Life Lessons Learned From My First Ironman

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Three years ago, today, I became an Ironman. This morning while I drank my coffee in the pre-dawn hours before my run, I spent some time on Facebook and Timehop. All the emotions of that day came roaring back as I looked at friends’ posts on my wall, the comments from friends and family and the amazing photos that my awesome sister uploaded in order to keep everyone updated.

July 28, 2013 was one of the best days of my life – for so many reasons. Obviously being able to call myself an “Ironman” (and have it in my bio ) is a pretty sweet reward. But that day was so much more to me. I know I’m three years removed, but I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned from that experience.

Wait for the fire. There was a marked moment when an Ironman went from being something fun to watch on TV to a fire in my stomach and something I wanted to do. For years, I would watch Kona on TV with my husband and talk about how cool it would be to do one one day. But that was it. A couple of days after the Ironman would air, doing one would be out of sight, out of mind. It was one of those “lifetime goals” that didn’t have any weight to it.

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    New Fall Marathon + How To Run A Faster Marathon

    10 miler

    So not so great news to share…I have deferred my entry for the Wineglass Marathon until next year. Life, family and circumstances sometimes get in the way of our big plans and goals and as much as I was looking forward to racing in a few short weeks, ultimately, it really was the best decision for me, my training and my family. (Not trying to be vague but also not sharing all the details here.)

    I hope to still race a marathon sometime in November – just haven’t registered for one yet. My short-list (right now) includes: Philly, Richmond and Potomac River Run. Have you raced any of these? Thoughts?

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    I wanted to share my thoughts on how to run a faster marathon. Let me preface this all by saying that after taking a considerable amount of time off from my first to second marathons, I’ve mostly stayed at the same finish time (I’m working on improving that time right now and will obviously update this as necessary when I do!).

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      Pregnancy and the Marathon

      My finish line!

      As I approach my due date (6 weeks!!!), I’ve begun thinking back to my son’s birth…trying to visualize what it will be like this time around.  It’s easy for me to remember the moments post labor & delivery and much harder to recall the period just before.  I vaguely remember what the contractions and pain felt like (even though I chose to go epidural-free) but can clearly imagine the moments when I first held my son.

      The more I’m bringing these memories to the forefront of my mind, the more I’m realizing that pregnancy and childbirth are A LOT like running a marathon (at least for me!).

      – There never is “the right time” to do either.  Work is hectic, there’s a ton of other time commitments,  financially you don’t feel ready…the list goes on and on.  While having a child is much more of a long-term commitment, you realize that there comes a point where you just have to take the plunge and go for it.  And as my mom always says…everything will work out in the end.

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