Thursday, January 24, 2008

Motivational Magic

Going through some documents yesterday I came across this one, which I had written not long after completing the Ironman at Forster back in 2004. As I read it I could feel the hairs rising on the back of my neck; it was an amazing achievement. If ever I need a motivational boost then all I need do is read this again. It will be in instalments because it is quite long. Here is the first instalment of an amazing adventure..........

Ironman Australian Triathlon, April 4 2004

It is 5.40am Sunday 4 April 2004 and I am madly searching through my fairly empty gear bag for swimming goggles which are not there, trying not to feel sick. I'm at the 19th Ironman Australian triathlon at Forster-Tuncurry, 35 minutes before the swim start and I can't find my goggles. Not only that but for the first time ever in the history of the Australian Ironman it was going to be a non-wetsuit swim, due to the water temperature. Why, why, did it have to be this year?!

Rewind to Sunday April 6 2003 - Kerry O'Neill and I are in Forster to watch our first Ironman and to support a couple of Kerry's friends from Alice Springs who were doing the event. "You'll be doing it next year," friends warned me when I told them I was going to watch the Ironman, "You won't be able to help yourself!" Don't be silly, I told them - who would be mad enough to swim 3.8km, cycle 180.2km and then run a marathon after that? Certainly not me! The sheer size of the event amazed us, the thousands of supporters, the 1500 or so competitors, the accompanying infrastructure - no other triathlon I've attended comes even close to the size and atmosphere of the Ironman. And then there's the finish - it feels and looks like everyone in Forster is down at the finish shute, cheering people on, whether they come in 1st, 10th, 1230th, or last. In fact it is the only event I know where everyone stays to the very end - its one big party! It was at this point that a little thought started niggling away - some of those people doing this event looked very normal and if they can do it, then well maybe so can I. Uh oh……..that finish has sucked me in - I wanted to do an Ironman!!!!!!

And what a year its been since then - cycling in below zero temperatures during Winter; a very memorable ride to Murrumbateman by myself in sleet and strong winds and being attacked in the face by a vicious magpie on the return trip; all the food that I was able to eat and not put on weight! (the Tim Tam training diet); the half ironman in Forster in November last year - during the run wondering why the hell I was doing this; hearing my name in the rolldown process after the Half Ironman when I was offered a spot at the Ironman; all those laps in the pool, all those kms on that bike seat; those 'lovely' bike/run sessions on a Wednesday (130km cycle followed by a 20km run); those days when I wondered why the hell I was doing this - those thoughts happened more frequently early this year; the bombshell dropped at the briefing the day before the Ironman - no wetsuits allowed, the first time in 19 years; and finally the realisation about 35mins before the race start that my goggles were not in my bag!

To be continued.......

5 comments:

IHateToast said...

i keep forgetting what a bad ass you are. i think it's because you forget to growl when i see you. or because you're tamed by the chocolate and coffee beasts.

Ewen said...

She's not a bad ass. She's a mild booty.

Installment 1 and we've only got to the goggles. Will we be finished before the Canberra Marathon?

Jen_runs said...

Oooooh I'm getting goosebumps reading it. Bring on the next instalment!

iliketoast said...

Wow, loved reading this, ready for next one .... hurry!

Black Knight said...

Si, molto interessante (I am sure you understand very well my language after your long trip) and I agree with Iliketoast: "ready for the next one".