Like so many other Ironman newbies, I was terrified of my first race. What if I can’t finish the run? How am I going to ride 112 miles without hitting the wall? Will I survive the swim? All of these thoughts consumed me as I began my training. Fear of failure motivated me to train day after day. I trained, I trained and I trained.
Fast forward to a few days before the race. Time to check in. I felt like a timid 9th grader starting my first day of high school. Everybody looked so fit, trim and confident. They all seemed to “belong”. What was I doing here? I tried to block out this self defeating talk and attempted to act like I knew what I was doing.
It wasn’t until mile 18 that my fear of not making it disappeared. “I am going to finish this race”, “I am not in pain”, “I am not struggling to put one foot in front of the other”, and “I’m passing people.” By mile 20, I was certain that I was going to be an Ironman. I crossed the finish line a few minutes shy of 11 hours.
I was hooked. “I can get into this distance!”