Facebook has some features that I find to be rather irksome at times, but today, I thought it was pretty cool that in the side bar, it had "On This Day in 2010" along with the two status messages I'd posted one year ago today.
The first status message, posted in the wee hours of the morning, read: It's a great day for 140.6 miles in Louisville!
The second status message, posted at the very end of the day, read: Anne-Marie is an IRONMAN! :) 13:23:20! 38th/120 age group starters, 942th overall. I got clocked in the head on the swim, I am sunburned, chafed & blistered, and I probably won't be able to walk normally for a week, but this was such an incredible experience for me! I loved every minute of it (ok, *almost* every minute)! Thanks so much for the support, well-wishes & congrats. It means more to me than you probably think :)
(Side note: apparently completing an iron distance race leads to lapse in basic brain function and/or such euphoric conditions that one writes "942th" instead of "942nd"!)
It's crazy to think that it's been exactly one year since I did this. A few friends of mine did Ironman Louisville yesterday, and it was fun to
But what I think is more important is to look at how finishing Ironman Louisville changed me. I think we've all heard the adage, "You can do anything you put your mind to." While finishing IM Louisville is an example of this in itself, I think having reached that goal has given me the confidence boost I needed to actually believe it. I also think it gave me the confidence I needed to take my training and racing to the next level.
I don't think I would have even attempted the Dirty Dozen bike ride last fall if I hadn't done Louisville. (In a way, the Dirty Dozen training filled the training void in my life after Ironman training ended.) It also gave me the confidence to get back into road racing this summer and pursue the category 3 upgrade after thinking I'd never be able to move beyond category 4, and to believe I had a shot at qualifying for the elite amateur wave at the Philly Tri this summer.
Ironman really is a life-changing experience, and I think it essentially comes down to this mentality: "If I can finish an Ironman triathlon, I can (fill in the blank here with seemingly difficult or impossible task)."
I've had a blast doing a lot of relatively shorter races this summer, and over the course of the summer I had wondered if I'd want to do another Ironman in 2012 as I'd planned, or if I'd rather continue with the shorter races for another season. Tracking the race yesterday, and re-reading my post from last year today, has reignited the spark to go back to Louisville next year. Guess it's time to start saving up and allocating funds for the entry fee!