This is a serious title isn’t it? A race report for Ironman Arizona 2012 before the race? Yes. Since I do not do things the normal way, my race report is ready.
I have come to believe very strongly that a spiritual event/commitment like an Ironman race is not based on being fit.
I can say with firm conviction that confidence and strength from within are the only two elements of this race. It is self power and just truly knowing that you are able to do anything. I can do anything.
It goes beyond the ironman. It goes for anything. I know that my only competitor out there is me. My thoughts. My mind.
I chose to do this challenging event because I know that I can of course and most importantly, to me, I live and breathe passion. I always have. I always will. It is my fuel and my mantra.
Ironman Arizona is my “Turning 40” present to myself. I chose this goal years ago and embraced a long training journey, the highs and lows of training mixed with life in between. As a single mom living in Pittsburgh with not-always-so-ideal road/weather conditions, it was going to be a challenge to keep the pace and stay mentally strong and focused on the goal. Karma put wonderful people on my path that helped me, one way or another, achieve a race-ready feeling.
This year, in addition to Ironman, I wanted to compete in four races to celebrate each decade of life.
~ New York City Triathlon
~ The Pittsburgh Triathlon
~The Rev3 Cedar Point Half Ironman
Then, when the 8-weeks to race day came with very high volume of training, excitement and anticipation and… an unexpected injury! There I was left with no feeling in me left arm, hand, shoulder pain, misplaced disks (neck) back spasms, nerve entrapment and rotator cuff issues. It felt like it was going to go away in a few days but sitting on the plane to Phoenix 8 weeks later, it is still a problem. I dug deep. Very deep. Doctor after doctor to cortisone, I decided to believe that this injury was a blessing in disguise. I had no choice but to focus on core work and I believe this will save me on race day. The pain was so sharp that I had to do all my rides on the trainer indoor and in one hour increments. I remember sending an email to my wonderful coaches Carlos & Sue asking/telling about pulling out of the race. In addition, I had to move when I was not supposed to lift stuff. Yes. Move.
You dig deep. You find a way. There is always a way. Then there are distractions. The others. Those telling you to listen to your body and how I have to move on and not do this race because it’s not important and that there will be another time and now was not. Then there are a few magical people that unexpectedly appear in your life reminding me that I will do this. No matter what. That people with no legs or arms do Ironman triathlons and inspire the world. People walk into your life to guide you everyday. Listen. Pay attention. They are always there. There is always a way. Some find excuses. Some find a way. Always. Choose your inspiration wisely.
Committing to an event like an Ironman defines who you are as a person. In fact, respecting the commitment (to anything your really want) defines you as a person and the person you say you are and the person that you aspire to be. I have had regrets/guilt in the past and through difficult years/path, letting go was the only solution and redirecting my focus to the now and to who I really am was my way. My spiritual way. Walking/running the talk.
How many times have I heard that training was a distraction from life focus, a distraction from real things and objectives and that I really did not need this race distraction right now. Wrong. Respecting the commitment changed me. It changed me forever. Most importantly, it changed how I view the definition of commitment, view things in general and how I view other’s standpoint also dictates who I want to have around me. I know that I am destined to inspire some and I am mostly inspired to achieve greater things everyday and never taking no or letting road bumps prevail. This, is what my two children saw. There is no giving up. The best parenting I can ever give them, especially when my sweet little girl Emma (8) told me while looking deeply into my eyes: “You will not let fear rule your life Ironmom”!
Who am I?
I will forever be the one who believed I could. Who knew. Who let nothing get in the way of a goal despite so many distractions. Who found a way to get to the starting line (literally and figuratively). This is just the beginning of so much more.
Ironman Arizona will be the most amazing celebration and a journey of deeply changing thoughts, I am sure. I am facing the unknown. I am not as trained as many other athletes. But I am not afraid because I am me. I already am an Ironman.
#IMAZ 2012 is dedicated to Emma & Owen, the two most beautiful children. They are my greatest inspiration.
BELIEVE-NESS: Feel your vision! Set your goals! GO FOR IT!