Ironman Readiness

“There are two things we should always be 1. raw and 2. ready. When you are raw, you are always ready and when you are ready you usually realize that you are raw. Waiting for perfection is not an answer, one cannot say “I will be ready when I am perfect” because then you will never be ready, rather one must say “I am raw and I am ready just like this right now, how and who I am.”
―C.JoyBell C.

I am 11 days from Ironman #5.

11 days from testing my readiness.

11 days from experiencing a true and complete exhaustion, exhileration and relief.

Every single Ironman I have trained for has had it’s own unique challenges, each I have felt a different level of readiness, and in fact come into them a different person than I come in now.

Number 1, the first, the only first you get, the magnificent glory of doing the work and following a plan with the total unknowing if it was going to work!  The mystery and awe of the day filled me with so much emotion for months, inspired me to start this blog.  The day was full of portapotty time and a wee bit o misery.  But it never crossed my mind I couldn’t/wouldn’t finished once I started that day.  Not losing my ability to hi-five volunteers and chuckle at what I had done to myself by even entering helped me cross the line.  Finishing it was the victory, as it should be for the first.

Number 2, was a year later on my home turf, with friends and familiar roads and paths, was a quiet preparation, the knowing was there, confidence and comfort and fun with dozens of friends along side was truly special.  It was a real struggle also, almost a full marathon walked after coming in off the bike in 2nd place… breathing and nausea issues would give me new lessons for future races.

Number 3 was 8 weeks later, big hopes because of the walkathon I had just experienced, and it was on familiar ground, familiar because it was Tempe AZ where I had gone to college.  Had a solid race, free of any significant issue and a PR, but still much more walking than I wanted.  It is definitely a course to do very well on if you get your act together:-)

Number 4 was 6 weeks after a dear friend and training partner in our group of 5 was killed on his bike on one of our training 100milers.  To say we were “ready” for this race… well, not sure any of us were ready… Mentally or physically. Things changed, our hearts changed.  We had a new reason to do this Ironman once we knew we were going ahead with it.   Gone were goals and worries about the perfect taper etc. Perspective shift big time.  Tahoe will always be special, an emotional roller coaster that I never wish on anyone, but one that is a huge part of my soul.

Number 5 is coming,  IMAZ again.  First time to do a course twice.  This time, after a major family life change, moving to a training mecca outdoor wonderland in Bend Oregon.  Once the settling in and rhythm was set this summer, training was the best I think I have ever had, overall at least.  Improvements mostly bike related, run has had issues with back and sciatic entire time but I believe has made me stronger. Calm and focused on having a breakthrough race.

I look back on all the races, mostly a blur, they are done and I’ve moved on, I think.  But I realize I carry little expectations for the next one with me each time.  Like NEXT time I will Look as fit as I feel. NEXT time I will lose that extra 10lbs that I didn’t have in my first one, NEXT time I will swim a ton more, NEXT time I will hit every interval and session with intent and dedication, do more this and that.  It annoys me that I get annoyed at the extra layer of “fuel” I have over my body lol. Especially now, we live in an amazing place for food and enjoying a fine glass of wine, and I should not regret the indulgences that don’t align with my picture of myself as an athlete.  They are in fact part of the rest of me, the family, friend, wife me.  Just wanted to share that, because I know many of us struggle with it on some level. And it is absurd that should ever cross my mind, but yep it does.

I am not perfect, but I am ready…. I am not perfect, but I am perfectly ready.  I am stronger than I have ever been, at times I feel like a machine, and I think for this phase of the game that means I am ready.  I am ready to be raw on race day… To be all that I have wanted to be in the 4 races before, to be all that I was in the 4 races before, and to be ME on race day.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. onetrimom
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 18:47:09

    Woohoo! So glad I am still following your post! I will follow you in IMAZ. It sounds like you are ready, so you must be! Looking forward to my second in MD in 2015. Enjoy the ride!

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  2. roadtoironmom
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 00:57:11

    haha so glad you are too! I have been lax in posting the past year or more for sure! not that lots hasn’t been happening…. So fun you will to MD! Have a few friends that did it this year, look forward to your progress!

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    Reply

  3. emilyschmemily59
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 17:27:07

    I hope to see a race report – good luck!!!!!!!! 🙂

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    Reply

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