An Ironman Mindset

An Ironman Mindset

Ironman Wisconsin 2012 run low resby Jim R.

While Ironman Wisconsin isn’t until September 8, 2013, it’s been on my mind since signing up in September 2012. Lately it’s been on my mind more than ever as I inch closer to the big date.

On one of my solitary runs on vacation I realized, with only 173 days remaining, that over half a year has gone by since I first stood in line to sign up for the race and that before I know it the day will be here. So before more time passes on this Ironman journey I wanted to take some time and document some of my thoughts.

While I love running with my fellow teammates on Saturday mornings because it makes the run fly by, it’s during my solitary run, swim, and bike workouts that my mind really focuses on where this training should take me. Each workout that gets completed takes me that much closer on my journey to Ironman Wisconsin and has the purpose of getting me there healthy and prepared. These days I don’t just mindlessly go through each workout but try and understand what I may be able to take away from that workout that will get me through that day in September. What will help make me mentally tough to fight the demons, which Coach Joe speaks of, that will almost definitely come on that day, so preparing my mind as well as my body.

At a recent CompuTrainer session I happened to point out to Coach Joe that I was focusing on how tough the last interval, thirty minutes away, was going to be. As you would expect, Coach Joe, always the quintessential coach, told me to stay in the moment. If you’re swimming, focus on swimming; running, focus on running; and biking, focus on what you’re doing right then and not what lies ahead. This defining moment, while fleeting, has stuck with me for each workout after that when I’ve found my mind wandering past the point I was at. I see this tip serving me well in September.

Also during these solitary workouts I think of all the people besides Coach Joe that are a part of this journey in some way, as no one succeeds alone. My Father, who has been gone for many years but I think about often during these times, taught me what perseverance was all about by being part of what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation.” My Mother was always rock solid and taught me nothing is impossible that you put your mind to. Cheryl, my wife, probably has no idea how much strength she bestows on me and is one of the strongest women I know. Without her I’d be lost. My fellow Experience Triathlon teammates push me to become better than I think is possible and provide support when things just aren’t quite going right.

On that day in September, when everything comes together, I will summon every ounce of strength – both mental and physical – from those that have supported my journey and put it to good use.


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  • Alyse Kondrat

    Go Jim! Enjoy the moment!

  • Thanks for sharing your journey toward the Ironman Jim. I really enjoy seeing the transformation that takes place along this path. I’m honored to support you on this adventure and look forward to seeing how it unfolds. I’m guessing it’s going to be a sunny and 80 kinda ride! 🙂

  • Dar Super

    Jim, thanks for sharing. You are dedicated and will do fantastic!

  • Jeff P

    I’m so excited to watch you on your Ironman Journey! You’ve totally got the mindset to have a great race. The race, of course represents 1% of the journey. The other 99% is getting yourself to moment when your floating on your back and looking at the rising sun before the boom of the cannon….

    • Oh, that’s one of my favorite moments! The cannon!!!

  • Amy H

    I can’t wait to see you cross that finish line in September. Your postive attitiude is contagious.

  • Natalie H

    What a tremendous message Jim. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to cheer you on in Madison.

  • Cathy Obordo

    I’m so happy to support your IM journey, Jim! You’re an outstanding athlete and you’re going to rock it out on race day!! I look forward to sharing our future stories and reflections about the hard training days, the fast days, the long days and the happy days to come. We’re going to have a blast!! Woot!!!

    • Jim R

      I’m looking forward to sharing the training journey with you Chilly, those long 6 hour bike rides, the brick runs, and the whole package its going to be a great summer. We’re ready for it.

  • Bill J

    Jim, this is a big goal, but one I think you a very capable of achieving. Your mother was right, nothing is impossible. We will all be there to support and push you on your journey.

  • Drew Repoza

    You’ve got a great attitude, Jim! I look forward to watching and cheering as you complete this journey.

  • Sarah Farsalas

    So excited for you (and Cheryl) to experience this entire adventure, Jim! Can’t wait to see you cross the finish line, and maybe live a little vicariously through you in the meantime. 😉 And the whole “staying in the moment” thing….that’ll surely be our mindset when we are pedaling up Figueroa Mountain and it’s 20’ish% glory in a couple of weeks!!

  • Great message, Jim, and certainly one that we all need to remember as we get closer and closer to race day. It is so exciting and comforting to know that “we’re all in this together” as we face some of the longest and toughest workouts we’ve ever done in preparation for race day. Like Chilly, I also look forward to sharing the experience with you!!!