It's been one year since my failed attempt at Ironman Louisville. And it's 17 days until I try again at the iron distance. I've learned a lot in that year.
Dave has said to me that I was in denial about ironman last year. The first time he said that to me it just pissed me off. Pissed me off to the point that we had a huge screaming match about it in a car in a parking lot. I just don't like the word "denial". I knew exactly what I was getting into. I had spectated two ironmans, I had done three half ironmans, and I had put in the training. I was ready. Or so I thought.
Having gone through a second year of ironman training, I don't think I was ready for Louisville. I don't think I was in denial, but I certainly wasn't in the physical and mental shape I'm in now. Last year I just went through the motions. You can fake your way through a marathon. You can't do that in ironman. And my big fat DNF last year proved that. This year I have faked NOTHING! I thought I was mentally tough last year. Ha! This year my head is locked and loaded. I thought I was physically in shape last year to finish the race. This year I don't 'think', I know I'm physically capable of doing this.
It's taken me a long time to shake the demons of that DNF. A few days after the race last year I actually wrote on my Facebook page that I would have rather died than having to face the embarrassment of the DNF. It took me a long time to feel comfortable racing again. I felt like the whole world was watching to see if I was going to fail again. After I botched the National Marathon in March is when I took back control and established that I needed to do this for me and no one else. I don't care what time it takes me to finish. I don't care who's watching or following me online. I don't care that I'm representing a team or sponsors. This is all about me and finishing the biggest goal I've ever established. And because I've been able to shake off everything else, not only do I think I'm going to get the finish I ultimately deserve (Star, you will never know what that one sentence has done for me this year), I think I'm going to have a great race and experience.
This weekend Dave and I are traveling to Louisville to (a) see my aunt and (b) spectate Ironman Louisville and cheer on my friends and teammates. Although I'm hoping this experience will be my pep rally for my race, I'm also hoping to throw away those last bits of doubt I have. It's almost as though I need closure from Louisville to move on to my race. It's time to close that book and look ahead two weeks to when I WILL FINISH WHAT I STARTED!!!!