When we met him for dinner I was excited to share the news that I was working toward an Ironman. I had to laugh because even Kelly, one of the fittest friends in my entire circle of acquaintances responded the same way just about everyone else has responded to my news--he gave me "the look".
What I think is so ironic about this expression is that I myself kind of feel this way inside--what am I thinking? Why do I want to do this? Am I really ready for this?
To answer my own question about why I want to do an Ironman, I think it is all the above insecurities that are driving me toward this lofty goal. I have spent so many years of my life thinking that I can't do athletic endeavors, that I am bound and determined to show that I am capable of so much more than I think. And as for the "am I ready to do this" quandary, of course I am not ready...yet. I have an entire year to train, get fit, and prepare myself for this challenge.
I am reading several books to guide me in the right direction. I continue to read Triathlons for Women by Sally Edwards, and have learned a lot already. At the suggestion of the author I will be determining my heart rate at rest and at work so I can more closely monitor my training. I will also do a benchmark measure in each sport--an all out 1.5 mile run, 400 yd. swim, and a 3 mile bike ride (on different days), so I can measure my progress over the next year. Also, as suggested, I will be keeping a log throughout this amazing journey to Ironman, which I will document on this blog as well.
I have also learned how important nutrition is to training, so I am reading a book called The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel. Sean has been eating Paleo (basically lean meats, fish, organic fruits and vegetables, just very little grains and processed foods) since he started Crossfit. He has lost over 40 pounds and is in the best shape he has been in over twenty years. To make meals easier at our house, I have been eating the same meals as Sean. However, I found without the extra carbs, while I felt so much healthier, I was hitting a wall in my longer runs and races. With this new book I am learning how to make healthy choices, but how to eat the right carbs with proteins to increase my endurance for my longer miles. I am testing it out tomorrow on my 10 mile long run, so we will see if the plan in this book gives me the energy I need to power through.
Now I want you to know that the beginning of this blog was done tongue in cheek. In defense of all my friends that give me "the look," it is only this one initial time that they ever look puzzled about my new goal. Immediately after "the look" passes, they are completely supportive of my crazy plan. As I have mentioned many times before, I am surrounded by amazing friends and family. Because of that, I know it is possible to successfully complete my first Ironman in July of next year.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, "I'm possible!"