My First Half Ironman

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11/6/2014

Racing consistently for 70.3 miles is a daunting thought, but I decided up was up for the challenge. When I first signed up for the race most people said I was crazy and it was hard to fathom completing a race of that length. Who would want to swim for 1.2 miles, bike for 56 miles and run for 13.1 miles all back to back? But I did! I knew it would be an intense training season, but I wanted to take on this mental and physical challenge to help me grow.

After registering for the October 26th 70.3 Race in Miami, I knew I had to set some goals for myself. I had been doing shorter distance triathlons for the past two years so I had some experience and had a desire to complete my first half Ironman in 6 ½ hours. I did the math and it seemed quite realistic for where I was.

The journey started in the spring and I fell off of my bike early in the training season. I hurt my knee so badly that I couldn’t run for 4 months. I was devastated and thought I wasn’t going to be able to run during my half ironman. I pursued alternative workouts to help with my endurance and continued pushing hard on the bike and in the water. I thought I would have to change my goal time, but after some thought, I decided to take a more positive approach and have faith that I would be able to run well by October. I told myself every day that my knee was healing and I was healthy and strong. Eventually, my body started to believe it! I continued training diligently and noticed that I started getting faster in all three sports.

Race day arrived and the butterflies in my tummy were going wild. Yet, as soon as I hit the water all of those nerves turned into energy to push through the race. I completed it in 6 hours and 39 minutes and enjoyed every moment of it! Crossing that finish line was a glorious moment!! I was pretty darn close to reaching my goal and told myself that there was no point in getting disappointed about the nine minutes. Instead, I patted myself on the back and was ecstatic about doing it in that time!

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about our future. It also motivates us to turn our vision of that future into reality. The first step is to first create the big picture of what you want to achieve and then break it down into smaller stepping stones. Finally, once you have your plan, it’s time to take action toward achieving the goals. When setting goals for my triathlons, I evaluate the following:

  1. “What have I been doing right?” We need to understand what we did that actually helped us get closer to our goals. No doubt, in discovering what you do right in training week after week, you are able to then discover:
  2. “What can I improve on?
  3. “What am I willing to do, that keeps me in balance in my life, to reach my goal?”

I believe in consistency and congruency in my lifestyle and training. But above all, maintaining a positive and strong mindset is what helps me reach my goals. I love this sport because I’ve learned to believe in myself and I’ve built a tremendous amount of mental strength.

One final word of advice: Once you reach your goal, celebrate your accomplishment! I am always striving to accomplish something new and I often overlook the celebration and move on to my next goal. Knowing this about myself, I stayed in Miami 4 days after the race to reward myself for that huge achievement. Now that I’ve conquered and celebrated, I’m ready to sign up for a full Ironman 140.6 Triathlon. Ironman Boulder 2015 here I come!

Happy Goal Setting!

 

 

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