Marathon runners have a saying – 20 miles of hope – 6 miles of truth. The 6 miles (32 km mark) where you find out what you are made of. Where physically – if you have trained properly and hard – your body can do it – your mind will try to tell your body it can’t and thus 6 miles of truth. You find out who you are and what you are capable of.
If I extrapolate that to the Ironman I guess it will be 114 miles of hope with 26 miles of truth – aka the marathon. Am I ready – I believe so – and that is the most important part – I believe I am – Actually I know I am.
The only thing left that I can do is continue to work on my mental game – the last piece of the puzzle and likely the most important. So to that end – at the end of each day starting last week and continuing up to race day – I have been taking time to sit or lie in a quiet place and envision myself on race day from waking up and getting dressed to starting the swim. I visualize each part of the course (or imagine what it will be like for the sections I have not been on) and think about how I want to feel and what I want to do. Yep I even imagine the pain and the bleak moments that are sure to come and how I will work through them. Right up to the finish and my crossing with my arms held high! Always finish with that and I even see the clock in the background but I can’t share that with you because I always envision my whisper time. I will say this my goal is to finish upright and smiling in under 17 hours – realistically I believe 15 - 15.5 hours is likely but I will push for Whisper time because that is who I am.
I find myself getting a little emotional – 3 years ago when I off the cuff said I could do Ironman it was just a thought and not really something I meant but someone said – It would be really hard – they did not say I could not do it but that is what they meant – which again for those that know me – is the surest way to get my goat and ensure that I will do it. I hate being told I can’t do or have something – just ask my Mom. Even then I was only toying with the idea but the more I thought about it the more I thought why not – How Bad Can It Be? And more and more it became a goal and dream. I am always asked why? – I don’t really know why – I do know that since Granddad and Papa (my dad) passed away on the same day 4 years ago I have consistently reached outside my comfort zone and done stuff I never would have done before. I guess losing Grandpa in the morning – he was 94 and it was expected and then suddenly losing my dad that evening unexpectedly made me realize that life was too short so what was I waiting for?
Last October 4 – I really thought the dream had ended when I was rear-ended on my brand new bike. I remember lying in emergency waiting for a CT to see if I had broken my back and starting to cry – from the pain a bit, but mostly because I was afraid the dream was over. However I am pretty stubborn and have surrounded myself with some of the best health care professionals and coaches in BC who agreed to help me rehab and train to get to race day.
I also am super lucky to have met and made some truly great friends over the years from the Shaunettes and my family mumsy you rock it out) – who I adore and have supported and believed in me unfailingly over the last 3 years to the lovely green goddesses - my riding buddies - who have selflessly taken me under their wings this past year and shared all the ins and outs of Ironman with me. And of course the love-of-my-life Joe who has supported me and been patient through all the workouts, medical appointments, early morning races, canceled social appointments and such. Who I am sure has felt like he pretty much lives alone for the past 10 months while I have pursued my goal. To my sponsors and teammates – Nathan Team Canada – all very inspiring athletes – it still amazes me that I am a member of such a select group. Every single one of these people have helped me get to the start line.
Only 11 more sleeps till the gun goes off – Am I ready – without a doubt! Bring it! Because really HOW BAD CAN IT BE!