Thursday, January 08, 2009
In the Beginning...
“Beginning is easy - continuing hard”
Ironman 2009 training has begun.
Ironman CDA 2009 is on June 21st. Today is Thursday, January 8th. There is a little over 5 months left of training.
Over the next 5 months there will be approximately:
-180,000 yards swam in the pool (approximately 102 miles)
-1,200 miles ridden on the bike(s)
-600 miles ran
Including weight lifting.
Not to mention the approximately 850,000 calories consumed. And that's just by me.
Today I feel invigorated, hungry (because of the two-day fast I just completed, a good way to get my diet and eating habits in order at the beginning of training), and excited about the transformation I will achieve in the coming weeks and months. I am excited about the places I will ride my bike, regardless of how wet I become. See Jan's blog for some history on this statement.
The next 5 months are about consistency, forward progress and positive thinking. The next 5 months is about training my mind as much as training my body.
With Ironman training and physical preparation comes preparation of the spirit--they are really inseparable. I have the knowledge that I have been there and done that before, probably my best asset heading into this; it is no longer the great unknown. I hear this drum beating, calling me to push harder... But at the same instant I am trying to remember that overconfidence has beaten me before. I am both my greatest supporter and my greatest enemy.
My spirit remembers the finish line, but it also remembers the start line. Which had a more powerful impact on me? The former was elation and endorphin and success. The latter was pure, unadulterated, cold-wind-waves fear. It's a good question that is shaping the way I am approaching this year's test, and one I have been considering privately long before now. The truth is the fear of the beginning and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment at the end are equal motivators for me. And I know I control both.
Ironman is unique. The physical aspect of the race itself is something we train for and is completely within the realm of possible. What could kill the most capable person is the unknown, the challenges which arise unexpectedly be it mental or physical, and not knowing how to handle it. So as much as we control the controllable, we as Ironman athletes have to prepare for the uncontrollable--and controlling our responses to that.
Ironman is June 21st. Today is January 8th.
Determine your plan.
Train your plan.
Race your plan.
And deal with the bullshit along the way.
And it helps to have a good training partner and spouse.