Its now dark in the morning, I am finishing my training session before the sunrise, after the sunsets, winter is coming and it gets tough now. So with 2 weeks to go I am now counting down the days and sessions. I am suddenly extremely tired and struggling mentally to even fathom the concept of attempting my 2nd ironman at the moment. I am still training solid, but I just feel really really flat. The self doubt questions pop up all the time at the moment, have I done enough? have I done too much? am I getting sick? why do I feel so tired? why an I so sore? do I need to bank extra ks in the swim, bike or run?
The thing is I have absolutely no reason to doubt myself! I have not put in a terrible performance in any lead up races, in fact I am still setting PB’s at almost every race and as I said above am still training solid. Numbers don’t lie do they?
I have come to the conclusion that racing an ironman is actually the easy bit, getting to the start line healthy, fit, primed and mentally ready is the challenge. I am now inside what I have now termed the ‘doubting’ phase! Its a funny time, cause really no amount of training now is going to have a massive effect on my race result, however at the same time the wrong session could have disastrous effects! Trying to remaining focused and not change anything is tough, the little niggles become noticeable, the coughs seem like lung hacking barks, sickness is your number 1 enemy & everyone has a runny nose and seems sick at the moment, isolation is your best friend!
Last week i banked 5.5km in the pool, 210km on the bike and 54km running. The numbers will have me crossing the line safely, I wont be challenging the leaders (not even in my age group), but for me racing ironman is not about anyone else but myself. The challenge of pushing the body into a place I haven’t been before, beyond the current boundaries I know. Training for this event I have at times found myself down a very dark lonely long road and the mind plays all sorts of tricks on you. Recent I blogged about perhaps my lifestyle wasn’t suitable to my currently levels of training and that maybe something had to change. I received some feedback on that blog that contained a very poignant message for me:
“mate you train hard and often, more so than I could. Knowing that you in are in a similar situation to me with your family lifestyle I think that you manage to fit a hell of a lot in to your day. I personally enjoy reading your blog as I find it motivates me to do more. Keep pushing mate, you’re going to kick ass next month!” – Corey Hind
It forced me to hold a mirror up to myself and look at what I have achieved and what I continue to achieve on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Through all my self doubt these simple words came to me at precisely the right time and forced me to take a step back and look at my bigger picture. It was my kick in the pants I needed and deserved. So thank you Corey for dragging me back from the cold dark journey down the road of loneliness that is training for an ironman and helping me appreciate the things I have.
I have since reflected on my training numbers, and even this week I am still hitting my targets, actually exceeding them in places. Life isn’t as scary or dark as I sometimes imagine it to be, sometime we just need someone else to remind us of this fact.
So with 15 days to go, I have a revived enthusiasm, nervousness, excitement and just plain fear. Ironman hurts, there is no denying that, but the red carpet and finish line party make it ohhh so worth it and lets not forget a bit of bling helps too (I love my finisher medals). So in 15 days I will be lining up for my 2nd ironman in Port Macquarie and I cannot wait! BRING IT ON!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!