Quest of an Ironma'm Blog 1: Support
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
OK.. I know some of you are looking at this and going GWENNNN it's IRONMAN... and yes you are 100% right! However, my 7 yr old david... corrected me... on that i am a Ma'm... NOT a man.. So i will be an Ironma'm! Gotta love the way kids minds work.. Wonder if i can get the Ironman brand to change that. ;) Lol..
So Ironman.. What is it?? Well it's 140.6 miles of excitement, pain, fatigue, sometimes torture, loneliness.. BUT FUN! the breakdown is 2.2 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike, then a 26.2 miles of running fun.. I know.. I can hear all of your minds in unison shouting: YOU ARE CRAZY! Gone are the days of Sprint Tri's... now i've escalated to the pinnacle: Ironman! Honestly.. I will say.. it's a calling.. no if's and's or but's about it.. I have watched the Ironman championchips at Kona off and on( airing this year 10/13..btw). The level of endurance has ALWAYS fascinated me... I can remember for a long long time.. My ex when we were together always told me.. I needed to figure out what would make me happy. SInce my first Sprint Triatholon.. I KNEW i had found it... that something within myself... to push and excell... to bike 50+ miles out... enjoying the silence and the scenery... even when the loneliness after 70 miles is aching... Or my feet like feel like they're on fire after mile 20 from running.. or i wonder how much pond/pool/ lakewater my stomach can handle when i accidently suck in..... Lucky for me i belong to an awesome tri club... there will be several of us looking to conquer our first ironman in 2013. IN fact i think at IMLP i will be there with 10 fellow teammates.. Huge number clubwise...
Now with that.. How and WHY would you think i would need to blog about support. Well I"ve done a modified Ironman schedule training for just my HalfIronman this year.. i have 75 team members... Most times.. none of our schedules matchup... But SUPPORT is critical... to see a tent with the team logo at the end of the HIM was AWESOME.. teammates standing there cheering til the last 1(there were 12 there that day) crossed the finish line.. to SEE that familiar face at packet pickup.. night before prep.. same day race.. even during... POWERFUL! It keeps you going.. it keeps you MOVING.. especially when thoughts of not sure how much long my butt can stay on this bike... or even when my feet are on FIRE( seriously feel like it) and i'm thinking.. WHY THE HECK AM I HERE!?!?! at every moment i was able to see a familiar face...to simply smile.. or wave or KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GWEN! ANd the cheering at the end... for me.. it's one of the most important things.. to ease away the loniless... to know there is someone THERE.. who knows how much i can do it... this year at my HIM.. It was my daughter Liz and my friend JUlie... :)
But race day is NOT the only day for support..Ironman training is 20 weeks... For me it's 30 weeks.. I stretch it out simply because my body needs more time for adjustment...it's THOSE 30 weeks that are the most pivitol.. Makes every race worth it.. to be able to sit down with family and friends and say.. I need to accomplish X,Y,Z today.. and if it's something where it's a long run on the weekend where i have boys... either someone watching them and/ or for longer rides and runs.. my sag wagon to help with pivitol hydration and nutrition stops...even for a simple hug and "great job keep it going!" THose are key!
ANd i think the MOST PIVITOL support of all is this: Understanding. KNowing as much as i can squeeze in training during weekday hours when the boys are at school.. sometimes it runs after.. Sometimes i have to miss events or be late to family gatherings because of my training schedule or cut out early because of training. The only thing i do not miss is my kids events. Everything else is negotiable... ANd it's not that it's being done to be spiteful or mean.. It's because i've made a commitment to something that is important in my life..whether it's the Half Ironman, Marathon, now the Ironman which i will restart full scale training for that 1/1/2013...It makes me feel happy, humanly satisfied, even when i'm sitting there crying in a puddle of tears pushing myself to do one more flipping pushup or whatever my friend Grace( she's a PT) has me doing.. Because i know there is a reason for it.. I may thing she's a sadist and is crazy and secretly curse her in my head... But i KNOW it's for my best interst. So i push.. and i cry.. and i complain.. and i sit in ice baths...wrap my knees.. roll my legs..go to bed at 8:30pm with my kids to wake up early to rinse and repeat tomorrow.... all for 1 thing...to realize my dream....
To hear: GWEN RIKER... YOU are an IRONMAN!
It's worth the dream... no matter what YOU choose to do... I don't care if it's only to lose 5lbs or even 100lbs... SUPPORT of a person.. is first and foremost.
So until tomorrow sparkland... You all have an AWESOME day! :)