Friday, October 23, 2009

Where Fear and Dream Collide...

Above is the quote on a towel that I bought at the IRONMAN USA gear tent 2 days before the race. The Quote is great and the towel is Yellow and Black and that screamed "LiveSTRONG" to me so into the pile of stuff for purchase it went. At the time that I bought it; I thought I understood what this quote meant.

I really didn't understand at all...

That moment when "Fear and Dreams Collide" is NOW.

14 days until I toe the line once again in my quest for the 140.6 miles that equals an "Ironman" distance triathlon.

This is my second go-around this year and the questions are flying through my head every day...

- Did I do enough?
- Have I got my nutrition plan down?
- Have I kept my fitness up without wearing my body down even more by doing another 16 week of Ironman training?
- Will I be successful this time around?
- Will I be able to turn off the voices or "change the channel" in my mind when the time comes?
- Am I ready for the transition from Bike to Run?
- What am I going to do when my mind screams "STOP, NO MORE, IT'S JUST A RACE...."

I have been spending my quiet time at night before I got to bed, methodically answering these questions. The "physical" questions have been easy to answer. My training has shown me ride after long ride that I have the pace and the strength to handle this course. My race experience at ChesepeakeMan AquaVelo showed me that I can handle a very rough swim, get out of the water and keep myself on track with nutrition and pace - on a windy day - and come in to t2 with time to spare. Brick workouts show that I can run well off the bike - maybe not fast but steady and still running (or jogging if you prefer based on my 12 minute mile pace).

But what am I going to do when my mind screams "STOP, NO MORE, IT'S JUST A RACE..."

When my sub-consciousness is screaming to be heard, begging me to quit, reasoning with me to be sensible it will have to be ME who steps up and takes over to shut down the inner voices, to take the focus off the pain, to keep my pace strong and steady.

When that moment comes; this time when my FEARS and DREAMS collide...THIS TIME, I will embrace the FEAR (failure, too fat, too slow, not good enough) and push aside the DREAMS and FOCUS ON GETTING TO THE NEXT MILE because I have done the hard work, I am strong enough and I have what it takes...

I have what it takes to finish this distance.

Come what may...

Life is Good. LiveSTRONG!


Kendra said...

Holly, I've been following your blog for awhile but I almost never comment. (Blame Google Reader for that.) I'm doing IM Florida the same day you'll be doing B2B. The mental game is tough. I've got some of the same worries as you. Are you doing any visualization practice? We're going to finish on 11/7, with a smile. Just focus on that. And what I plan to do when my mind says "no more, it's just a race" is tell myself "This is what I'm doing today. All I have to do today is just keep moving forward. I have all day. I have nothing else to do, so I might as well keep going." and remind myself that on 11/8 and every day after it, I can sleep in and rest and know I'm an ironman. And think of all the people who will be astonished that we finish? slow fat triathletes rock. we're not just good enough, we're awesome.

IronLinae, PhD said...

You're doing some great mental training, Holly. There will be good moments and bad moments during an ironman. Both will pass. :) An athlete is better prepared if they have faced up to the possible bad moments ahead of time. Even when something unexpected happens, you'll have practiced the mental strategies you need to work through it.

Can't wait to see you again! We're gonna rock.

And good luck, Kendra!

william said...

Two things to say:

You go Holly


Wonder Power twins....activate!

Downhillnut said...

I think I'll continue on the "fear of Ironman distance" path and steer my dreams somewhere else. I really like that quote, though.

YOU, my dear woman, are phenomenal and you're gonna rock that course all day! Looking forward to cheering you and and the girls from afar.