"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deep Ironman thoughts with RBR...

Last night I attended an informational meeting about Ironman race strategies held by my coach. I was concerned that I would leave feeling more overwhelmed and under prepared, but I actually feel a little better.

The first point she made was about taper and how some people feel really hyper and perky and get super productive like some damn fool I know (*cough* Formulaic) and some people get really exhausted and moody (no cracks about "how can you tell RBR is taper madness moody vs. her regular moody-ass self?") I was really concerned that I was doing something wrong or that this was a sign that I was under trained. I felt MUCH better about that. She even recommended NAPS! I knew I loved her for a reason. I take back all the evil thoughts I had about her during intervals and tempo runs.... well, most of them anyway. ;o)

The Ironman "Ah ha!" Moment

She told us not to let our race day goal get in the way of our race. Meaning, keep the goal in mind and let it push you forward, but do not let it overwhelm you and cause you to panic. Race in the moment.

I think this is particularly important for those of us racing the time cut offs. There is really no fall back goal from "just fucking finish" maybe "don't die", but that is about it.

She went on to say that she thought that was a tough concept for new Ironman competitors to grasp and put into practice, but it made perfect sense to me.

When I got clean, the goal is to stay clean for the rest of your life. What I learned, is that you cannot stay clean for the rest of your life. You can stay clean right now, in this moment, and eventually, if you string together enough "right now's", when you reach your death bed, you will have been clean for the rest of your life. Cool accomplishment, but the real victory has been in all those moments of a life lived being able to fully feel and revel in the gift of life, both the really wonderful AND the really hard parts.

If I started that journey over 18 years ago by telling myself that I could never take another drug or drink FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I would have never made it 18 years clean. When it got hard I would not have been able to foresee enduring that pain until I die. But I learned in recovery that I can draw strength from others like me that are going through or have gone through that pain and I CAN endure for 5 minutes, and then 5 minutes more, and then 5 minutes more, and so on.

Having 18 years clean is cool. Living the life I have had for the last 18 years is way cooler.

That is how I feel about Ironman.

I can not race for 17 hours thinking that none of it will have been worth it if I don't make the cut off.

Every training swim, ride, and run has been a victory

When I show up to the starting line it will be a victory

When I go through the IM washing machine at the swim start it will be a victory

When I reach the next buoy it will be a victory

When I make a time cut off it will be a victory

When I start the next event it will be a victory

Every time I move forward when I don't want to, it will be a victory

And ultimately, when I cross that finish line, in the dead of night, it will be a

huge,

fucking

victory.


Like I said, there is going to be a lot of this "rah, rah!", "Go me!" shit for the next 12 days. My apologies if it makes you slightly nauseous.

39 comments:

Kristi said...

Nice post. And some seriously helpful stuff for those of us training for our first IM! Best of luck at CDA!

Kelly said...

I may have said this before but...I.Am.In.Awe.Of.You!!!! I hope someday to be training for an IM...well...maybe not...but I can dream :)

Roisin said...

Keep it up, because that definitely hit home for me.

Donald said...

Perfect analogy. Congrats on the sobriety - that's a much harder mountain to climb than Ironman. Your race should be the easy part!

lindsay said...

i need to live in the moment more. of course you would be the one to slap me in the face with that wouldn't you. :)

i think i need to take up coaching. get paid and tell people to take naps - works for me!

congrats on the past 18 years - that's very cool.

now get back to your self-cheerleading and get pumped for the big day.

Carolina John said...

rah rah go you! That's a perfect mental approach. 12 days left? bring it on.

Alisa said...

Rah Rah Rah! I need that even when I'm doing a pitly run.

I cannot wait to read your race report. Of course, that'll be after you've slept for 3 days and eaten everything in sight (oh wait, that's me after a marathon).

MGW said...

Girl, you totally ROCK. This was SO inspirational and brought tears to my eyes.

Sarah said...

I love all of the rah rah rah. We all need it. And girlfriend, I CANNOT wait to follow you on Ironday. You are phenomenal for where you are right this second, and for every step that you take in the journey to Iron. Mushmushmush. Soak it all in!!

PunkRockRunner said...

Love the post. I've been sober for almost 13-years and sometimes you forget that it really is a series of moments, really good moments. I just look at it like drinking is not an option anymore and I suspect that's why I run/ride so much. You will finish, you will brag and you will find a way to make us laugh at you as you get through this (I can't wait).

