I am going to try to post a short re-cap of my weekly training from now till race day as a way to chronicle the mental as well as physical journey that I am seeing take shape.
Something happened on last weekend's bike ride. It was my longest ever, 61 miles and I was slated to ride it alone. At about the half-way point, a cycling angel showed up and spent a solid 30 miles teaching me somethings about cycling that I needed to know. He helped me to feel more confident on the bike and as they say, "knowledge is power" he shared knowledge with me that helped me to feel more comfortable on the bike and the notion of enjoying cycling became more plausible.
Until last Saturday, the weight of this race, the training, the stress on the family life, was all piling on and I was letting it have a good ol' mind game with me. Saturday, something clicked, and I just felt better about things. A side-note:
As a Catholic, I am in the season of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for Easter. I prayed quite awhile before determining what my Lenten sacrifices would be this year. I opted for dying to myself in several areas rather than the typical giving up of chocolate and coffee. And I see now how important this is to my journey to the start line at Ironman. I won't go into what those sacrifices are here as they are deeply personal and would not make much sense to anyone else. But know that I am honestly working on dying to myself and trying to become less so that He can become more.
The ironic thing about training for Ironman or any race really, is how the one who is training has to begin to believe in themselves. They have to see that they can do what they set their minds to do. They must take time away from family and friends, responsibilities and obligations. This can all appear to be quite self-centered and selfish as well as dangerously self-reliant. Yet, I must find a way to live this life of training in a way that reflects my dependence upon my God. I know without a doubt that NONE of what I do is possible without Him. He blesses me with the ability to do this and my responsibility is to do it for Him.
So back to last Saturday, something clicked for me. Finally. I moved beyond the "I" and the "me" of the training and began to once again see "Him" in the plan. I had forgotten to leave Him in charge. I had forgotten it wasn't all about me, nor all on me to get it all in. I had to call on Him, just as I do in every other area of my life, to walk this training journey with me.
The moment I realized that I was not turning to Him and then began to turn toward Him, the anxiety I was feeling left me. I began to feel confident in my progress. Am I certain I will cross the finish line? No. I am certain that I will do my very best and if it is HIS will, I will get to the start line and then, if all goes well I may even cross that finish line.
Today I even had a moment of thinking how much I truly am enjoying the training and no matter what happens May 18th, just the joy of the process has been a gift that I will always cherish.
Swim: 9200 yds in 3:35
Bike: 106 miles in 6:05
Run: 26 miles in 4:05
Cross: 30 mins (yoga, planks, ab work)
Total Time: 14:10 Total Miles: 137
Feeling like I am strong enough to get through the training cycle this week. Hoping next week feels the same way!
Tailwind is proving to be an excellent choice for me. I hope to get an updated review up soon. GREAT STUFF!