Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why am I doing this again?

When you sign up for a big challenge, something that is going to require a significant sacrifice of time and money and social life and involves a heck of a lot of hard work, it’s generally a good idea to have a solid understanding of why you’re doing it.

Since last August I’ve been trying to get a grasp on why, exactly, I decided for another go round at IMC.

Really, why would I want to do this again? Constant fatigue, constant hunger, ridiculously early mornings, saying no to pretty much every social event from May forward.

Further, over the past few years I’ve become disenchanted with so many things around the Ironman events: the international company that runs the series; bucket listers doing it for the “wrong” reasons; the ridiculous mythos surrounding the iron distance races; the idea that IM is the only “real” triathlon; etc… My list of what bugs me about Ironman goes on; I won’t bore you with the whole thing.

As I seem to have so many reasons not to, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what IS my reason for doing another IMC.

This past weekend I went to Penticton with a friend for a mini training camp to swim, bike and run on parts of the course. We biked the marathon course on Friday then rode the bike course (or an abbreviated version on my part) on Saturday, as well as doing a number of runs and a swim in Tuclenuit in Oliver.

Going over the hill at Skaha Lake Estates last Friday brought back how I high-fived and cheered on friends as they ran the other way, as they passed me or as I passed them. I told Valencia about cheering on Lisa Bentley, one of my triathlon heroes, as she ran to victory while I was starting my marathon. I pointed out the spots where my sister and mother were waiting to cheer me on. I remembered excitedly blathering on to Andrew about my day and where I thought everyone in the club was and even introduced him to my mother (probably all in one breath) as he ran beside me for 20m at the Skaha aid station at about mile 22 (I’m pretty sure nothing I said made any sense). I thought about the times where I was talking to other racers and where we were running side by side in silence

Riding over Richter, through the rollers and up Yellow Lake, however, was what truly reminded me of what a phenomenally amazing day IMC 2007 was. Moments where the crowds made me feel like a rock star or a Tour de France champion and moments where it was just the sound of my body moving through the water or my wheels turning or my feet hitting the pavement to keep me company.

It was truly one of the best days of my life, the culmination of a year of sweat and tears and panic attacks, a huge event shared with family and friends on the course with me or cheering from the sidelines or their computers.

So why am I going back?

I want to do it again because the :02 in my time of 13:00:02 has been bugging me for five years. I want to have a finish time that starts with 12, darn it! I want to do it again because having a big goal and people to share that goal with is phenomenal. I want to do it again because I love the training, I love the lifestyle, I love the camaraderie, and I love the support I got on course from volunteers, friends, family and total strangers. Most importantly, as I remembered last weekend, I want to do it again because Ironman Canada 2007 was FUN and I want to experience that again.

My Mum took a picture of me after I was finished in which I smile a 1,000 watt grin. I want to grin like this again on August 26 2012! [Picture to be added when I dig it up.]


Cassandra said...

Yay! Well said!

Claire Thompson said...

Great post! I was trying to understand why you were doing it again too--now I know :-)