100 Days. Well, 99 days until Ironman Lake Placid. (But who’s counting. I started this post yesterday). I remember how I felt 100 days before my first Ironman in 2013. Unsure of what I was doing (even though I had a coach). Unsure of why I was doing it (the Expert had lost his job, I wasn’t having any luck with my health or my body). Unsure if the payoff would be worth it.
Why bother tackling another Ironman in 100 days?
With all the crazy things that are going on in life. Why oh why am I really doing this? And Placid? Lawdy…
With the 100 day countdown to 2013 Coeur d’Alene, I broke up my training into 10 day “dedication” blocks. I dedicated each ten day block of training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, starting at Day 100, to important people in my life. Having someone to “thank” during the hard workouts made me more grateful and kept me going. If you care to go back and read, the links to those 10 dedications are listed on this page.
I thought about doing another round of the 10 day dedications. But I honestly can’t possibly handle doing that again. Those were SO stinking emotional. I cried writing them. I can’t have another layer of tears happening every 10 days. 🙂
But it did make me think about going for a third Ironman is different.
And it is. There’s less real uncertainty. Less fuzzy-happies about the finishline. For me, it’s more about going out there and doing a job now… in a good way. (Since I will never qualify for Kona, Ironman Legacy may be all I have. That requires 11 more of these puppies (plus one in the Legacy year)… so a minimum of 12 more total. Whew.)) So it’s a bit of a job. But I don’t mean a job like I dread it. (Or make money at it!) But a job in a positive way. I show up every day. I do work. And that’s just what I do. It’s a wonderful consistency for me.
And I really like Ironman training. I like the crazy long runs and rides. I like the double workouts. It overshadows and balances out my tendencies for depression and anxiety… truly. Who knew riding 80-100 miles on a Sunday would help anxiety. Ha!
Truth time. I also very much train to run away from my problems.
I train and run away for bits and pieces of time… so that I don’t run away from my entire life. (Seriously.) It’s flipping HARD to be working woman and mom and wife with real responsibilities, ten jobs and 100 bills. Man, it would be so “easy” to walk away from it all, build a lean-to on a beach in Puerto Rico and say, “I’m done,” where is my Wilson volleyball to keep me company. So literally, I take training as my escape—so I can come home and live my life with a wonderful sense of gratitude. It makes me grateful and see things for the GOOD in them, not the STRESS, if that makes sense.
I also like that I can’t just show up and “wing” an Ironman. I mean, you shouldn’t show up and wing ANY race, but a person would be clinically insane to never train and do an Ironman. So it keeps me motivated. Eye on the prize stuff. Recognition that skipping a really long run or ride will not help my endgame.
But if I woke up tomorrow and Ironman was forever “out” and “off the table” for me, for whatever reason… that would NOT stop me from tri-ing. I love the sport at all distances. I love the three-sport training. I. Love. It. All.
I put myself through Ironman because it holds a special place in my heart. But it’s more than that, really.
I think I do triathlon for one simple reason.
To prove to myself and my kids that I can do anything I set out to do.
Afterall, on paper, I am a very unlikely triathlete, as I am often reminded by my Dad. He’s notorious for being shocked at every triathlon I finish (but in a good way… like WOW YOU ROCK! Not “that was impossible.”)
Every finish line reminds me that I am worthy, awesome and an example for two little munckins who are all eyes and ears.
Each finishline does not remind me that I am fat or slow or lazy or sorry or weak (though I may feel that way entirely too often).
A finish line, no matter the distance, makes me feel worthy. Awesome. Like a badass.
And that… is… important.
Just this week, Ironman and #WomenForTri launched the #WhyWeTri campaign.
The campaign is: “Every woman has a reason WHY she competes and we want to know yours! Post a picture, quote or both on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about WHY you tri using the hashtag #whywetri. Women For Tri’s mission is simple: ‘To identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities.’ In keeping with this positive and empowering mindset Women For Tri is launching WHY, which is aimed at focusing on what triathlon adds to your life, not its perceived “barriers.” #whywetri is all about highlighting your WHY in hopes of getting other women thinking about how triathlon can add to their life too.”
I really love this idea!
But I do like thinking about what triathlon ADDS to your life… not what it TAKES AWAY.
Many women say that they are too busy or don’t have time or money or resources to tackle triathlon. Many have real fears and barriers… but they can all be overcome. People do amazing things in this sport. And some barriers, we have to recognize may not actually be true.
Either way, I encourage women to knock down those barriers (and negative or perceived barriers: I am too fat. I am too slow. I am not worthy.) To take on the dream and make it happen. Figure out WHY you want to tri and then… do it.
^From my first tri season.^
Need some resources for starting out?
Join the “Army”
And you can always contact me directly if I can help you in any way on your triathlon journey.
Finally, have a great weekend, friends! (And don’t forget about the Roka Sports GOGGLE giveaway on this post.)