If there’s anything I’ve learned throughout Ironman training, it’s that you have to be willing to adjust your schedule…AND IT’S OKAY.
Case in point: this past weekend, I was a bridesmaid in a good friend’s wedding. The wedding was on Friday night…and I had a 6.5 hour bike + 50 minute run on the schedule for Saturday morning.
Now…I wanted to have fun at the wedding. I didn’t want to sit at a table all night and then leave early to go to bed. (So sue me!)
With that being said, there are a ton of events I would miss (or just be a little more lame during) in order to optimize my training…but not my best friend’s wedding. I had to do my bridesmaidly duties, right? Plus, I NEVER get to see my friends and family…much less see them all at the same time. We all live all over the country and it means a lot to me to be able to spend time with them.
So, I rearranged. I didn’t have to be back to work until Wednesday, so I did a bike workout on Saturday, my long run on Sunday, drove 16 HOURS back to NJ (all in one day) on Monday, and then completed my heavy training day on Tuesday. I feel a little guilty for taking three full rest days (one to drive to Iowa, one for the wedding, and one to drive back to Iowa), but those days were literally jam-packed with no wiggle room. (Don’t my gas station squats and lunges count for anything!?)
I’ve definitely learned that rest days are okay if you need them – it’s not the end of the world. (Gasp!!) There’s something to be said for a little R&R, right?
My run on Sunday was special because my Dad and Brendan rode their bikes alongside me the whole way. And running in Iowa is absolutely beautiful.
My ride on Tuesday involved two flat tires (my first!) a really ridiculous rash on my legs (it’s gross, but click here to see and tell me if this has happened to you…I’ve heard it could be from silicone in the shorts?! Help!), and basically no human contact for 6.5 hours, but I finished. The heat was the hardest part – especially on the run. Throughout the whole ride, I couldn’t wait to run… this has to be a good thing, right? I was definitely exhausted at the end of the day, but very proud to have finished. There were a few moments in there when I was doubting myself and trying to figure out ways to get out of this ridiculous Ironman thing, but after lamenting on Twitter, I received an outpouring of support from my lovely friends. One of the most inspirational tweets I received was this one:
For all the support you all have been giving me, I thank you. You seriously don’t know how much it means to me, and how much motivation you give me. I love you guys.
In other news, I also swam 2.4 miles for the first time this week. And I survived. Dare I say I actually enjoyed it?! (Well, as much as you can enjoy it while counting laps in your head over and over. No I still don’t have a watch that is waterproof.) It took me about an hour and a half…and I honestly wasn’t too tired. I felt fine. If I do that on raceday, I’ll still have 50 minutes until the swim cutoff. Phew!
Lastly, against my better judgement, I want to call attention to the first person (since I signed up last year) to basically call me an idiot for doing this. No one has discouraged me throughout this entire journey…until now. I wrote a guest post for MizFitOnline and amidst all of the positive support and well-wishes, I found this little gem:
And then, in response to someone else’s comment:
Actually this reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my best friends, Monica, this weekend. As I was explaining about my Ironman journey to people who asked, I got a lot of “Wow, that’s crazy!” and “Why do you want to do that?!” comments…pretty normal. (I mean, training for an event of this distance is not “normal”. Even I know that!) So, Monica, after being around me for all of these convos, sweetly called me later on saying she was upset that people kept saying things like that. She wanted me to know that she believed in me, and was wondering if it made me feel bad or discouraged to hear so much negativity.
Honestly, I didn’t even think of it like that. I expect people to think I’m crazy…but everyone usually ends the conversation with a “that’s so awesome” or “best of luck, I’ll be cheering for you”…anything along those lines. Not once did someone tell me, “Wow, I can’t believe you actually think you can do this, because you probably won’t be able to based on your experience”…which is essentially what Miss Cheryl is saying, in my eyes. I mean, I get that people sign up for things without being ready. Fine. And I get that you have to respect the Ironman distance – if she’s an Ironman, I’m sure she’s sensitive to people saying “I’m going to do an Ironman!” without knowing much about it. I GET IT. It’s hard. It’s a huge accomplishment and ALOT of work. It’s not something to scoff at.
But come on lady, I just want to finish.
You don’t know me or my full background. You don’t know what I’ve been doing for the past few years. You don’t know how mentally strong I am. You don’t know how much support I have. You don’t know the half of it. I doubt you’re saying these things because you care about my well-being. You’re not my parent.
And frankly, I’m not concerned with someone else’s version of “the truth”…as I learned in kindergarten from my pal Bambi, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” (Although I’m not being very nice right now am I? Oops!)
LET THE HATERS HATE, Y’ALL!
How do you deal with adversity? Are you more forgiving than I am? Do you find that people are more supportive or more skeptical of your dreams?