When your lives revolves around one thing for such a long period of time, some not normal things very slowly get acceptable and eventually turn into the golden standard for your live.
This may sound a bit vague so I figured I would take you guys on a Grand Tour through the live of physically broken, mentally insane ‘triathlete’. So:
How do you know you’re getting close to Ironman?
- You know that drawer that broke off your closet 6 months ago?
Yeah, for as far as you know that hasn’t been fixed and do you reckon you will have any time for it in the future? No no no, you wouldn’t want to get late at your Masters Swim because of fixing a broken drawer. The closet will have to live with its handicap for now.
- Your back hurts.
Ever seen a really old man walk down the street? Well, you can join him know because your back is done with you and training and is not agreeing with any form of motion. And just for the record, if you feel a sneeze coming up: brace yourself, your back will hate it, really, it will.
- Remeber those people who you share a house with?
You used to have a connection with them and know what they where up to, know that is not more then a distant memory and after 4 weeks of not seeing them you start to doubt if they have moved out. Or maybe they are on a holiday. Or bussinestrip. Or died. For as far as you know it could have been a dream.
- Sports clothes are the only clothes.
Jeans? Jewelry? Leather shoes? You don’t know what all those weird terms are. Same counts for suits, trisuits and wetsuits are the only suits you will be wearing. Ooh yeah, and for as far as fabrics go: is there any other kind of fabric then lycra?
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall? No, your year doesn’t revolve around the weather, it revolves around your planned races. So instead of letting the weather dominate your seasons, your year consist of a Base Season, Build Season, Peak Season and a Off Season. Easier to remember and it’s more flexible. win-win right there.
- Your live is a continues sacrifice.
Want to stay in bed for 30 minutes longer? then you’re probably not gonna make your 6 p.m. swim. Want to put clothes in your closet? then you will miss 30 minutes of sleep. Want to get to your girlfriend in time? probably have to shorten that run. Continues sacrifice is what you will be doing, decisions that you make in the morning will come back to you in the evening. Better get used to it.
- You are ‘injured’ constantly.
Is it normal to feel like I have a knife in my right knee? My left toe is falling off, is this normal? You’re a physical wreck and eventhough you may be ‘fit’, that is not the way you would like to describe yourself at this point. That next run might cause your legs to fall off, you just hope that doesn’t happen. On the edge of injury, that’s what you will be, get used to it.
- A mental wreck, that’s what you are.
When you think about racing the Ironman you overflow with emotions, and not just one, no, all of them. You’re excited, sad, tired and absolutely euphoric. Just like your body isn’t fresh anymore, you mind is even more wrecked. It are the final weeks, get through it, you can do it.
Just remember that you’re not the only one and eventhough this maybe the toughest thing you have ever done, there are others who are with you. You are almost there, come on!
Step by step by step we get to the end