My Ironman Experience
So as many of you may know last month I competed in an Ironman 70.3 triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run) or in my case Ironman 69.1 (the swim portion was canceled). It was one of the most amazing and grueling experiences of my life. Crossing the finish line consisted of months of hard work and sacrifice. It hit me in the final seconds as I sprinted across the finish line and burst into tears of disbelief and astonishment that I had actually finished.
I know it may seem as if I am just some naturally athletic person and competing is second nature but that is not the case. I was once really overweight and running down the street was very difficult. So finishing something of this magnitude really blew my mind.
On race morning I was oddly calm. One thing I believe helped in my calmness was the fact that I had biked the coarse already so I was mentally prepared for the challenge. The race officials had already announced that the swim would be canceled because of tremendous rain fall. Additionally, it eased my nerves that my transition area was already set up from the night before so I didn't have to worry about forgetting anything. Taking the bus up to the starting line my anxiety started to kick in. Watching the hundreds of athletes pump their tires and looking up at the mountains I knew I was in for a hell of an experience. I made friends with the lady next to me who had finished several full ironman's and her confidence was comforting. Since the swim was canceled it was a time trial start so we went in the order of our race numbers. I hated this because I was no. 2003 so I was almost the last to start which meant the race would be a little lonely.
My plan was to take it easy on the bike not to push it (which I normally do in training) and for the run I was going to walk through the water stops (that were each mile).