I've found in this sport it's important to remember what motivated me to sign up for an event or take on a new challenge. It's easy to get swept away in the day to day of training and preparation and then find myself wondering what inspired me in the first place. For a huge goal like Ironman, the motivation remains crystal clear. I can still remember exactly what it felt like sitting on the couch in February 2008, watching Kona and realizing I wanted the Ironman experience. I remember wondering if it was possible for a 33 year-old to learn how to swim after never having taken a swim lesson before. I wondered if I could run a marathon after moving my body 114.4 miles. So figuring out what I was really made of, proving to myself that an ordinary, non-athletic person could achieve something extraordinary with hard work, that became my driver.
But here I am just five days from my next race, Ironman Rhode Island 70.3, and I'm struggling to find that motivation. I remember being on a high after New Orleans and craving another experience, but I'm not sure I really thought about why this race would be a good idea for me. I think the timing is unfortunate, it's coming at the end of a pretty exciting four-week training block in Lake Placid, Wisconsin and DC, all of which broke my training monotony and challenged me in new ways. Because of the travel and distractions, I hadn't even bothered to think about the race until my coach asked me to outline my goals. In doing so, I realized I am approaching it very differently from New Orleans. New Orleans was about the accomplishment of completing my first half Ironman and about meeting goals for each leg of the race. But Rhode Island is a practice race, a dry run of some key race day elements I may not get the chance to test again until the big day.
Perhaps that has drained some of the fun out of it. Or perhaps I'm just so Wisconsin focused at this point that everything else is secondary. Regardless, I'm sure once I arrive and find myself in the midst of race weekend excitement that some of it will rub off on me. And hopefully, if I'm lucky, I'll re-discover my motivation and have a positive and rewarding race experience.
Today's training was bike intervals while watching the Tour de France on DVR. There is nothing better to make an otherwise boring trainer ride something I actually look forward to.
Distance - 17.06 miles
Time - 1:10:10