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.


Fern said...

How do I go about sharing some of your self confidence?

In your recent blog you never mentioned once how you always struggle at some point in the race, especially on the marathon run portion.

You just accept the aches and pains as part of the euphoria you get when it's over. And you can still say, "I did my best!"

Damie said...

Yea! That is excited! Glad the desire to push for it came back. Enjoy!