Logging on to Endurance Nation this morning was a line I dreamed of since I registered for IM Wisconsin almost a year ago- "Week 20 of 20". I am at the end of my training. But instead of pride or excitement or any emotion I would expect to feel, I felt doom. My time has run out. I feel I am just getting started.
Looking at the IMWI facebook group, the excitement is insane, and I love that. People are discussing all their packing, their crazy emotions, and M dot tattoos. And I'm not feeling it. I feel like I am imposter, and that my training plan has progressed to week 20, but I'm back in pre-season myself.
I don't want to say that this isn't a huge deal to me and that I'm not super excited, because it is a big deal and I am excited. I just don't have that feeling of "I've worked so hard for this" like I know most do. While I have many reasons for not wanting a tattoo, frankly, I don't believe I have earned one.
I feel guilt for not respecting the training program. But the truth is, I did a lot. Yes, I slacked for a while with life getting in the way, but I had some pretty big obstacles this year and I am proud of overcoming them. Even when I got my training on track, it was far less than perfect. I never did interval runs, and due to shin pain from my time as a slacker, typically skipped at least one run a week. Bike rides here and there were missed, and my Sunday "Z3" ride was very often Z1 with a smattering of Z2. And swims, well, yeah. We won't get into that.
I need to focus on what I have done, not what I didn't. I did two rides of about 103 miles, both on the course. I did two 2.5 hr runs. I did more than most people ever dream of doing. Yes, it wasn't as much as I wanted, but I really have many reasons to be proud of myself. Maybe it is a good thing I don't feel like I've given it all for this race, because this is a game, and how healthy is it to really sacrifice all aspects of your life? I will finish and I will finish wanting more.
I did swim today, and the start was tough. My arms felt sore, from what, I have no idea. After a bit I loosened up and it wasn't too bad. The highlight though was watching Diana Nyad complete her Cuba to Florida swim on my phone on my way home from the gym. Simply inspiring. It is never too late to chase dreams.