In some ways, I have yet to accept what I will put my body through next Sunday. I haven’t fully wrapped my head around the idea that I will be running a marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles. It scares me. When I think about it, I kind of get excited, but mostly get the heart-pounding butterfly feeling in my stomach. So instead, I am trying to focus on only one discipline at a time and not think about what lies ahead until it’s time to tackle it. I mean, I’ve swam 2.4 miles before. I’ve biked 105 miles. I’ve run a bunch of marathons. I can do each of those distances.
But I know I will reach a point next Sunday when I don’t want to take another step. When I will want to sit on the side of the road and stop. Maybe cry. Maybe quit. It will happen. It’s just a question of when.
So rather than freak out about it (which is pointless since the race is just 11 days away), I am trying to work on my physical and mental readiness. Physically, I will do what I can to postpone that moment. Things like tapering, getting enough sleep, fueling and hydrating properly on the bike, taking it as easy as I can on the bike. They will all help delay that pain. But, it will come.
Mentally, I am working on visualization, race strategy, worst-case scenarios.
I’ve written about how I’ve worked on strengthening my mind these last few months during Ironman training. I’ve written about how I have gotten used to running uncomfortably. I have practiced running tired. I have come to expect and welcome the pain. I’ve taught myself how to keep pushing. I’ve written about how I use certain mantras (Embrace the Pain, Tired is JUST a state of mind) to get me through a tough run or race.
I plan to write out some of these mantras and put them in my fuel belt, write one or two on my arm, and put the others in my drop bag and/or tape them to the outside (most likely my T2 and special needs run bag which I will have access to at the halfway point of the run).
But I need your help. I want more of them. I want to have a whole list of them that I can use and repeat to myself when things get dark. Ones that will push me. Maybe put a smile on my face.
So tell me, what is your favorite mantra that you use???
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