Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Journey to St. George

Five and a half months ago I completed Ironman St. George for the second time. As I walk/ran the marathon, I can still remember feeling like I had accomplished everything that I had set out to accomplish. I thought to myself, "I don't need to try to qualify for Hawaii, I'm completing the hardest ironman in the world for the second time." That night I told my wife that I would not do another ironman until she told me it was ok to do so. Life took over this summer, my daughter had a wedding to be planned, we started a new entertainment business, it seemed like there was some new life stress every day! Training diminished to nearly non-existent levels, and I just never felt right. I knew that ironman training was an addiction of sorts, and I kept trying to fight this feeling. After all, I had made a promise to my wife. It seemed like there was never time to contemplate my next step, and I really focused on being there for my family and not let training get in the way. But the uneasiness persisted.

The weekend before last I watched this years Ironman World Championship on streaming live video. "I want to do that again", I kept thinking. Finally, I realized that I had to tell my wife. Which I did. Her immediate response was, "I never believed you anyway". Since that discussion I have felt a degree of calmness that I have not felt in awhile. My coach said that many of his athletes might show nervousness after making this decision. I'm the opposite. I know it's what I want to do.

One thing that I have learned from training for two ironmen is that this is something that suits me. I love the long runs and the long bike rides.. I love the feeling that my body has that there is nothing that I can't do. The level of fitness comes with a feeling almost of indestructibility. Are my competitive juices also engaged? Certainly, but as I have learned long ago in triathlon, I am only competing with myself. If I give it my best on race day, I will be happy, satisfied and proud. That said, I have asked my coach to prepare me for the best race I can do. I am only working 20 hours a week, so I have time to train without sacrificing the time I want to spend with my wife, while I love triathlon, I love my wife more. But I must do both. I will take off the months of January and February. This will allow me the opportunity to fully commit myself to doing the best that I can do.

I met with my coach yesterday. Some of my key goals this year will be to focus on my core and overall strength. More regular tie in the weight room. I will spend more time with more vertical miles training on the bike. I will do 15-20 long runs between now and St. George. From this coming saturday, I am 28 weeks away from the race. I have plenty of time to prepare myself. I am excited. I am ready.