The anticipation is building, but you will have to wait until September for the final result. Training for an Ironman to me, is as close to pregnancy as I will ever get.
Right now it is pure excitement; you are now committed to another Full Distance Triathlon (3.8km swim/180km cycle/26.2km run) – and all you feel is a nervous excitement. What you don’t think when you have your brilliant moment “I want to do another Endurance Race of the sort” is that over the next nine months your body physically and mentally goes through changes; you will eat more, your body will ache, feet will hurt, and you will drive your spouse crazy. No book ever written can really tell you what it is like; you never really know until you become an Ironman yourself.
12 months out: You decide it is a good idea to go through with it and commit. And the prep phase is so much fun; the course research, the planning. The first phase of nervous excitement hits.
9 months out: Let the real training begin. The first couple weeks is just getting into a regimen, your body feels a little off, but you soon learn to live with the change in your lifestyle about 2 to 3 months into the process.
6 months out: You are either loving or hating the experience, but either way, you start go a little workout crazy.
3 months out: You gradually become more and more irritable, everything in your body hurts. All you can think about is the big day that awaits you. At this point, it cannot come soon enough.
3 weeks out: You hit the Taper and have to go easy on your body as you prep for the day you have to deliver. This is when you mentally start to panic, “What the hell I have done, I’m not ready for this!!!” You would do just about anything at this point to push along the process faster to the final day, but in reality you have no control.
1 day out: Excitement, nervousness, fear, anger, happiness, sadness, excitement…it’s a vicious cycle, but you will feel it all, and some of those feeling you have no clue why you are feeling them.
Game Day: You cry, you smile, you love, you hate…there are ups and downs and every emotion you feel, every
Nine months from now I will go through 11 hours of hard labor and in the end, in the final push across the finish line I forget about all I went through to get to this point, I won’t care about how I look or what’s going on around me..it’s all focus on one thing; for it all to be over and reap my reward. Depending on the experience, I might think never again or have such a pleasant time the I want to do it all over again and want to do Another.
As my house starts to collect Finisher Medals; who know how many I do or where they will be from; but what I do know is that each one has a special place in my heart. Each race had to be treated and nurtured differently.
For those mothers who think I am crazy for comparing this to childbirth and have never done an Ironman; sign up for one and see. And for those who have gone through both; think about it…mmm. (just remember I compared it to the giving birth process, not actually raising kids)