If you go to the Ironman Florida site you will see the count down clock ... in fact right now it reads 14 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes and 16 seconds! Wait, 15 seconds! Wait ... you get the picture....
I get to run today and I get to run pretty long considering it's my first week of taper. My plan calls for an hour and a half run this weekend. Since our weekend is now are filled with hockey (4 times this weekend), and Theatricks, plus a family photo shoot this weekend, I am happy to get my runners laced up and hit the road for a nice, easy long run on this Friday. The sun is going to shine once this fog burns off and the winds appear to be light and it's going to be a great day for a run.
As the excitement builds and race day gets closer, I think a lot about the things I will think about during the long day that will be November 3rd. The thoughts that will push me through my 6 hour bike ride and especially what is going to get me through the "hurt" on the run and across the finish line. There will be thoughts of my kids, my husband, my parents. Thoughts of kids who have touched my life, that no longer can run, like Darcy and Stella. Thoughts of people I have lost, my Papa, my grandmas, my Ma Beatty. Thoughts of those who are battling something much more than the Ironman. There will be happy thoughts too - like knowing how many friends will be tracking my progress as the day goes by, cheering for me from far away places and of course my family at the finish line!
I often get asked why I'm doing an Ironman. I get my fair share of head shakes and "wow you are crazy" or "a FULL marathon???" but mostly over the year my friends and acquaintances have just realized that once I put my mind to something, I'm going to do it and I really don't care what other's think.
When I was a child, I was not athletic at all. I didn't play soccer or hockey, I didn't swim competitively, I didn't try out for the track team. I did keep the 5th grade basketball and 8th grade volleyball benches warm. I was an pudgy kid and struggled with body image and my weight my entire life. Luckily I could fall back on my academics to give me a path and a purpose, but sport never presented me the opportunity to excel.
I became a bit of a gym rat when I was at university but my weight yo-yo'd throughout my 20's as my professional life had me travelling all the time which wasn't conducive to a healthy lifestyle. It wasn't until after the birth of Calli Anna that I decided to focus on a healthy lifestyle, and now, 8 years later, I no long struggle with my weight, though I will always struggle with my body image. And now, 8 years later I'm running an Ironman, and if you want to know why - the answer is simply because I CAN.
A year ago, I could NOT swim 2.4 miles.
I could NOT ride my bike for 6 plus hours.
I could NOT run a marathon.
But, today I can. And I will. And I will relish every moment, because I can.