Just remember "Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional".

All my best thoughts are with you!!

Later,

Ron

Reese said...

Also love the comparasion. One day at a time has helped me through 25 years.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I totally love the perspective you put on this event and on life in general. LOVE.IT.

EndorphinBuzz said...

Hurray for all your victories (big and small) and best of luck at the event...

Stef said...

OH yeah.

You fucking got this.

In the bag.

Baby.

mthead said...

Damn. I wanted to write: "HUGE FUCKING VICTORY" but you beat me to it.
Leave it all out there and DON'T FUCKING DIE!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Rock on!!! You are my hero. WHen I face my IM in November I hope to have the same thoughts.

Kathy said...

Best of luck RBR - can't wait to hear the race report. I'm sure it will be both entertaining, inspiring and soulful.

GO GO GO get your victory!

Coachhrd said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This really gives some unbelieveable insights. Stay on!

Missy said...

It's just a bunch of little races put into one day, that's all. You got this thing and I can't wait to watch. I'm a sucker for the Ironman webcam - you better have something good on so we can see you on that crappy cam footage;)

Do live and die by the clock and your pace, make each milestone, enjoy it. If you need a nap on the run - take it (unless it could endanger a finish). I have TONS of friends that lay down, legs up and set their watch alarm for 10 minutes. They say it does wonders to get the blood back up to the heart and mind. These are fast people too - I ain't playin!

Missy said...

OK, that was DON'T LIVE AND DIE BY THE CLOCK. jeeze, sorry!

Formulaic said...

Nauseous?!!

That was fucking beautiful. Screw IM tat, get that instead!!

Calyx Meredith said...

A-freakin-MEN!!

Jane said...

On race day, think about what you wrote. The ironman is nothing compared to what you've conquered in your personal life. Seriously.

Diana said...

Great post, I can't even imagine what's going on in your head right now! Live the dream!

Jaime said...

your post literally made me tear up.

You will have an amazing race and i can't wait to hear your report!!!

JenZen said...

What a cool, cool post! Love it, love it, love it! Those lessons are so applicable in everything we do. Live in the moment and take victory in the little accomplishments. JUST FREAKIN' AWESOME girl. Thanks. I seriously needed that today.

Steph Bachman said...

WTG on your 18 years of moments. I'm so excited for your race. : )

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

Exactly. Just make it to the next tree...bend in the road...aid station...whatever. Then to the next. And so on.

IM Able said...

I love this. I intend to use this. Blatantly. With abandon.

Cause these words are so. effing. true.

René said...

Thanks for your inspiration!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Inspiring!

Es --- IRONMAN in Training! said...

"Becoming an Ironman is earned during the journey. The race itself is the celebration of the fact that you already are one."

A quote from my tri coach Ed Zerkle, 2008

Rah, Rah, F-ing Rah! You rock!

Willie said...

Screw this Rah-Rah stuff, you don't need it. You fucking rock, so just go do this thing!

And don't expect any sobbing moments when you're done, I'm just going to say, 'bout fucking time.

(This is me being hardcore for you, hope it helps because I'm dying to say gooy, rah-rah stuff!).

Fucking do this GIRL!

AKA Alice said...

I think I have an old cheerleading outfit for you*

No, I will not wear it myself...but I will read and cheer for you and not ever get nauseous...EVER...in the next 12 days about any RAH RAH RAH-ing thing you write, cuz as far as I am concerned, you are a rock-star and you deserve it!

* I really don't have a cheerleading outfit. I just thought it would be funny to say and/or visualize**

**Yes, I just double-footnoted in your comment section.

Formulaic said...

How the hell did you get such a low IMCDA Race number?

Did you literally sleep on your computer so you would be one of the first to push enter?

;)

Ordinarylife said...

Way to go!!!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Well said!!! In fact, I think we must be somehow spiritually connected as I was thinking much of these SAME thoughts this week too (post-race). Racing/staying in the moment vs. worrying about cut-offs, other expectations and coulda-shoulda-woulda crap. We shouldn't define ourselves by one event nor do should we want to be one-hit wonders. Right the ship and stay the course. Rah, Rah, RBR!

Lisa said...

GREAT post. It was really inspiring. I hope you have the race of your life!

Happy taper.

Jessica said...

I like your blog more every time I read it. Your story is awesome and you will do an amazing job no matter what! Every step is a victory for you! Congrats...