Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Ironmanniversary

One year ago today I became an Ironman. On August 29, 2010, I completed Ironman Canada in 16 hrs and 26 mins. It was the most challenging and most rewarding day of my life. Physically and mentally, it was more than I ever imagined and it changed who I am.

Yesterday, Trevor and I went out for 13 mile run and it was a tough one. I struggled and was really complaining. About half way through I had to tell myself to stop whining, stop being such a baby. "You are tougher than this" I said to myself. Then, as we were finishing up the last mile, I remembered how it felt that last little bit before I crossed the finish line at Ironman. Here's how I described it in my blog post from last year:

I had thought about how tough this day would be, thought I understood what it was about, thought I knew what people were talking about in their notes, advice and race reports. I can tell you, unless you’ve done this, traveled this journey, you can’t understand. In the next few moments…I understood.

I entered the chute. The spotlight was on me. Thousands of people were cheering, stamping their feet, banging their hands on the barriers that lined the chute. It was exhilarating. I got the chills and the hair on my arms stood on end. They were all there for me. I ran, I smiled, I raised my arms in the air as they put the finishers banner across the line and I ran through it. Done. 16 hours and 30 minutes after I started.

I got my medal, they took my timing chip. I saw Doug and Trevor. Our theme as a team is “We live for Crazy”. I said to them “This is the craziest F*cking thing we’ve ever done”. And it was.

I remembered that feeling and I wanted to cry. That was the best feeling I have ever had in all my life. It washed over me in those few seconds and I felt stronger than ever before. I have been able to carry that feeling with me ever since. I know that I am mentally and physically much tougher than I was before I started that day. I am much less afraid of things in general.

Yesterday, was Ironman Canada 2011. We had a few friends participating and we tracked them all day long. I was envious. I want that feeling again. Trevor and I had decided a while ago that we are going to the Vineman Full Iron Distance Triathlon in July of 2012. I made the hotel reservations today. I am so excited!

Last year, it was really just about finishing. I had suffered a pretty severe arm injury during a crash on my bike a couple weeks before the event and was just happy to be able to complete the day. I know I could have done better, I know I could have finished in a better time and that still bothers me now. I really look forward to improving my time and going into this next event stronger and faster than I have ever been. I also really look forward to doing it all again with Trevor.

I read over my posts from the time around Ironman last year and remember how overwhelmed I was with the outpouring of support and the physical/mental exhaustion I was feeling. It is hard to believe its been a year since then.

It really was the best day of my life and I can't wait to do it again....

1 comment:

Keith said...

Oddly enough, even though I know I could probably do IM faster if I took another run at it, I have no real desire to do so. Some people talk about having unfinished business with a race, and I know how that feels. It's called Chinook. But not with IM. I still think about the day and I'm happy with how it went. Outside of a few Ironfold, nobody has asked how fast I did it. They are impressed just that it got done at all. Good luck at Vineman!