I toe up to the Ironman starting line in 12 days. At this point, most triathletes feel invigorated, strong, and accomplished as taper week comes into view. But I, my friends, feel a bit off my game. My ankle sprain, which sprung up on me more than four weeks ago, is still hating me enough to cease the healing process, or at least majorly slow it down. I am sidelined from running, must play it safe with cycling, and I'm embracing swimming like it’s a long lost friend. It has been tough, to say the least. But somehow, I have managed to keep my mental strength in tact.
The way I see it: I’m finishing this Ironman even if I have to crawl to the finish line. Could I break my foot in the process? Maybe. Am I absolutely ludicrous? Probably. But do I believe I still have what it takes to win this goal? Most definitely.
So how am I going to get to that Ironman finish chute? I’m going to get there powered by my mind, the one thing that right now still believes I can do this. The way I’ve been seeing this lately is…
2.4-mile swim? Ehh, not so bad. Probably what I look forward to the most. It’s the shortest leg of the race, the one I can use to get into my mental zone for the day, and get myself on the right track I want to be on. Starting with positive vibes is the only way to begin a race.
112-mile bike ride? Ok, so the little ankle that could will probably feel some pain here. Pulling up those pedals to get me over the hilly course will surely irritate my injury, but I’m more concerned about time passed here. Mentally, I must remind myself that though I missed a couple of 100-mile opportunities, I’m still strong enough to complete this leg, even if I must pull over and chill a bit at the 56-mile mark. You do what you gotta do, right? Right.
26.2-mile run? Oy vey. I mean, I’ve always felt better on the run than most because I take it easy on the bike, but this run will be different and I am already prepared for that. The truth is, I was always planning to sprinkle that marathon with walking segments, but now I am OK with the fact that it might be more like chunks. I most likely will experience a lot of ankle pain that will slow me down or stop me at times. I might just embrace it.
I mean, hey, I’ll be taking part in the most difficult event of my life thus far, so why not throw an injury in there to prove just how strong I am…or how strong I can be.
So what can possibly scare me now? Nothing more than this. If I went into this thinking it’d be rainbows and butterflies then I’d be in for a rude awakening. My sights are set on the other side…the side of the finishing chute where the Ironman voice yells “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” Yeah, that side. And then I can fall to the ground, cry some solid tears, and make my way to the med tent to finally complain that my ankle hurts.
haha. (I guarantee that's how it will go down).
This is my last full training week, so I’m doing everything I’m supposed to. Swimming a lot, cycling a little, electrocuting my foot with weird devices, icing, elevating, eating healthy, canceling plans to rest. Everything I CAN do right, I will do right.
I don’t want to let you down. I think my mission has become pretty solid. We are all capable of great things, and setbacks merely give us an opportunity to prove we’re that much stronger than we set out to be. Which is funny, given that last weekend I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid 2016!!!…I know, I’m all like ‘what was she thinking?’ too, but I went with my gut feeling and just paid the price. Now, I am in for another year! The way I see it? WHY STOP NOW.
Have you already signed up for something in 2016? Tell me about it! Way to start that new year early!