Coach Joel has the above quote on his website, and I think it reveals the enormous responsibility he puts on himself coaching all of us. Just over two weeks out from Ironman, before the nerves set in, I thought I’d take the time to reflect a bit on the training I’ve done this year and for this race. Regardless of what happens on the 23rd, which would inevitably color what I might write post facto
, this has been a tremendous year. Despite being my third Ironman, it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t experience my first one in the usual way. So much of what happened in Canada made it a strange race from a mental perspective. I had none of the panic, nervousness, anxiety, and fear that I had before Arizona in April becaue I simply didn’t have the time. This time around, at least with two weeks to go, I feel a whole lot better (both phsyically and mentally), and I think that after all that I’ve put in this year, I have a real sense that I am “training properly.” Or, really, that Coach Joel is training me properly. This is of course is not to imply that he ever was not training me properly, which I don’t think is the case, more to say that I think I’ve grown this year as an athlete to simply “trust the work.”
Sometimes keeping everything balanced feels like trying to navigate your way down the “tunnel” in the photo above. The straight and narrow, if you stay on it, makes things pretty easy. But small deviations and blips in the road can easily snare you. Okay, that’s enough of that metaphor. Really I just thought it was a cool photo and was thinking of way to use it. I do think it’s applicable, but I don’t want to overplay it.
It’s been very interesting to get ready for so many different races this year, and I’ve really enjoyed the variety of training that racing short course brought to the table. The training for the Ironman has been different than in April as well, with a different focus, and I think the application of a lot of what we learned this year. It’s a wonderful feeling to sense that you have that understanding of what makes your body tick, what works and what doesn’t.
Thank you Coach Joel. It’s been a great year, and I can’t wait to close it out in true BAMF fashion.