I think that the toughest part about completing an Ironman isn’t the physical toughness, it’s the mental toughness. If you think that you can do it your body will follow, but if your mind gives up for even a moment you’re allowing a window to create an excuse to give up, or bow out, or make things easier. Personally, I think that my strongest quality is my mental capacity to take anything – and do what it takes to withstand 17 (or less) hours of endurance – but that doesn’t mean that every once in a while I doubt my body’s willingness to follow.
This weekend I did some long hard workouts that weren’t in the plan simply to remind myself that with 13 months to go I’m on track. 52 miles on the bike then 11 miles by foot on Saturday. 2+ miles in the water on Sunday. Luckily the weather cooperated and allowed me to complete these workouts fairly easily and with a smile on my face. I know I won’t be so lucky for all my long training sessions this next year, but with sun and mild temperatures (sadly) coming to a close in the next couple months I’d like to push myself as hard as I can now so that when winter comes around I know that I did all I could.
The good news is that while I’m a bit fatigued, every bit of me loved how I spent my time this weekend. I feel so content and accomplished that only a couple months into formal tri training I can withstand such a workout, and at a decent pace. I’ve worked hard, but I know I can work harder, so hopefully with some harder and more focused work I’ll see even better results.
Next week I start training with a coach, and I’m really looking forward to having someone to hold myself accountable to and who will help me stay motivated and on track. 13 months is a long time, but in so many ways I’m looking forward to every day of it and what the whole journey will hold.