So as I said in my previous blog my training physically has been going ok, but I’ve been checked out mentally for the past 2 weeks. Up till yesterday it was starting to get frustrating and it was affecting every part of my life. You watch the videos, you read the articles and they all say that when you train for any Ironman either the full 140.6 or 70.3 you confront yourself, and you test out the boundaries of not just your physical ability but your soul Well going into training I knew it was going to be hard, but I was unprepared mentally for what I was going to find along my way.
Coming off my Arizona 13.1 and being sick my brain checked out completely. I felt like a zombie waking up everyday and going through the motions every single training day. I’d be on a 6 mile run and not really have any desire to go past the easy pace, I’d hope on my bike trainer and would just drift off into the distance with no real clue of what was going on. Even in the pool after that first 100 yards I couldn’t tell you any of my base intervals if it wasn’t for my Garmin. Yeah it took me out to the dark parts where I started to question what was I doing, did I bite off more than I can chew, am I going to fail and not be able to finish, am I going to let everyone down? It’s scary when you look back at your workout and you can’t even remember what was going on. I knew something had to be done and I was the only one who could do something about it. Your friends and family will sit there try to comfort you and tell you that you’ll be ok and you’ll be fine. I remember feeling like this during football or wrestling back in high school and my step father was the one who basically stood against that and said that if you want to do something you need to go do it and don’t settle for 2nd place. I had forgotten the speech (I wish I could have recorded them) cause I never thought that at the age of 37 I’d be reminded of it again. He also taught me not to just meet expectations of other people, you need to exceed your own expectations, so set them high.
Wednesday morning I woke up and something just felt different, I knew that I had to find a way to bring back my mind and get focused on these last 2 months of training. I just happened to see a Facebook post from a friend of mine with a YouTube link to a motivational video that just happened to move me. I felt a little grounded after watching it and it started a little fire that I knew I needed to listen to this some more. I spent most of the day watching some of these videos and converting them to mp3 so I can listen to them while I’m working out. One though seemed to remind me of why I even signed up for not just the Oceanside 70.3 but for the Arizona 140.6. It was part of a larger talk by Les Brown… It’s Possible. Just hearing this statement brought goose bumps to my skin, and I felt empowered just by saying that out loud. I even said it out loud at the office and one of my co-workers said over the cube that I was crazy. (They do that cause they do think I’m crazy for even signing up to do an Ironman). I said it out loud because when you say it out loud you hold whatever you’re saying with a little bit more conviction. It made me think when the last time I said that phrase and the last time I said it was when I was explaining why I signed up for the Ironman Arizona. “I’ve always wanted to do an Ironman, but never thought I could do it. Now after losing weight and competing in other triathlons. I started to believe that it’s possible and I can do it.” It was part of why I started even lost weight, it was to show people that it is possible. I had forgotten the purpose of what I started and why.
So, why did hearing and saying “It’s possible” spark such an emotional response? Because it forces you to change your belief’s. At one point everyone thought a 4 minute mile was impossible. We now know that it’s possible. At one point we thought a 10 hour Ironman was impossible and now 8 hour Ironman’s are possible! It forces you work outside of a larger vision of yourself and I had lost that. I had lost the vision of believing that it’s possible for me, someone who was almost 400lbs at one point could change his life and complete an Ironman. It’s one thing to watch a video of someone completing an Ironman from the comfort of your computer screen or TV, it’s another to believe that you can do it. I started to question that belief. I know I have to start saying “It’s possible” more and more and train my soul for the challenges ahead. I know I’ll be hitting this point later this summer/fall right before IMAZ. I need to wake up every morning and say “I’m a Champion, and I will do whatever it takes.” They are right, when you’re training for an Ironman, it changes you.