Sunday, February 28, 2010

Am I Missing Something?

Over the last few weeks, I received several incredulous looks from some of my fellow triathletes in the community. When I tell them I just learned how to swim 8 months ago, I never swam, open water, and never ran a marathon, and that I am doing a half ironman I get a “looks”. What I don’t tell them is that I can count on one hand how many training days I have missed, how dedicated I am to my goals, and how determined I am to accomplishing this goal! I am not afraid of an open water swim. I am not afraid of the 56-mile bike ride. I am I not afraid of the half-marathon in the end! I will execute.

However, I can’t seem to wonder what am I missing? Ignorance is bliss. I know. However, am I being stupid? Unrealistic? Zealous? I wonder sometimes if I am setting myself up for failure. I have read both horror stories and success stories about people who have participated in the half ironman swim as their first or second open water swim.

I also remember I didn’t decide to do a Half Ironman this year. If it were up to me, I would be doing the Miami Half Ironman in October as my key race. It was put in my heart to do an Ironman. When I saw there was an Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico, I felt like it was God putting it in my heart to do that Ironman. Mexico is where I did my first mission trip in July ’09. My church also has a mission in Cozumel and I am using this Ironman to raise money for that orphanage.

I guess what I am saying is…I don’t know what I am saying! I just don’t like getting those looks! I feel like people are just totally doubting, not just me, but anyone else that dreams of losing 60lbs and going from a smoker to a runner. I did enough doubting of myself every time I emptied a bottle of alcohol down my throat! I have doubted long enough! Maybe that is why it has been put in my path to do what seems impossible. I for one know what it feels like to be a slave to self-doubt. I would dang well rather have the confidence in myself to go out and try and not finish the race than be a blasted slave to self-doubt again!

Every decision I made regarding my decision to do this half ironman has been calculated. I know how I felt at the end of a 30 mile ride. I know how I feel at the end of my half marathons. I know how I feel after my swims. I chose New Orleans because it’s a wetsuit swim (wetsuits add improved buoyancy). The bike course is flat yet windy (perfect!) The run is flat! Even better since I average almost 30-45 sec faster per mile on flats. I didn’t just Willy-nilly wake up one day and decide I want to do a half Ironman. I asked my coach if it was possible and I have been training with him for four months. Before that, I PR’ed my half marathon time. (pr’ed means personal record). The time is now!

Look at me with that “look” if you want! I wont win, but crossing that line is a win to me! See you at the finish line because I am taking every look I have received from people with me! Thanks for the motivation “LOOKERS!”

"Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts." - George F. Tilton

p.s. but this has been bugging me a bit. Its not that I don’t want to open water swim before the race. I just don’t think I will be able to because of the weather here.


  1. You're definitely taking the road less traveled by signing up for your first open water swim, fist 70.3 race and first full Ironman race all in the same year. So what you're seeing is probably some combination of shock, jealousy, and maybe even some legitimate concern from each of the "lookers". If they don't know how dedicated you are, and how much work you're putting in - it probably sounds like you're underestimating the task at hand.

    Next time you get a "look" just give them your blog URL - they'll become a believer.