Friday, November 21, 2014

Ironman Wisconsin Training - Wait... WHAT??

      This past summer, I challenged myself to a 70.3 Ironman race in Racine, Wisconsin.  The training was really hard, incredibly demanding, physically draining and unbelievably rewarding!  It had been a goal of mine for quite a while and so I decided to take the plunge and really focus on getting myself there.  It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life in which I had to overcome ALOT of obstacles to get to race day and then of course, nothing can ever go completely smoothly on race day and I had to struggle with a flat tire 12 miles in on the bike.  But, all in all, I was able to move past the flat tire and cramping issues and finish the race with my incredible family cheering me on through the finish line!

       I have to admit, after completing my 1/2 Ironman, I was in a weird state of feeling very accomplished and proud of myself and yet a little lost, not knowing what would be next.  A full Ironman has always been a goal in the back of my mind but my body has completely fallen apart on every marathon I have ever done, so could a FULL Ironman really be in my future?  It took me 4 years of training -yes you read that right! - for me to get to the starting line of the 1/2 IM, which is probably one of the reasons I was prepared to grab my bike and run with it if I couldn't fix my flat! LOL!  The 1st 1/2 I was registered for - I got injured a week out! So no starting line for that year.  The next year I got sick with a really weird Mono type virus that completely knocked me out.  The next year my best friend got married the weekend of the race.  So finally after 4 years I made it to the starting line and more importantly the finish line!  I actually think my parents were really worried about me after the race, because I am such a goal oriented person and I didn't have a solid goal in mind for after I finished the race.  Did I want to return to my running roots and focus on trying to get to Boston?  Did I want to stay with triathlons and work on getting faster in the Sprint and Olympic distances?  Did I want to pursue the Full Ironman?  Or did I want to pursue other personal goals?

       After enjoying,   a painful, week long break from all physical activity at my mother's request, I was going completely stir crazy! I NEEDED the gym - is that weird??  I still hadn't decided on my next goal but was just enjoying some training downtime and focusing on my Cross Country team - which made it to State the second year in a row! Congrats Girls!!

I was online stalking people who did the Madison Ironman and reliving my 1/2 IM experience and decided that I really wanted to do a Full Ironman.  Madison is one of those races though that typically fills up incredibly fast and the only way to really guarantee a spot would be to volunteer the year before, which means that my IM would be 2 years away. Ok - Now I had a plan.  Then I quickly found out that registration hadn't closed for the 2015 IM.  What to do, what to do??  I really struggled with this inner turmoil, with the voice in my head saying, "There is NO way you can do a Full Ironman" and the other voice that said, "Girl, you got this!"  I mentioned to my Dad that registration was still open, to which he quickly responded with, "You would be really stupid not to sign up! You are already 1/2 way there, you are in great shape! Your body doesn't seem to hate you any more and I will be there cheering you on!"  I laughed and said, "Ok, I'm SOLD!"  So that night, I did it - I signed up for my first FULL Ironman! What?!
        So, What does that mean??  Well for those of you that don't know a FULL Ironman is 140.6 miles!  A 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finished off with a nice 26.2 mile run or a full marathon.  Wait... what?? I signed up for that!? I've clearly lost my mind...
         The race is officially 295 days, 6 hours, 56 mins, 30,29,28...seconds away! EEK!  My training has already started and I've recruited the help of a coach to help guide me through the process and answer any questions I have but mainly to give me the confidence to get to that start line but more importantly the finish line!
       I don't want to kill you all with training details but I do plan on updating once a week about how training is going, etc.  So if you get bored with my IM posts - that's fine, just don't read my long boring posts! LOL!!