Can you do it? Of course you can just believe. Believe – always believe.
Just over 8 years ago I walked into the local Running room store and signed up for my very first half marathon clinic. I was a smoker and overweight. 4 days ago I became an official Ironman finisher at Subaru Ironman Canada.
I am not going to say that I did not believe I could not do it because WHEN I registered it never occurred to me I could not do it. I am also not going to say that I did not have doubts – after the accident I was concerned but I was blessed to have surrounded myself with positive people who told me that the dream was not over – I could still do it – so I continued to believe – I just changed my expectations.
To do Ironman you MUST surround yourself with positive people and believers. You must be willing to work and you must respect the distance – it is serious business and it is a commitment. A commitment to yourself, to your training partners and your coaches. You need to decide to be selfish, do not apologize for this, this is your dream not theirs if they care and love you they may not like it but they will accept it and be there at the finish line.
Hire the best coaches – don’t be so cocky to think you can do it on your own – possibly you can but why not do the absolute best that you can instead of just half way? Do your research, ask questions, talk to them, and ask about their coaching styles – you are paying them. For myself I like the personal touch I wanted coaches that would workout with me and were still competing in their sports – it meant that they still had heart and I found the best – Zimich Coaching – http://zimich.freeshell.org /- Barb and Larry Zimich are the best riding coaches in the lower mainland and they don’t just talk it they walk it – they compete with and against you and win. They push you but they also listen and that was essential. So next listen to your coaches – you hired them for a reason, talk to them if you don’t share with them how you are feeling they can’t work with you to reach your full potential. It was essential especially since I was injured and training through active rehab – Barb listened and monitored all my numbers and adjusted accordingly. Oh and work with great coaches in each field – pick one to lead the charge – that was Barb but Brad Ried with Hyack Swim Club and Peter Scott with Sea Hiker were essential in getting me ready for the swim. Next time I will hire a running coach as well but Barb will still be the main coach.
Train with people who have been there – they will share the tips with you – Judith and Cindy were amazing and guided me so much through the process and thoughts and reassured me time and again that I was more than prepared. They took me under their wing and I don’t think either of them realizes how much I truly appreciated it.
Do the training – rain, snow, wind, heat, early morning, late night it will pay off. Fit the training in, do not make excuses – don’t miss workouts. But if you do then so be it – life happens but make it the exception not the rule. Yes you will miss parties but so what you will have the biggest party ever after the race. Train hard – be uncomfortable in your workouts – do the hard work it will pay off on race day.
It is the most amazing experience and I am so happy I went through it – what is up next – Dublin Marathon in Ireland in October and toying with the idea of meeting fellow Nathan team members for the Rock’n’roll in Vegas in December. It would be the perfect end to a perfect year.
I will do another Ironman but I want Joe to experience it so he will do it in 2011 and I will register for 2012 the goal will be sub 15 hours. In the interim for next year I am considering Stormy 50 mile Ultra Trail as an individual race – I have done the Relay– it would be my first Ultra. Joe and I have decided to do New York Marathon next year, I am going to do the Victoria Half Ironman, June bug and Special K have agreed to do Oliver as a relay – with me. I would like to do more time trials on the bike, maybe a century ride and the infamous 3-mountain ride – Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress in less than 5 hours. That should take care of 2010.
People keep saying I am amazing – No I am not I am just someone who dared to dream, surrounded herself with people to help her and went for it. Don’t accept mediocrity, embrace hard work and find a way. Team Nathan’s slogan is redefine your Humanly Possible – that is all I did. You can do it – BELIEVE.
Now off for my Tatty.
Peace out Shaun