For the last few months I have been struggling, really struggling with wanting to train. I took the entire June/July off of swimming (something I love to do), I barely ran (bane of my existence) but I did keep up with cycling (my true love). At a truly low point I questioned if I really wanted to do this IM (Ironman). I was constantly asking myself what was my purpose in training for a second IM? Because let me tell you, there is a difference between training for your first, your second and I'm going to take a gander and say any other IM repeat.
In my first IM I was trying to prove to myself that I can do this hard as hell feat. And I did, I proved to myself and everyone that I could become an Ironman athlete. However, the second is a different story. I've already proven I can do it, so why do I have to do another? Why do I want to do another? What's my motivation? Where does my drive come from? Hard questions indeed. Jordan Rapp said in one of his blogs "But getting to the starting line is often just as - if not more - difficult than getting to the finish line". No truer words could have been written for me this year.
In mid August I went to IM Mont Tremblant for the weekend to train and support my good friend Seb. Being surrounded by the IM buzz and excitement made me realize I wasn't ready to give up the IM journey. I'm not a quitter and if I were to stop...well...I know others would understand but I would feel like I gave up on myself.
Now that I'm back in the thick of it all, it feels good to have a routine and structure. WHY do I ever stop?!?
|Chris Macca on ITU vs IM distance Triathlete magazine|
Despite completing an Ironman last year I am still very new to the triathlon world and the consistent training that it involves. The biggest thing I'm learning on this IM journey is that I need to make sure I'm doing it (Ironman) for the right reasons. That I never feel like it's "work", because I'm not getting paid to do this. I'm paying to do it! It's okay to take breaks from training but not too long. It's okay to still be trying to figure out what kind of athlete I am and where my strengths are within each discipline. It doesn't happen overnight (as much as I want it to), and the process is painfully long...but so is the race. What I am 100% sure of is crossing the finish line makes all this hemming and hawing seem trivial and inconsequential. Crossing the finish line makes you appreciate the magic in the world. The race is physical of course but it's mostly mental.
I guess I am learning a few things on this journey.