Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Triathlon Tuesday: Ironman - There and Back (and There) Again

Me trying to get into IMFL
Eleven months ago, November 2013, I was one of the lucky (although that word should probably be in quotation marks) people who got a spot for the 2014 Ironman Florida race.  It’s one of the most popular Ironman Races and is held in Panama City Beach, Florida. The race sold out in about an hour.

I signed up because I wanted to do something HARD in 2014. Something challenging. Something I wasn’t sure I was even capable of doing and would push me outside my comfort zone.

If I had known how hard 2014 would be all on its own, how far out of my comfort zone I would be living on a daily basis, I would’ve given my lucky spot to someone else. 

Seriously, not five days after I signed up for the race that would take 10-15 hours of training each week, I got a call from Harlequin. They wanted to buy four more books from me. GREAT! But, I would need to write all four books in nine months to get them in on time.  

And then a couple of months after that, my eldest kid decided she was going to become a teenager and go bat-crazy and require 2-3 hours of my undivided attention a day for a couple of months (heaven save me from middle school girls). Thankfully that eased up after a while – she’s a good kid and just needed to find her footing – but it pretty much dominated much of my winter.

And THEN we got life-changing (the good kind) news this summer dealing with my husband’s job, about a transfer that would probably take place in late 2014. (We’re not quite ready to make an official public announcement yet, but let’s just call it “Take 2” if that gives you any hints, for those of you who know me)

So doing a race –not just a race but a 2.4 mile swim, 140 mile bike, 26.2 mile run race that takes a person like me about 15-17 hours— just because it would provide a challenge? By August, the idea was pretty absurd to me. Honestly, I’m surprised it took that long.

So I was ready to quit. It was only that I was doing the race with one of my best friends that I continued training at all. I didn’t want to let her down and quit.

M's broken arm gave me my excuse
Then she broke her arm.

I don’t want to say I was happy when I got that news and found out she wouldn’t be able to do Ironman Florida …

But I’d be lying. It was the out I needed and I was pretty quick to take it. 

I was tired. Ironman was hard. Insert Janie pitiful sad-face here.

I kept training because I had the Augusta Half Ironman coming up at the end of September. But by mid-September I pretty much told whoever cared (not many) that I had decided not to do the full Ironman. Most were relieved. Nobody tried to talk me back into doing it. 

Of course you heard all my sad story, right? My hardships and stressors. How could anyone dare try to talk me back into doing it? Insert Janie pitiful sad-face #2 here.

I was a quitter and I was okay with that. Seriously. 


Regardless, there was no way I was going to be able to pack my family of six up and move us to Germany in the middle of November get ready for our life-changing event and still train for the full Ironman. There just weren’t enough hours in the day.

Everybody knows where I’m going with this story by now, so I don’t know why I’m even telling it.

But anyway, I wrote last week about my quite positive experience at the Augusta Half Ironman 70.3 race on September 28. I did the whole thing in just under 7 hours. And honestly, felt pretty good afterwards. Or at least not like I was going to die.

I was pretty thankful the race was over, the training was over, that I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
Ironman, you little taunting bee-yatch.
Except that in the back of my mind I could still hear the Full Ironman taunting me. 

But what could I do? There weren’t enough hours to get everything done. Except then we got word that the big top-secret life-changing move had been pushed back to December or possibly even later.

It was the perfect storm of Full-On-Stupid temptation: I was coming off the Augusta Half-Ironman and felt like the Full Ironman was within my grasp, the real-life events that had been crowding out my training time had been removed, and there was a little over one month left (the perfect amount of time to buckle down and work hard to prepare).

Once Capt Awesome gave me his blessing (my mom was not so understanding, calling me “a bovine, clodpated, citified moron”), it was a done deal.

So I’m back in, baby! Ironman Florida – Panama City Beach, FL – November 1. 

2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run.

Full-on Stupid. The most challenging thing I've ever done.  Really, really hard.


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