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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