It's been a dream to do an Ironman distance for some years now. I remember watching the Ironman on TV with my dad when I was younger, & seeing people after hours & hours out on the course coming into the finish dead tired, legs buckling, but happy. For some weird reason that appeals to me. I'm not crazy enough to do a full Ironman right off the bat though, this time I did the half Ironman distance.
Anyway, the race didn't turn out quite as planned, & they never quite do. My friend who I had originally signed up with, wasn't able to do it for health reasons. I always have a buddy, (friend or husband), in it with me. So no one to grumble with, no one to encourage me or vice versa. Even though I don't totally always stay with a partner throughout a whole race, it's nice to catch each other on the course & commiserate. So this was just me. Me talking to myself, me telling myself I am strong, me praying.
The weird thing is, I felt strong through out the whole race. I wasn't super speedy, but over all I felt good. I didn't even have my usual bouts of cussing(a miracle in itself). I was expecting it to be really hard for me, but I talked myself through it. I talked to God a lot(you have many hours for that out on the course). I'm so grateful I was able to make it!
But there is part of me that is so bothered by my overall time, the perfectionism seeped in, & sucked out some of my joy. There was some confusion with the running course being not labeled well, & people telling me that you are supposed to do 2 loops, someone else told me 2 1/2, I also heard 3. So I did what I thought was the correct amount, but it left me wondering if I over ran the course a bit? If other people were confused too(it seemed like it) & if they didn't run the full amount? Not that I thought I was going to get an elite runners time, I was actually just feeling accomplished that I did it, then I looked up my score. Probably shouldn't have looked! Anyway, I don't like it when I let little things eat at me that don't matter, I need to just focus on the fact that I reached a goal, & feel good about that
The thing that I realize, doing long races like this, is that I am strong. This body I spent so many years hating, & trying to punish for not being what I thought it should be, is the one that keeps going & get's me to the finish line. I am grateful for it, & that I'm getting more accepting of myself.
So, a really cool thing is that my 11 year old Sage did her first mini triathlon the day after my race. She did awesome! She's not a swimmer & looked really worried as she tried to practice a bit in the lake before the race. The water is like ice, & quite a shock when you have to put your face in. When they started the race, I was so nervous for her, because I knew she was out of her element in the swim. She pushed herself & got through it. So proud of her for that! Then of course she rocked the bike ride & run :)
Glad it's over & grateful me made it!