"He has the deed half done who has made a beginning."
Wildflower was a crisis of confidence for me. Frankly, I had started to get cocky about being able to finish this Ironman thing, and the triathlon gods decided to teach me a lesson.
At first, the lesson resulted in that "I don't belong here" feeling that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Then I tried to listen. I know what I need to do in befriending the open water. I'll be there every chance I get. I know what my 40 year old frame needs by way of recovery. I will be cutting volume even further during recovery weeks because I know I need it.
But then there is the whole "beginning again" thing. I had to start training again.
So, I did. Some swimming, some biking, some running--all strictly in conformity with the plan set out by Coach Book. Man it felt good to have fresh legs again. I guess I had been so tired for so long that I had forgotten what normal felt like.
But it was weird. These were some of the same basic workouts I had done before, the distances were not appreciably greater, but I had an intruder along for the ride.
Every time I started a workout this week, I had a strange feeling in my stomach. Wednesday, for example, I did my swim workout in the lap pool in my neighborhood. I was the only one there after hours on a beautiful evening. Perfect setting. Sun going down. Slight breeze. Lights coming on. But when I began the 200 meter base intervals, my stomach gnawed at me. What was that feeling?
It was fear.
Can I do this? Can I complete the workout that I start? Do I have it in me to swim these intervals hard and complete every one?
It wasn't just the swim. I felt the same on my familiar run and bike workouts as well.
But I began. And I finished. One interval at a time. One workout at a time.
Not because I'm anything unusual. I'm sure you did the same thing. All I did was start. We all have to start.
Someone planted a seed in me today. A dear friend wrote the words to me on the instant messenger, "You're meant to be an Ironman."
Her confidence is planted in me. I will water it, tend it, protect it, and hopefully, September will be the harvest.