My mantra for 2011 has been stuck in my head a lot lately. "Dream big. Work hard. Make it happen." I say it to myself when I think about skipping a workout. I say it to myself when I get frustrated and feel overwhelmed. I repeat it to myself when I know I need to push a little harder in a workout. It's seven little words that are etched in my brain. It's seven words that I hope to carry with me the rest of my life. Every journey starts with a dream. A dream of crossing a finish line, reaching new heights, and pushing yourself to do something you never thought possible not too long ago. I've received a lot of questions the past couple of weeks about my passion for endurance sports. Most people assume I've been doing this for several years. They are shocked to learn I've only been pursuing my dreams for a little over 2 years. They look at me and say they can't do it. I look right back at them and say "Dream big. Work hard. Make it happen." Nothing is impossible. It all starts with one step.
This past week I was asked to fill out a survey for my 5-year service award banquet at my current employer. I'm not a big fan of questions that ask about your most memorable moment or a random fun fact that most people don't know about you. However, both questions were on this survey and it was surprisingly easy for me to fill out. I remember vividly the day I signed up for my first half marathon in 2009 as a result of my company's race sponsorship policy. It's my best memory from the past 5 years at my job and one I'll always remember no matter where I end up in the future. Without the push from my employer, I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to make that first leap into endurance sports. Thanks to my current quest to become an Ironman, my fun fact was an easy shoo-in. Plus, what Ironman-in-training doesn't like to tell people what they are up to at the moment?! Now I'll have even more people around to keep me accountable.
The rest of this week was pretty routine. My work schedule was a little more relaxed so I avoided the 4:30 AM wake-up calls. After last weekend's duathlon, my Achilles was pretty tender so I took a couple of extra rest days and it did wonders for the soreness. I'm really trying to be smart about my body and try not to push too hard, too soon. It's still 21 weeks until the Ironman so it's a long road ahead still. One aspect of training that I'm still trying to get used to are the midweek long runs. Due to the long run and long bike sessions each week, I'm forced to push one to a midweek workout and in the future it will be impossible to get the long bike workout in during the week. Due to this, I'm forced to do my long run during the week. This week I ran 10 miles after work on Thursday and I have to admit I'm not a huge fan. Sitting around at the office all day isn't really a recipe for success when it comes to running. I guess I'll get used to it eventually, but it's not ideal. I'll have to key in on nutrition on those days and hopefully be able to combat the heat when the summer starts to settle in. I'm concerned we're going to have a brutal summer. We're in a severe drought at the moment and once that summer blocking patten takes hold, it's tough to move it out of the area. I'll be fighting my heat demons pretty regularly it seems. The plus side is that I'll be in great shape to combat the heat and hills of Louisville in August.
Time for me to get back to chores and get ready for my bike ride tomorrow. Nothing too crazy on the schedule, but it will be the longest ride on the tri bike to date. I'm sure my neck and shoulders will love me when I'm finished. I'm going to practice eating and drinking on the bike tomorrow to start working out some kinks there too. I'm hoping the 30mph winds don't completely beat me down. Anyone willing to come pick me up if I do a one-way bike ride with the wind at my back?!