So a week gone by and still on a great post race high! I am not sure if it as much post race as much as it is the transformation that I experienced over the year. Not only the physical part, I think that is one that anyone can put themselves through if they want to. It is the mental transformation that I think I am revelling in since the adrenaline high has come down. I am a more relaxed and focused person than I ever have been.
Committing to do IRONMAN for me was a huge leap. I was a non swimmer and a someone who could run a marathon with a boat load of anguish. I could bike a decenlty when it all started, but not 112 miles worth at full with a marathon on the back. I suppose I am not a lot different than any of you, but this is my story so you have to listen to me if you decide to keep reading! LOL!!
Over the course of the year, physical changes were apparent each time I went out for a new practice. I cold feel myself getting stronger and moving forward in overall abilities. Each time I stepped on the scale I could see a live note as the numbers went backwards. At the top of the scale numbers I was a svelt 223lbs, at the low end I was at 174lbs. That was a fun thing to be a part of.
The mental part was a little more sublte in the change. When I started the year, I was with the program but somewhat reluctant in the back of my mind. The thought of what the hell are you doing would enter quite often, I would put on a brave face and dismiss it. Ignorance is bliss, as I paddled through the pool wondering about this crazy swim thing i was trying to learn. I pushed through practices and tried to not pay attention to the lack of confidence that was looking at me each tome I finished a lenght or a run.
As I started my training I was introduced to Lululemon around the same time. I started to run with new and experienced runners at the store and found myself working with them to establish goals and motivate and train them towards the start. WOW! That was kind of cool, I was a chicken myself but was helping others to achieve what they thought was not possible. A little time with the staff at Lulu and I found myself in a world of motovation and respect for goals and achievement. I found myself in a bit of a different mental space as I was motivated and proud to be seen as a leader anongst the group, as someone who was getting others to achieve their impossible.
As I was ruinning with the group I also found myself seeming to be able to trach through the pool a little stronger. I was now in there able to squeeze out 1000m and not feel like I was going to be sick. My confidence started to get stronger which pushed me to work harder at what was happening.
As I gained my confidence I also wanted to share what i was finding and feeling with others. I enjoyed sharing my stories and just saying how it was and hearing how it sometimes impacted others.
Part way through the process I started to practice Yoga as I way of stopping myself from breaking from the training. That turned out to be a great move. I enjoyed the physical aspect of the training as it helped with flexibility and gain some strength as well. Kind of a weird thing happened as I kept practicing, I found myself using the mental part of the practice as I was out on the swim,bike and run. In a zone that would allow me to push forward a little harder than the time before.
As I was doing my training and experiencing gains, somehting was going on in my head that was kind of fun. I was gaining a confidence that I had not had in the past. The getting stronger part seemd to come as a result of not blocking myself from pushing harder. It was a passive training that was producing bigger results than I had anticipated. It was awesome feeling like I could conquer whatever I was going to do, training became fun instead of a thinking it was tough thing that was coming up.
I am totally pumped about both changes that I made over the year. A week of 'sitting around' has allowed me to absorb the great things and now take it with me moving forward. The new year is starting now and I could not be any more confident and excited to get it started.
MOst of us are now done our season and have a ton of lessons learned. A few are packing bags to go to the big one to make us all proud and continue to push us forward. Wherever we are, take what we have learned as you sit for a little off season rest. Setting your goals next season will be a blast! A little faster or a little farther, whichever it is we have grown physically and mentally to be able to get us there! We are now smarter triathletes and IRONMAN than we were last season and that is something to be damn proud of! Congrats on a great season to everyone one of you! And I look forward to sharing the new adventures we choose!
Happy hump day!