Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nostalgia

I've never seen anybody train for and cross the line at an Ironman, and come out crap on the other side.

This is one of my favorite mantras about the Ironman, and it is so true.  You can't go through the crucible of Ironman training and not change, and rarely, so very rarely is that change not a good thing.

Quite by accident, I returned from my thirty minute run just in time for the Ironman World Championships on NBC.  I hadn't meant to run hard, but I've been listening to my body, and my body wanted to run hard.  The fact that my father's neighborhood is flat here in Mobile did not hurt.  The temps were in the fifties, and there was a strong wind blowing.  My stepmother, God love her, asked me if I wanted a hoodie or a jacket to run in :-)  I laughed and told her that I was running in short sleeves.

As usual, it took me a minute or two to get warmed up, but I managed a 9:17 mile or something like that for the first mile, and after that, it just got better: 8:51, 8:28, and 8:11 for the last half mile.  I've never run here before.  My reward for being brave was a beautiful view of two different lakes.  It was a good run.

These Ironman shows always bring tears to my eyes.  The hard work, the dedication, the stories of survival and failure, they bring a connection.  I've never been strong enough to hang around the Ironman finish line until midnight.  The final hour is especially moving.  Around mile 17 at Ironman Arizona, the enormity of my year weighed heavy on me, and I was so ready for all of it be over.  Training from January to November, and training the last months alone, had taken its toll.

The second Ironman has been birthed.  Things have settled down.  The pain, the struggle, the heart ache, they are all distant memories, and only the happy memories, the pride, the joy, the accomplishment rise to the surface now.  I know that I will be back.  I'm on a three year plan to my toughest Ironman ever, and I want nothing more than for those that have the desire, to share in these things.

Anything is possible...

12 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm glad you had a good run and some time to think about your iron journey

Molly said...

No matter what our background, it's an incredible journey to that finish line. Watching that show - endless advertisements aside - is inspirational and I only wish there were time to hear about more of their stories.

Stef said...

So which Ironman will be your toughest yet?

Nice way to open the post too. Have a wonderful Christmas with your dad.

Richard said...

Awesome post Wes! Merry Christmas!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Want to know how watching Kona made me feel?..... JACED UP..INSPIRED...FOCUSED. I can only imagine what it feels like when you have a few under your belt like you do..

Michelle said...

Love this post - I felt nostalgic just reading it : ) And way to go with those negative splits!!!!!

ironfor40 said...

You are a true champion brother. A true champion. :>)

it's all about pace said...

"Anything is possible... " well said

Marni said...

What a great post! I am always touched by the Ironman on NBC and following other IM athletes through their own personal journey's.
Happy Holidays Wes and family!
-marni

challenges2010 said...

I'd hope after completing 140.3 miles I'd only remember the good times too! :-) You trying for Kona?

In case I'm not back around before....Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Coach Joe said...

Great post! And yes, Anything is Possible. The journey to Mt Ironman is the greatest experience on earth.

My Life and Running said...

Love that mantra. And oh so glad that you "will be back." :)