Or, at least never thought I’d identify as one.
Growing up I hated group sports – maybe because I was always picked last (but that’s for another time).
While I was living in the UK back in 2013, I went on a date with a guy, we’ll call him Jerry, that had just completed the Boston Marathon.
I was in awe – I could never run a marathon.
I had a hard enough time getting myself to run 5K.
Leaving that date this feeling gnawed at me for a couple of days.
I may not believe I could do a marathon, but considering my gut reaction was to say ‘I couldn’t do that’ — and believe it — I knew I didn’t want to be that person.
So I thought…
“If he can do it, why don’t I think I can do it?”
That’s what got me to register for the Prague Marathon.
You know what happened?
I got scared. Then I got motivated.
All of a sudden I was taking something I never thought I could do and suddenly trying to figure out how to prepare for it.
Because I was scared of dying. (Yeah – I can be a drama queen sometimes.)
Fast forward five years, I’ve completed a marathon, Tough Mudder, sprint distance triathlon, half Ironman, and now here I am writing a blog 2.5 months from my first Ironman.
[An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, finished with a 26.2 mile run]
Even though I’ve registered for it on November 4th in Florida…
As I was doing my 45 mile training ride earlier this week I thought to myself…
“Ok, so I’m not even 1/2 done the Ironman bike distance, and I’m supposed to run a marathon after this?”
So yeah, while I question my sanity and my ability to compete in this distance, here’s how I see it…
One step at a time.
Every week as I do a distance I felt was impossible, or completed a long distance swim in my best time, I continue to gain confidence in my ability to gradually level up to a point where maybe, just maybe, I can finish this.
But here’s what I do…
I sign up for something before I’ve started training to make sure I take this seriously.
While I intend to write about my “journey to Ironman”, I hope from these posts you’ll see how easy it is to distill any “impossible” goal to make it possible.
What does my training plan look like?
Last year, when I was training for my half Ironman, I didn’t have a coach, and I nearly physically burnt out.
My training plan was 6 days/week, where 3 of those days were double workouts — meaning swim in the morning, and the afternoon was a bike or run.
This year I’m working with an Ironman coach, David Roher.
I hired a coach as a go to, to make sure I didn’t train too much, my times were okay, skill level, and nutrition was healthy.
We are 8 days away from the Half Ironman in Portland, Maine.
The schedule for this week is:
1x 2000 meter swim
1x 56 mile Bike
1x 13 mile Run
David’s suggestion is to get my body used to longer workouts at this point and have rest days during the week.
I’m doing the Half Ironman 9 weeks before the Full Ironman as part of the training plan this year.
One of the first things I noticed from committing to a regular training schedule is, that instead of being physically tired all day, I find I have a ton of energy on my days off.
Training for an Ironman may give me less time during the day, but it’s given me more clarity, focus, and forced me to spend the time I have, wisely.
I may not identify as an athlete, but that doesn’t mean I can’t challenge myself like one.