August 18, 2009

Goals and Reality

I finally started putting my Ironman goals on paper and had the first talk with my coach about them. Going through this process really got me thinking about how my goals will match up with reality on race day, making this all so much more real. It's no longer a lofty achievement I've been dreaming about for over a year. Instead it's something I've dedicated eight months of my life to and has been elevated to a status of importance unrivaled by anything else.

The Ironman is something I never fathomed I could physically do until I decided I had to do it. At first it was a total numbers game. I calculated what it would take to make the cut offs and cross the finish line. Then I started wondering if I could do more, so I crunched the numbers again and began imagining better finish scenarios. Finally the training took over and the goals took a backseat while I put everything I had into making myself stronger, more capable and more prepared to tackle this challenge. I learned a lot about myself along the way and to say I've changed is a massive understatement. I'll never be the same again, regardless of what happens on September 13.

I had another minor setback today when I missed a bike session. How important is that when I'm less than a month from the race? I really don't know, but I know it stressed me out. I obsessed over it for an hour before grounding myself back into reality - I'm just an ordinary person trying to do something extraordinary, and ordinary life gets in the way. People keep telling me the fitness is in the bank, the hay is in the barn, that I'm not gaining anymore, but rather maintaining what I have and starting the recovery for race day. That may be true, but it's hard to wipe the doubts from my mind sometimes and I think that's normal. A blogger friend I follow daily said it beautifully in his post today. At least I know I'm not alone.


  1. K, you're going to do so well in Madison - you've done the workouts and your fitness is obviously way beyond where it was even three months ago. You'll see - the payoff will come on race day.

  2. Ha! About time you hit the Doubt Phase. I know what type of volume you've put in. It's a no-brainer. Go VERY easy in the swim. Go VERY easy on the bike for first 56 miles, Go easy rest of the way. Come out of T2 and be like...Holy Schmokes...I could crawl this marathon and still be an Ironman. Then no it's pressure and you run 4:30ish marathon.



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