Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Respecting Ironman

Just had to throw back a snapshot of my very first Ironman, ever.  It's amazing the change in mind, attitude, and just about everything else that happens when you progress from "first time" to "been there, done that".  Quiet possibly it relates to more than sport too...

The first 140.6 time around for me was incredible.  I showed up with a massive amount of respect for the distance, all knowing the day had every intention of kicking my @$$ if I even pretended in the slightest to have it figured out.  I also knew I had to be true to myself.  That meant showing up to transition in just my swim suit, slippers, & board shorts, (it is Hawaii after all).  There was no pretending that having fancy logos or a great bike meant the day would be great.  The only way confidence of any sort would prevail was trusting I did all the miles needed in training to survive all the miles needed for racing.

Memories of laughing and smiling with my friends in transition far out sang the noise of a loud speaker, athletes parading nervous butterflies, and of course my own heads cluster of emotions.  It was simply a day of going really long and really wanting to go long. 

So much has happened over the years of now finishing 15 Ironmans.  Some really good races, some really bad races.  Some where I gave up, held on, held respect for the distance, raced without respect to the distance, took chances, came out victorious, fell apart, threw up, broke a foot, earned pay days, got swim bonuses, flattened a tire or two, posted best bike splits, landed PR's, crossed finished lines...the list is long.  But only one thing really shines through in this list, that of "respecting the distance".  My best races have always, always, always been when I kept humble and respected the 140.6 miles.  The moments where I felt good, but held patience.  The times where I hurt good, but trusted training miles.  The times where humbleness needed to remain greater than knowing it all...

And so, I am training for my 3rd Ironman of this year.  Monday I felt awesome, thought this is cake and I can eat it too.  Yesterday I felt terrible.  Ironman is big, long, and takes a lot out of you.  And so, with all due respect, two Ironmans this year on the road to #3, I am reminded to respect the distance, have patience, keep humble, and trust my miles (not do more or less than what's needed).  With that, every intention is set to have October be Ironman #4 of the year and without a doubt, like I would have said in 2007, the above photo, "That is friggen crazy!".  The girl in me that loves a challenge, seeks an adventure, is going to admit, "That is crazy, but I enjoy crazy".  I keep getting knocked over when I approach Ironman Mount Tremblant training as if it's just another race, because it's not.  It's long and far and it's an Ironman...

140.6 miles on the horizon, it's going to be nothing shy of gorgeous and painful...
Bree

3 comments:

mark provenzano said...

Every ironman is a journey. Best of luck in your training and on race day. You are so right on trusting your training! I find peace on race day (any distance) by just saying those words in my head. Mahalo

David Jewell said...

Brew great post. You could replace Ironman with parent or shoe guy and the message you give is the same, respect the task and remain humble.
Thanks for the reminder.

Lucy Francis said...

Bree, you just described how I'm feeling at the moment as Ironman #2 is just around the corner for me (zurich) some of my sessions are just awful and others a breakthrough. I think it's like making a cake, it's a mix of sessions, experiences, ups & downs that get us race ready.