My husband just pulled out of the driveway with my bike and all the rest of my stuff to head up north for Madison. Yipes! With every passing minute, this thing is becoming more real. Last week I got assigned a race number. 2 days ago I swam in the pool in my wetsuit, just b/c I haven't swam in it all year long. Yesterday I got my final pre-race massage. This morning I went out for an easy 30 minute run and came home to finish packing. At 5pm today I'll be on a plane headed towards Chicago, where my husband will pick me up on route to Madison. And Sunday is the race! The race that I've been dreaming of for 10 years. The race that I have put myself through long, hot, tiring training hours for. And hopefully, it'll be the race that I'll hear the words, "Stephanie Honeycutt, you ARE an Ironman!" at the end of. A training partner recently forwarded a copy of an essay written by another triathlete titled "140.6 Reasons To Do an Ironman". (140.6 is the number of miles an Ironman covers: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run.) Here are some of my favorites:
For everyone who has ever asked you "Why?"
For the teachers in school who told you you'd amount to nothing.
To silence the one voice inside your head that still believes that bunk.
I want to laugh at the former cool (now fat) kids at my 20th high school reunion.
Knowing that as you step in the water on race day - YOU MADE IT THIS FAR! Now just get home.
Knowing that after the gun goes off, you don't have to worry anymore.
Because Winston Churchill said I can't ever give up.
Knowing that when you wake up at 4am, the next time you go to bed you'll be a VERY different person.
Finding yourself in the middle of your doubts...finding a new meaning of being scared.
Finding out that you're far stronger than those doubts a few miles later.
To see if it really feels as good to do as it does to dream.
That moment when you know you're going to make it for the first time all day.
The Finish Line.
The first step after you cross the line and think "Oh...My...God...!"
Because they said I can't.
Because I say I can.