Hello, (tap tap tap), is this on? Anybody out there? Sorry, you may have all left by now, I'm a little late and all.
Been busy, training and stuff. It's been pretty awesome getting back into everything, getting the old iron fitness cleaned and pressed. And I've been thinking, of course, about the nature of extraordinary.
Now, if you didn't know me from this blog it might take me a couple of minutes to get around to the fact that I'm an Ironman. It's not that I'm looking for reasons to bring it up it's just that it's such a part of my life and who and what I am that it would be like not mentioning my husband, or my dog, or my love of cake. So, it comes to pass that Saturday I'm out on our raft at our cottage with our neighbours and their guests. We're all hanging out, 5 adults, 2 kids, and 2 dogs really enjoying the water and sun. The subject of Ironman comes up, naturally, as I chat with the guest about summer, our property, etc.
He's impressed and full of a dozen questions as we tread water, cooling off while I answer them. I try to be humble about the whole thing (hard for me 'cause I'm awesome) but I do imagine him expressing amazement to our friends and their (good natured) rolling of the eyes..."yeah, they're Ironman but did you check out the plywood on their deck, a little less Iron a little more deck building please", they would say.
So, back to the title of the piece. I didn't forget it. What was going on there on the raft and in the water was permission to be extraordinary. I'm proud of my accomplishment and I don't downplay it. I believe by acknowledging other people's interest and amazement I both honour their compliment and also put into their heads the fact that they too can be extraordinary.
I had already been extraordinary myself that day. We were doing a double race weekend with a sprint distance on Saturday and an Olympic on Sunday. Getting off the bike that morning I set out singing 99 bottles of beer on the run. I had gotten to about 35 bottles when I realized that I hadn't even thought about walking. I have never run the entire run course in a race. Granted, it had been a few years since I only had 5 k to run but, whatever the distance, I suddenly realized that I had to give myself permission to be extraordinary. I spend time giving others that gift so why didn't I deserve the same treatment?
I vowed to run the course, aid stations excepted, and I found in the end, it was much easier to do that then to play the mind games of when to run, when to walk, along with the physical agony of going from one mode to another. The idea that I could also run the 10k in the Olympic, the next day, started to form in my head and, well, you guessed it. I ran that 10k after a surprisingly tough 40 k on the bike. My stress fractured toe wasn't a big fan but if Jens Voight can tell his legs to shut up I can tell my toe to quit bitching as well. I also promised just 5 k running this week vs 65 last. And cake, I promised my toe cake. You do what you've got to do on your Iron journey.
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