderful.
The time is now.
The funny thing about races… the countdown clock stops for no one.
The lists grow. The things I must accomplish between now and packing day. I can’t even conceive of the all the special needs bags and clothing bags and Aleve and Salt Sticks and Aquaphor. The things I wish I had accomplished.
The times I wish I would have eaten better. Eaten less. Worked harder. Slept more.
Doesn’t matter. Because the time is now.
Because in 14 naps, I will stand on the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Wearing neoprene. Full of butterflies. While I may not look the part… hell, I probably will be the easiest to spot on race day due to my size… I have worked and suffered just like the ones who are running 7 minute miles. In fact, I suffered at a much slower rate. For longer. Ha!
This has been a miraculous dream almost three years in the making. Only I never knew Ironman was a dream until last year. I never would have thought it possible.
Today, at Mile 3 on the run, I stopped to look at the turtle. And I thought to myself. I just ran 3 miles. Yes, I know I have to run 26.2 at the end of a ridiculous bike and swim. Yes, I only just ran three. But three years ago… a three mile run was all I could have EVER mustered. That was it. And the 5k felt like I was dying. Dying.
And today, I didn’t feel like I was dying. At all. Not even close.
Instead, as I ran downhill back towards the lake, the only thing I could think was, “Thank you.”
Tears filled my eyes and I simply thought, Thank you, God, for the opportunity to stand on that shore and be present and to have earned the chance to do this race.
So with my longest workouts behind me… the time is here. I’m ready to embrace it.
The good, the bad… I will be present in that race, thank God for all my many blessings… and stand proud, no matter the outcome.
Love. To. You. All. 🙂