If I think back to when I started this journey, I don’t think I’d ever have seen myself sitting in a hotel, with 7 days to go until my first tri, writing lists of things to remember to take with me.
I’ve changed so much that I’m almost unrecognisable to myself now. I mean, I’ve always liked lists, but physically and psychologically I feel like I’m a different person. Stronger in both respects. Hardier. More of a “doer” than a “nah. It’s cool. I can’t be arsed” type.
Endurance has completely changed me. It’s given me self-belief and the ability to shed renewed perspective on stressful situations. “Honestly this is not as shit as cycling in hail into a headwind”… I still freak the fuck out every now and then, but it’s easier for me to cope at work, where my workload has grown exponentially in the last 2 years.
I’ll never claim to be an expert in this stuff, I’m really only trying to get by and have fun, but I’ve learnt a lot about how *not* to do things. And that if things go tits up it’s ok, really.
I’ve stopped worrying about DNF and technical failures. Sort of. I know I can change a tube. I know I can fix basic problems on the bike. I know the run will suck. I know I’ll punch myself in the face at least twice while removing my wet suit. And I’m ok with all of that.
Now it’s just me, 7 full-on days of work and then a half iron distance swim-bike-run next Sunday.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. If I had to be completely truthful, I am largely shitting myself. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry, but I’d rather be nervous than not. This MEANS something to me. This is MY fight. MY time spent running in the snow, cycling into permanent gale-force head winds and swimming in 11 degree lochs full of Tesco trolleys. This is MY sacrificed social life. MY “sorry I’m bloody training AGAIN” texts to my VERY patient friends and family. I’ll be a bit pissed off if I don’t finish it. Purely because WHAT A WASTE OF A YEAR… Even though I’m at least 80% more ace than I was last year… So there’s that I suppose.
If I wasn’t nervous I’d question why I’d done all this hard work.
I’ve had the opportunity to raise some funds for a really brilliant charity and I’ve met the most amazing people. I’d not change ANYTHING about this adventure.
Well. Maybe less falling off stuff.
I keep being asked what’s next? I’d kind of like to say I want to get this one out of the way first, but plans are forming in my head. I have loved triathlon training. Really truly. Well. Ok maybe less 5am sessions would be nice, but honestly I have loved watching my body change and the improvements in speed and agility have been amazing.
I remember back when I started training for the marathon, my buddy told me “it doesn’t get easier, you just get faster” and I’m starting to feel that happen now.
What was “race pace” over a 10k before is now a gentle effort. That’s huge for me.
I managed to pull an 18mph ave speed out of the bag over an hours ride last night. That’s a massive improvement (that’s NOT my Feldy pace… I’d die)
So it’s all coming together nicely. I’m actually enjoying “taper”. I’ve only really thrown one strop so far. And it was justified (I don’t even WANT to get into it).
I’m so goal orientated that it makes sense to give myself targets for the next year. I struggle without a Plan A. So once Feldy is done and dusted, I’ll start researching my next moves. (I’ve already decided but shhhh….)
So. 7 days to go. Bring it.