Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Triathlon Tuesday: Closing Thoughts and Mantras

(It's Triathlon Tuesday, my chronicles of training for Ironman Florida Triathlon: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run. Follow along by clicking on the "Journey to Ironman" Series link to the right.)

So this is it: the week before the race. I leave tomorrow to drive down to Panama City Beach. Capt Awesome will be joining me on Friday night (after, much to his delight, I've already gone to sleep so he doesn't have to deal with my night-before-a-race insanity).


Right now I'm doing okay. I can feel the hysteria bubbling up, but am still capable of tamping it down. I've done all my hard training, all my nutrition is figured out, most of my bags are packed.

I'm ready.

Or, if I'm not ready, there's nothing I can do about it now. Unless I can pick it up at a Walmart while driving down I-95.

There's been a lot of talk about mantras on the various Ironman groups over the last couple of weeks. After all, it's a 15 hour race with no music or headphones allowed at any time. That gives a person lots of time to think, or as you get towards the end, mutter the same thing over and over.

This is the mantra I'd like to have going through my mind as I race:

But seriously, it'll probably be more like this:

Some people put pictures of their children on the handle bars of their bike to remind them of their
precious angels waiting for them at the finish line. Well, 3/4 of my "precious angels" decided not to come to Florida because they'd have to travel on October 31 and would miss out on Halloween. Love them.

Mantras on the handle bars of my bike
Plus, considering exercise has always been my time to get AWAY from my kids, putting a picture of them on my handle bars doesn't really work for me. My eldest daughter suggested I find a way of hanging a picture of them over my shoulder: I'd ride faster if they were "chasing" me. Hmmm...

I do have three simple mantra's on my tri-bars:
1. Fight for it. (my overall motto for the whole race)
2. Till I collapse (after the Eminem song; because the only way I'm stopping is because I cross the finish line or I collapse)
3. One. Time. (I don't have to do 140 miles forever. Just once. I can do anything once.)

I'm also wearing some my mantras. My bike jersey:
Ironman rosie the riveter
 The front and back of my running shirt:
Ironman She believed she could so she did

And a final RANDOM collection of thoughts:
1. When the going gets tough during the race, I want to remember to be thankful. Yes, this has all been hard. And it has consumed way too much of my time (and money). But I am able to do this because I have a husband and family who have accepted that I’m crazy support me and have worked beside me to make this happen.

2. Maybe after Saturday I’ll stop crying every time I see EVERY. SINGLE. IRONMAN. VIDEO. Really, the tears are out of control.  (This one, for example)

3. IRONMAN is 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name. Oh wait. No sorry, that’s a song. Not Ironman. Whatever.

4. If I vomit because of nervousness Saturday morning, it’s going to totally mess up my ridiculously planned out nutrition for the race (check out that madness here).

5. 16:59:59 is still an Ironman. All I have to do is keep moving forward.

6. At least part of the reason I do endurance races is to justify listening to Ke$ha, Ludacris and Flo Rida for hours at a time. Yeah, that's probably a sickness.

7. At some point Saturday this is really going to suck. It may be at hour one, it may be at hour fifteen. It may be hours 1-15. Learn to embrace the suck.

But most importantly: 
I will be the same person I am after this race as I am before this race, just with 140 more miles under my belt. A race does not change who I am. And ultimately, it’s infinitely less important than who I am as a mother, wife, friend, and human being.


  1. We are going to be Ironwilled Ironmen!

  2. Wow. I had no idea that video would make me teary-eyed and for like 2.3 seconds, I was like, yeah! I'd do that! But then I woke up and remembered I only run if something scary is chasing me, 23 miles is my ultimate best for one day of biking, and I swim like a three-legged mule. I can't wait to read the full details of your experience - best of luck to you! GO GIRL!

    1. Blahahaha. Thanks Kristen! I'll be glad when it's over.

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