I signed up for Ironman Arizona on Monday! I has taken a few days for everything to sink in but I think I’m finally adjusting to the idea. I volunteered for the race which meant I was able to register prior to the opening of online registration. Volunteer registration opened at 8:00 AM but we were told to get there early. My mom and I got there at 6:00 AM and the line was already outrageously long. I found a nice spot on the grass, pulled out my iPad and settled in to do some reading. My mom headed up to Starbucks to grab something for us to eat while we were waiting. They ended up opening registration at about 6:30 (instead of 8:00) so they could get through everyone before online registration was supposed to open. The line moved fairly quickly but we still waited for almost two hours. (It’s a good thing I volunteered because online registration sold out in 40 seconds)!
While I was registering I was feeling very emotional. Registering was putting me one step closer to a goal I had been talking about for years. It was something I always thought (and sometimes still think) would be unattainable for me. By actually signing up I was putting into motion things I had only thought about. I was also feeling a little nauseous. I was now actually committing to this race. I was committing to the next year of coaching and a lot of swimming, biking and running. As my friend Mark put it, “you have a feeling of oh shit-ness” and that’s the best way I can think to describe it. You have a moment when you realize just how much it takes to do a race of this caliber and I started to wonder if it was something that I was really capable of doing. But I handed over my credit card and committed to the race.
I thought once I signed up and got over the initial shock and panic that I would be excited. Instead I found myself questioning my sanity even more. I got back into town Monday night and headed straight to bed. I had a swim and a bike ride and a lot of work to catch up on all scheduled for Tuesday. I got up early to get my swim in before work. Luckily it was only a 1700 yard workout, but there were some timed sets in there that I was having a hard time getting them done in the times on the plan. This started my self-doubt for the day and it just got a lot worse when I struggled through the indoor cycling class that night. I kept thinking that if I was having such a hard time getting through these workouts maybe I wasn’t ready to do an Ironman. By Thursday morning when I felt like I had to drag myself over the finish line of the Thanksgiving 10k I was really having a hard time and really doubting how I would get through an Ironman distance race next year. I mostly convinced myself not to cry until after the run was over but I sure didn’t stay around to socialize with everyone once I finished. My confidence for all of this Ironman training was pretty low. Since I was carpooling with Liz and we were heading to Cindy’s house after I decided to walk the mile and a half to Cindy’s and use the time to clear my head.
There have been more tears than I’d like to admit over the past five days but I think, for now, I’ve put my fears and some of the self-doubt to rest. I had two weeks of travel, little sleep and bad food. My body was not in the best shape for workouts to begin with and adding the stress and pressure I was putting on myself was making it so much worse. As much as I’d like them to be, not all workouts are going to be perfect over the next year and that will continue to frustrate me. I shouldn’t expect to be in Ironman condition today; that’s why I have a coach and a year of training. If nothing else, this past week has shown me that there are so many factors that affect my performance and it’s a good thing I have almost a year to work on all of them! Thankfully, today’s indoor cycling class went much more smoothly than Tuesday night’s and after spending the day getting caught up on things around the house I am finally feeling much less panicked about registering and am starting to get a little excited. Signing up for Ironman is a big deal and I should be doing a happy dance instead of worrying about one or two (or three or four or five) bad workouts.