Diary of a Madman: Road to Ironman 2015…It’s is all about the journey.

Training update:  Road to Ironman 2015

Weight: 205 (still)

On Tuesday when I was running with my buddy Dan he asked me since the YMCA tri was over if I was in “full half marathon training?”  I said no, that I was waiting until next week to decide how I wanted to prepare for the 10/25/14 race.  It will be the last road half of the year, the tri’s are over for me for the year, and other than maybe a November 5K an the Huff 50K in December I don’t have specific race plans for the rest of the year.  Not because I don’t want to but work and life preclude me racing as much as my passion allows.

I know its sound like I may be getting deep here but bare with me.  After the run Tuesday I began thinking about what Dan had said and light went off in my head (no comments).  I came to the realization that I had always been preparing for each race individually, which, we do when we compete, but it struck me that as I change my lifestyle to reflect a healthier, fitter, more energetic me, it becomes less about the races and more about the journey to finish them strong and build upon the knowledge I gain in-between.  I have learned so much in my two year adventure to transform myself from sick and fat to healthy and competitive.  My nutritional knowledge, admittedly still minimal, my training knowledge, and my self-awareness have never been more in tune.

When I train, run or cycle (swimming is still more of a life and death splash fest from one end of the pool to the other) I am in another place mentally and emotionally.  My buddy Jim said not to long ago that he would rather be on his bike than any other place.  I knew what he meant.  Those few hours training daily have us focused on one thing, getting better, stronger and faster (ok three things), but not just physically but mentally as well.  I am speaking for myself here but training helps me grow.  There is something very cathartic about hitting a PR or just pushing your body to the next level even if that is just another feet on the run or one more hill on the ride.

The races are the check points for me not the destinations.  They tell me if I prepared correctly or if I just prepared better than before.  Prior to my first tri I would have had no idea what a transition area was or how to navigate it…or the importance of treating it as another critical component of the race.  Yea,  15 minutes of transition time in my first 70.3…that kills your time.  Two years ago I thought you could run in whatever shoe was in the closet, never even thought about how to or if you should hydrate on a run.  I’m still figuring out how to eat properly without crashing my bike.  All of it is “The Journey.”

This journey has taught me a very important lesson about patience.  My progress is marked by seconds, pounds, and aches!  I learned that I got unhealthy over a 20 year timespan, but it can change overnight…just in itty bitty microscopic changes you may not see for days or even weeks.  My family has been instrumental in my success.  Encouraging me, acknowledging my progress and hard work, showing up for races when they only get to see me for a few second passing by and at the finish.  My wife Karin, who puts up with my, “Hey I need to register for a race!” texts, or “I am at the bike shop and I need (insert any of 1000 items we need for the bike)…”  All of that is so important for me to succeed.

I see all the posts about some of my Southern Indiana Triathlon Teammates preparing and heading off to the Louisville Ironman (jealous).  I am excited to be on track to join them next year.  I see determination in their faces and know, even in my limited time in the sport, how hard they have worked to compete in this race.  The race will pass and they make memories but I dare say they will remember the path they took to get there..the good and the bad.  They will learn and adjust to be better next time.

So I say to everyone who is reading (all, like,7 of you!) remember its about the journey.  Enjoy the journey, learn from it and praise yourself for taking it.  Your are today, a better, fitter, healthier (mind, body, and spirit) you than you were yesterday.  I am excited this is my life.  I look forward to my training and my races.  I look forward to sharing what I learn with you and I look forward to seeing everyone at the starting line.

I rambled and digressed…but it was on my heart,

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”


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