Happy Tuesday everyone! It has taken me a long time, but the day has finally come for me to talk about mental challenges behind my first IRONMAN distance preparation – #RoadToMyFirstIRONMAN. So, every once in a while as I progress towards the ultimate fitness for my IRONMAN race, I will be posting about my fears, doubts, and excitements I have about competing in this race.
It’s Monday evening and as always (for the past seven months) I am about to get into the swimming pool. As I look around, there are two girls staring at me. While I get closer to them, I could hear them talking in German: “Look at this one, she must be a pro!”
Pro? No girl. I train for my first IRONMAN full distance – 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, and my fourth triathlon ever.
You’re absolutely right. I also believe that moving up to the IRONMAN full distance for the first time – without having a half IRONMAN done yet – is the craziest thing I have ever done.
This is how it feels – at first, it’s maddening. It’s insanely challenging. Training feels overwhelming and there is no way you think you will make it through. It’s only a few weeks later when you feel like giving up, you decide with your last sweating breath to pick yourself up mentally and keep going. And you suddenly realize that’s how you train your mind. Now swimming, cycling, and running are getting really FUN. Six months to go to my first IRONMAN distance – IRONMAN Hamburg.
IRONMAN full distance preparation feels more like self-discovery process. It means finding your purpose in life, it means digging deep into your childhood and revealing the experiences that shaped you – good and bad. It means realizing what your beliefs are and living by them. The effects of self-discovery process include happiness, fulfillment, clarity and maybe even enlightenment!
The journey is as I said challenging. It includes fear, confusion, misunderstanding, doubt and literally re-visiting all your choices in life. It’s kind of a spring-cleaning of the mind, your emotions and your surroundings (including the people in your life). It requires making some tough decisions and sticking to them. My journey so far has seen me completely change the course of my life and start to follow my true passion and purpose (professionally and personally). I’ve had several setbacks along the way and I have no doubt I will have much more but, I’M NOT GIVING UP!
Signing up for an IRONMAN race is definitely a long-term commitment. Here is my profile on Strava, in case you’d like to follow my progress.
Until next time…
Be happy, stay healthy!