It's been a rough few weeks. If you have been following my posts, you know that things mentally have been rough, but Ironman Maryland has been my beacon of hope. In the weeks leading up to MD, I was scrambling to find funding so I would have a job after fiscal year end. I literally did not have employment until the week before MD. Keeping my mental state in check was turning into a struggle. I finally cried the day before I left for MD and I was defeated. Everything that has happened the past year had finally caught up and I was overwhelmed. I was crushed.
But at least I had IM MD. I had been obsessively following the weather and tropical storm Joaquin and how it would impact Cambridge. Cambridge is notorious for flooding because it is so low lying. There was no word from the race directors on the race status, so we went ahead and flew to MD. Once of the plane, an athlete was live tweeting the athlete's meeting and the race was a go. It was going to be a very wet and windy one, but I was relieved that the race was still on. I didn't care, I just wanted to race.
Two hours later, we were in the car heading to my parents house when I was checking facebook for race updates. And bam. The race had been canceled. I can't really describe how I felt, other than I was stunned. I had spent the past year focusing on it because I had channeled all my anger, sadness, and anxiety into training for this race. People are right when they say that Ironman is so much more than just a race.
The race had been rescheduled for Oct 17th. How the hell was I going to pull traveling cross country again in two weeks? I was worried that my fitness wouldn't be there, that I couldn't take more time off work, and if I would even be into mentally. I basically spent a few days moping. I did some workouts in MD, but I didn't know if it would be enough. So this week I need to make a decision.
After days of going back and forth of whether to try and get a spot in IM AZ or travel back. Finally, I got fed up and decided to screw my head on straight and refocus. I was going to go back and do MD. My fitness will be there because I did the work. A weekend would not screw up my race. Yesterday I ran a little over 7 miles at the fastest pace in training this year. I have to remember that IM is mostly mental, just like swimming. Oddly, the cancellation may be a blessing in disguise. I feel better mentally and physically and I am going into next weekend with far more confidence.
So now I am getting excited again. I cannot wait to be at that start line. I cannot wait to swim with 2000+ (assuming people can make it back) of my best friends. I can't wait to be at mile 25 of the marathon realizing I only have 1.2 miles left. And crossing that finish line will mean so much more than just crossing - it means I have endured and beaten everything thrown at me this year. It is time to move forward and rid myself of the baggage.
"At the start of an Ironman you have never felt more alive. There is the feeling that anything and everything is possible."