4 days left. In 5 days, i will be doing -and completing- my first (and hopefully not last) Ironman. 10 years ago it was kind of just this amazing dream or glimmer of wonder. 5 years ago it was a 'maybe one day I will go for it' and a year ago, I was freakin crying tears of worry and joy as I pressed enter and signed up for this damn thing at the tune of $500 or $600 dollars. I don't even remember anymore.
I can't tell you how relieved I am that the day "THE DAY" is almost here! 6+ months of my life and training have suddenly flown by and seriously scared the shit out of me in so many ways.
I remember at first wondering how much I would change. In 6 months, could I adjust to getting up at 5am everyday? Could I muster enough energy to work 8+ hours a day then work out another 2-3 hours? Could I find something inside myself to keep pushing after being on the bike for over 6 hours? Would I forget what all my friends looked like? Would I be able to ride my bike for fun? Would I forget how it felt to get wasted if I really wanted to?
The answers didn't come easy. I struggled for a few months in balancing the right amount of play and the right amount of rest, not to mention the right amount of training. I remember those nights I would go out and play and wake up with the hangover that made me sleep in 'just a few more hours' and would result in an ultra-punishing 3-4 hour bike trainer ride.
I remember night after night after night after night of telling friends I couldn't go out, or driving past my favorite watering holes with a hint of sadness in my eyes. seriously. Or waking up so early in the morning that I could tell my friends still hadn't come in from going OUT the PREVIOUS night. Or seeing the sun rise and sun set in the same day, and be working out BOTH TIMES. shit.
Then, somewhere in there, I forgot about how bad I wanted to continuing living 'that life.' It was almost like I became a new Jessica. It's almost like I moved on from living in the past. I think I stared seriously living in the present. Somewhere in there, I relished balancing work and play. Training got "easier;" I started to enjoy what I was doing. Who I was. What I was becoming.
Do I know who I became or what or anything like that? I don't even really know right now. I suppose this race will really tell me who I am. I mean, I am a pretty tough chick, but facing so many fears like open water swimming, going really fast on the bike and recovering from a serious running injury have taught me a thing or two over the past year and now I'm ready to show the world what I got, not to mention to show myself what I have got.
I can overcome anything. I can do things I can never thought possible. I can actually come to love anything I do that I put my mind and body to do. That things that were so important in the past are what fuel me to be stronger in the present and to keep reaching towards the future.
Yeah, I probably won't finish in the top 1/3 like I usually do in a usual sprint or olympic tri, but you know what? I'm doing a fucking Ironman. There are only 3 things I really want from this race when it's all said and done:
1) to finish and have FUN
2) to realize it's been an amazing journey and every sacrifice was completely worth it
3) a freakin IM tattoo, cause all the cool kids have one
see you all at the finish line on Saturday, around 10pm. I'm #155 and you can also track me here: