Last week it all started with an innocent text from one of my Ironman training buddies, "Ok everyone...only 37 days left!!! YIKES!!!" My first thought was, "What? I thought we had five weeks left! How could it only be 37 days away?!" As you can see, there is a reason why I am a reading specialist and not not a math specialist. I am not sure why 37 days sounded so much closer to me than five weeks, but it did. I started to panic. That side of me that used to think that no matter how much time I had to train, I would never be ready to do an Ironman, came out of hiding and panicked. I thought, "What was I thinking? I only have 37 days (now 34)--how will I ever be ready for that swim? How will I ever be able to keep going after ten hours, when after six hours on the bike my mind is telling me to go curl up into bed and get some rest?"
At almost the same time I began thinking, "Only 37 days and one race day left, and I can get my life back. I can sleep past 5am if I want to. I can spend quality time with my family in the evening without constantly nodding off in exhaustion. In 37 days I will be free." The euphoric feeling was overwhelming. Don't get me wrong. Once this is over I am not going back to the old sedentary me...I can just go back to my normal kind of crazy training for half-marathons and most likely adding some shorter triathlon distances into the mix. Through this process I have learned that I really love the biking, even the scary hills and long distances, and I will continue the swimming only because I don't want to lose the progress I have made in this sport. I am excited to have the training stop and the race day begin. Euphoria, euphoria, EUPHORIA!
Then I made a swing back into panic mode. As I hyperventilated I thought, "I don't even know how to effectively change a tire yet. What am I going to eat to make sure I don't run out of energy? I have been working on that, but I haven't figured out exactly what and how much my body needs. And what about my transitions? I haven't even practiced those nearly enough yet. Oh, and I am still training with my music--what am I going to do when I am out there all alone on the race course. Am I mentally prepared enough?" In fact, my heart is racing right now as I write this--am I really ready? I have trained as much as I possibly could, but is it enough? Panic, panic, PANIC!
But then my rational side steps in and thinks, "I have followed the training plan to a tee. I need to trust in my training and let my body take over. I have time to learn how to quickly change my tire. I have more than four weeks to train without music, practice transitions, and determine what food I need to take with me to keep me going." Now I am starting to feel the euphoria again. I am going to cross that finish line in time, and I will prove to myself, and anyone that ever doubted me, I am an Ironwoman! I am ready and I will do this!
So here I sit at the corner of panic and euphoria with only 34 days left to make myself feel like I am truly ready. What should I focus on? What more can I do? Or should I just relax and realize that I have done enough. No matter what, even if the race were tomorrow, I am ready!