It is hard for me to label myself a runner or an athlete, I am a reformed couch potato who decided to take control of my life and start living my dreams instead of just thinking about them. I am slow, I swim slowly, I bike slowly and I run really slowly BUT I do them. I do not care about my time; really, it’s about the training and the journey for me. I can and do follow a program with joy and determination; I can’t wait to cross each workout off knowing it is getting me a step closer to my goal. I did not start this thinking I would be running a Marathon or hoping to do an Ironman one day, I actually said I would NEVER do either of these things but here I am working towards these goals, slowly and steadily one step at a time.
Today on the bus I read "Running to Extremes" by Ray Zahab and Steve Pitt. This is the perfect book for me to read a few days before my first half Ironman. This is about an ordinary guy who decides one day to change his life, find his passion and loves sharing it with others. He is not perfect, he has setbacks, he learns from them and keeps on going. He also carried around a sidekick, old Ray who is constantly telling him he is not good enough and he is going to fail. Slowly but surly, old Ray disappears and the new stronger Ray survives. I too have a side kick, fat Ally has been with me for years but she is getting quieter and she shows up less and less, she just can't keep up with me anymore.
On Saturday I am spending 7 to 8 hours doing my event and I have no intention on taking fat Ally with me that day. This is a celebration and I am sharing the day with those who helped me get there, not the ones who held me back. In January I picked a word for the year and my word was inspire, I hoped to inspire others but mostly I wanted to inspire myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and lost with my running and in a fit of insanity I signed up for a big crazy race. Even when I registered for it I said I would probably downgrade it to the Aqua or Olympic event, it was just too big for me. Well as it turns out I grew into it, the once way too big dream is here and I am as ready as I will ever be. Others inspired me and I thank them, they may not know it but they had a huge influence on me this year. Inspiration is always around us, it might be quiet and subtle or loud and in your face but it is there, you just have to be ready to receive it.
Whatever happens Saturday, I have had a great time getting to the start line, I plan on having fun during the race, cheering on other participants as I go and being thankful I am able to swim, bike and run that day.