strivingAs I get closer to this Ironman, I’ve been thinking a lot about the journey.  My heart is full and I need to express my gratitude for this opportunity to train and for the people who have helped me get there. This training is cutting into my work time, family time and everything else time. This opportunity may not last and I am embracing it fully.

I was laying in bed in Spring of 2012, relaxed on pain killers, after a hysterectomy and thinking about how laying there was driving me nuts. I was thinking about all the races I’d done in the past and wondering if I could ever do an 70.3 Ironman. Through my delirium  I thought, yes I could! The next day, the registration email came out for St. George 70.3 Ironman. I asked my hubby about doing it. He totally supported me. I am sure at the time, he first thought I was crazy, and two, had NO idea what was in store. BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DIDN’T!!

I called my best friend Heather to see what she thought about me signing up. She was supportive as well “Do it girl!” (I think I was secretly hoping she’d talk me out it.. haha)

Feeling good on pain killers, I registered for the St. George 70.3 Ironman.

Then did nothing…..for 3 months.

We’ll not nothing, I pretended to swim with my daughter during the summer, but it wasn’t swimming it was more like lame attempts at laps in the pool.

Finally in August, I realized, if I don’t do something soon, I am not going to be ready. I started looking for a trainer. I emailed and started to call folks. I met Nichole, from Tri Living It.  I liked her instantly and her training price didn’t require me to take a second mortgage on my house like some of the others.

Yesterday morning, my training buddy Mark remembered when I could barely run a 400 meters without getting completely winded. That first day running with the group, Mark was awesome and hung with me while I struggled to run that short distance. (I’ll never forget that Mark, thank you!)

I had my first bike test with her middle of September. It was sad. So sad. Next I showed up for swim. I met Rob. He was so sweet and nice, cheering me on, but I sucked. SUCKED BAD!! My post Not kicking it shared those early pool experiences.  (Rob still cheers me on each week and I appreciate it more than he probably knows.)

I’ll be honest, those first few months were rough. I missed some workouts, made excuses and fought myself. I was scared. This was a huge goal. Self sabotage… maybe… in December I finally started to feel stronger. Like my body wasn’t rejecting these workouts anymore. I greatly appreciated my husband’s patience during these 3 months. There was a lot of tears, soreness & complaining. He knew I was making excuses, but he always supported me, encouraged me and keep me going when I felt like I had nothing left to give. Supportive even at 4:45 am in the morning when I’d moan about getting up for swim or in the mornings getting ready for work when I cry, I can’t do this anymore. Even today, I continue to interrupt his sleep to get up early and swim or go train. The difference is he doesn’t have to ask if I am going. He knows I am.

The hard fact about training like this is it takes away from your work and your family. With an already busy life, finding 2-4 hours each day to train is hard. Other things have to give. My husband and my girls have sacrificed a wife and a mom to allow me to push myself to do this training and do this race. I am racing for them as much as I am for me.  Words can’t even express how grateful I am to them for their love and support on this. I know not everyone has what I have. It’s hard to do to this solo. My hats off to those that push themselves with low support from their network.

The turning point was my first trip to St. George to do the course. I was terrified. Here’s my post about going to do it.

BUT I DID IT!  I didn’t do it all by myself. I did with with love of my support network. My husband, he’s there every training weekend, following us in the car, running around, mending my feet, feeding me, and supporting my team mates. He listens to my non stop training ramblings. He encourages me when I am frustrated or down. He works extra hard to earn money to help pay for all my gear, training and fees, since I am not earning as much these days. My sportyness is not cheap. My training friends make it fun and rewarding. I am so inspired by the people I train with each for different reasons. Without them, I couldn’t do what I am doing. Laughs, sweat, stories, encouragement and damn hard work – that’s what our tri team is about!!! My coach Nichole, my friend, mentor and coach. I love her for all of her knowledge, encouragement, pushing me, testing me and friendship. My friends and family. From asking how training is going, to encouraging me, helping with my kids and for scheduling time from their busy schedule to come to St. George to support me on my big day. It means more than words can express.

For the first time since I signed up for this Ironman,  I know can do this. And more importantly –  I WANT to do this!!

Reflecting on the last 6 months of this training journey,  I realized I’ve come ALONG way! Those motivational quotes were right… it does take time. Who knew? haha!! I still have SO far to go. The last 6 months has made me mentally tougher and physically stronger and that feels great.