I've been asked quite a few times since singing up for IMTX "why are you doing this" and always sort of giggle and then respond. I especially enjoy hearing from the folks who I SWORE to in the past I would NEVER EVER EVER sign up for something so stupid. Haha. Never say never.
I thought now would be a good time to share my WHY. I think if you know me well, it makes perfect sense. I love a challenge. I love new things. I love being outside. I love doing something that nobody thinks a human should do. And I really love doing something nobody thinks I can do. Don't get me wrong, nobody has told me flat out I can't do this but I've seen the look on their face and I know they have their doubts. That's ok, there are days I have my doubts too (thankfully not many of them). To me, there's nothing better than proving to myself that I'm a lot tougher than I give myself credit for.
It's been about 6 months since I signed up for IMTX and I have 5 months left to go. It's been a heck of a ride so far. I've had challenges balancing my work life with my workout life. For those of you reading this who work for or who have worked for EY, you understand. This is a demanding place to work which I actually like (Type A personality). In the past, I've never had a problem working ridiculous hours and actually wore it like a badge of honor....someone not in client serving works just as hard as our client serving folks! For the past year though, I've had things I want...I NEED to do. Half ass training may be ok for a sprint or even an Oly but definitely not for a 70.3 or a 140.6. I also don't like half assing anything so it was really tough for me earlier this year to feel like I was letting everyone down...my coach, my teammates, my coworkers. I've worked super hard this summer & fall to find some balance. It's not always easy but I'm doing it. And it's going to get even more difficult in the coming months but I'm up for the challenge!
Before joining Woodlands Fit in 2007, I never thought I would run 13.1 miles. Why would I want to anyway? Driving 13 miles can suck on a bad traffic day. I had a lot of personal things going on and was kind of in a downward spiral. When I started really focusing on running, I snapped out of it and was happy & excited to have something to look forward to. As I went through training, I signed up for races and could see improvement. I loved it. Not only did I enjoy the running but I was getting better. I'll never be supa-fast but that's ok! As the 2008 Houston Half approached, I had my doubts but I showed up and ran. I had no goals except to finish. I didn't know what to expect anyway! My training runs were always slow so I figured finishing in 2.5 hrs would be reasonable. When I finished the run and consulted my trusty Garmin, I saw I had finished in 2:10 and change. Even I knew this was good for a first effort. I did it. I ran the whole way save a few water stops at the end and I felt good.
It may seem I'm digressing a bit but trust me, I'm not. That one race helped me learn that you (me, you, anyone) can do whatever you set your mind to. You just have to want it bad enough. As I reflect on races since then, I can tell you the ones where I've had sub-par (IMO)performances are ones I didn't go into with the same excitement and "want" as I did my first half marathon.
Fast forward to WHY IMTX? Well, because I want to. I really, really, REALLY want to. Yes, I want to wake up bright and early on May 21, 2011 and put on my Team sTRIve swimsuit and hop in Lake Woodlands for 2.4 miles of fun with my teammates and a whole lot of people I don't know. I want to get out of the water (with a smile) and run through T1 and head for my bike and then go for a 112 mile ride on roads I will know like the back of my hand because I've trained on them. After spending most of my day on the bike, I want to get in & out of T2 as fast as I can and embark on the last 26.2 miles of my journey. And most of all, I want to cross the finish line with a huge smile because I just accomplished something I never imagined I would do or could do in a million years. I want to see my friends and family at the end and just celebrate what a huge accomplishment so many of us will achieve that day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about WHY I'm doing this.
So there you have it! For those of you who were curious, now you know why I'm doing something most think is just stupid. For those of you who weren't curious but made it through the end of this post, you're awesome for reading! :) I'm actually including a link to a YouTube video that just makes me cry every time I see it.