Tomorrow I leave for Madison. I will do a couple of practice swims in Lake Monona. Aside from those swim, this is it…the final workout.
I was planning a short ride on the trainer followed by a short run on the treadmill. I remembered that this was the same as my very first training day of my 30 week plan. Out of nostalgia, and to complete the circle, I looked up the details of that workout. 8.75 mile spin on the bike trainer, followed by a 2.0 mile treadmill run. So, I did the exact same workout…29 weeks later.
So much has happened. So much has changed. I am the same person, but different in many ways.
I feel prepared, when I never thought I could be. I feel confident when I never thought that could be possible. I feel ready.
Flashbacks hit me during my last two miles.
The first lake swim.
The hypothermia during the MN Ironman bike ride.
Qualifying for the Houston marathon.
The broken rib.
The pain of the dawn to dusk brick.
The PRs at 5k, 10k, and 70.3.
The endless early morning swims.
The consistent juggling of my schedule.
Lights out and in bed by 9 pm (or earlier).
I remember the pain, the rewards, the sacrifices.
I think of how fortunate I am to be healthy enough to even participate in such an event.
I recall where I started three years ago…sedentary, obese, and unhealthy.
I am thankful for having such a supportive and understanding wife who has encouraged me every step of the way.
I think of the (almost) 4000 miles that I have traveled in over 400 hours, just to prepare for this one event. But it is more then that. It has become about the journey, and the change inside. I am healthier…physically and mentally. Old demons have been defeated. The demons that always told me that I couldn’t do it, that I didn’t have the willpower, the strength, the ability. I finally accept that I am an athlete, and that I can do so much more then I ever gave myself credit.
I will never go back to who I was three years ago.
The treadmill stops for the last time.
My gear is packed. In the morning, I drive off to Madison to face my destiny.
I am oddly at peace. I am not anxious or fearful. I have a great deal of respect for what I am trying to accomplish, and success is far from certain.
I have done everything that could be done.
I am trained. I am fit. I am rested. I am healthy.
The final chapter starts tomorrow.
I am ready.