It was fall of 2016 and I decided to swim a mile and see what that felt like, having not swum more than 100 meters since I was about 10. To my surprise, the experience was pretty wonderful. Being the weird-ass that I am, this one instance lead me to sign up for Ironman Wisconsin 2017. I hated running, hadn't been on a bike also since I was about 10 but, whatever! I like big goals!
I trained. I trained a lot. As it turns out, swimming was not a problem for me and I was pretty good at it from the getgo. I learned to semi-enjoy running although I wasn't super fast. Riding my bike was a different story. I was scared. I had never clipped in. I had horrible bike handling skills and riding in traffic terrified me. Between being a nervous rider and the fact that I was a single mom with a young child, I did most of my bike training for the hilliest Ironman bike course in America on a trainer in my living room.
As it turns out, that was not enough. I DNF'd on the bike course at Ironman Wisconsin. They took me off the course 56 miles in as I was not fast enough. I didn't know how to ride the hills. I didn't have the skills I needed in order to manage the hills successfully. A couple of other things went wrong on the bike, such as a problem with how my gears were shifting, but that doesn't matter. The fact is, I failed to meet the standard.
One month after DNF'ing at Ironman Wisconsin, I went on to complete Ironman Maryland. I knew I had an Ironman in me and was anxious to get back on my horse (bike) right away. I'm proud to know have completed Ironman Maryland twice however, as it turns out, that doesn't completely satisfy me. I've never DNF'd anything before and I have to go back to complete Ironman Wisconsin and make those hills my bitch.
So, that's what I'm doing. I'm all signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2021. Having just spent the year dealing with COVID stuff and moving to a new state, I have done absolutely no swim, bike or run training so I'm kind of starting from scratch. Luckily, I have a friend that's helped me be a much better cyclist since 2017, more free time as my son is older and more self-sufficient and I live where there are some serious mountains to ride my bike up during training.
It's not often anymore that an event makes me nervous. I just sort of go and do it and don't get worked up about it. But I am nervous about Ironman Wisconsin. I have a fear of failure that is pretty foreign to me as I am typically highly self-confident that I will achieve my goals. I'll have to manage my physical training and my mental training for this one and that excites me! I will use my nervous energy to my advantage as I go back to redeem myself. I will not fail to meet the standard twice!
I figured I'd blog about my journey as I go. I'm not planning to give a blow-by-blow of my workouts but rather share some of my thoughts, insights and learnings that come about as I set off on this big adventure that is training for and completing Ironman Wisconsin 2021. It will be crazy times with good, bad and ugly days but I'm psyched to get started and achieve that goal which was previously alluded me.