Have I mentioned that I’m an Ironman?!
When I was training for Ironman Wales, I took the whole process so seriously that it became a do or die event. I had to finish the Ironman. Had to.
I hired an amazing coach, I followed his plan, I carefully managed what I ate, how much I drank (water and tea with the occasional juice for a treat!), my sleep and the slightest twinge that could signal the first sign of an injury was fully investigated, stretched and discussed at length with my training buddies.
I was an absolute pleasure to be around.
I did enjoy the whole process and looking back, I’m not sure I would change anything, except that I would have had more fun.
I would have enjoyed the views rather than continually checking my heart-rate monitor, I would have allowed myself one late night a week (you know, past 10pm) and I would have stopped to chat when I spotted someone I knew. Ok, that last one is not 100% true but I would have stopped to talk to the animals I passed.
Was it worth the unmitigated focus and dedication? I think so because I loved every second of the race and I achieved my dream of crossing the finish line.
Could I have done things differently? Abso-freaking-lutely.
I’ve learnt from this. I’m training for a half marathon. It feels almost as tough as Ironman after the year I’ve had. Today, I was supposed to run eight miles according to my plan. I had a rough guess at a route and set off. My geography is pretty shocking and I ended up doing ten miles. I stopped to chat to another runner, took a photo of the sun rising and had an in-depth speed coaching session from my new friend, Eric.
It’s not like I’m a threat to the elite field, I never have been, so why not enjoy it more? Was I slower than I would have been if I had stuck rigidly to the plan? No doubt about it. Did I enjoy my morning more than I would have if I had stuck rigidly to the plan? Again, abso-freaking-lutely. Will I still finish the half marathon? I hope so. I’m 100% sure that I will keep asking myself; ‘what if it was fun?’