Well, holy f*@k. It is Ironman St. George race week!
I am excited. I am really nervous. And I grateful for it all.
The journey has given me everything I wanted and needed. It has been challenging. My body never ceases to amaze me and feels very strong and fit. My support system has showed up with encouragement, while also having patience for me, even when I need to go to bed before 8pm most nights. My coach has made sure I am absolutely prepared. I am well loved.
And now I am ready to show up to the experience that I want to have at IMSG—one filled with immense gratitude.
As you have read many times, I chose this race for the training and racing challenge. For the difficult training journey. To meet Feisty friends. To have the opportunity to do some course recon for future athletes.
And, I chose it for the beauty.
I signed up before it was named the first of two Ironman World Championship events for 2022. I did not qualify, yet when given the option to still race I decided to take it. I have remained steadfast in knowing that I still belong at this race, with the other thousands of athletes who also signed up and luckily get to race alongside the best in our sport.
I have learned so much more about myself through this process… I am reminded that although I am confident and self aware, I still do have many insecurities and care about how I am perceived or worry about what others think of me. I have experienced many new areas of chafing. One of the recent nuggets that surprised me is that I do not think of myself as an “Ironman” athlete, even though I have completed three Ironman competitions. I have enjoyed the training process each time and loved race day. I am an Iron(woman). I am still considering why I think of myself more as a 70.3 triathlete who does Ironman competitions occasionally, and what that means for my training and race processes.
And now I have the opportunity to put my focus over the past six months to the test. As you can likely guess, it involves a lot of planning. In my preparations, I am implementing a process and tool that I have used on each of my other three Ironman competitions: my gratitude grid. This grid is a laminated chart that I clip to my aero bars, detailing my nutrition and hydration plans so that I don’t get too far off track. And alongside the logistics, it includes a list of amazing people who I am blessed to receive loving support from often.
I could use alarms on my watch (like most other athletes), but then I wouldn’t have an easy visual to remind myself of how I can be grateful, alongside the pain. While riding, I take the time to mentally reflect (while remaining focused, of course) on each of these individuals or groups. It keeps me grounded in my purpose of inspiring, makes me smile, helps me feel less alone, and boosts my mood in the lulls of the long ride.
Gratitude changes everything.
I am beyond grateful for this opportunity. I know I am fortunate to be able to train and race safely and with an able body, especially in another state. I know the day will be hard, but I know I can be thankful for that too. And amongst a long list of other ways he loves me, I am absolutely grateful for my husband’s willingness to celebrate both of our birthday weeks by preparing for, participating in, and sherpa-ing an Ironman event.
Thank you for all of your support through the past several months (and years!). I am grateful for it and all of you. My purpose is to inspire, and it wouldn’t be possible without all of you being willing to read and (hopefully) be inspired.
If you would like to track me on May 7th (one day after I turn 42!), you can do so through the Ironman app. You can also follow Feisty Triathlon on Instagram for some delayed “live coverage” and other stories leading up to the event.
And if you watch the finish line online live, I will be there at some point… and you know I will be smiling.
(I plan to put out a short race recap next Monday, so check back!)