I am in Hamburg getting ready for Ironman Hamburg. I have done this twice before, so I know I can do the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, so why am I so anxious. Maybe it is the lack of training. Maybe it’s the heat which not only concerns me because of the impact it can have, but also the likelihood of a non wetsuit swim. Maybe it’s the pressure I feel to deliver a better time, despite my lack of training. Probably it’s a combination, but either way I’m feeling nervous about Sunday.
I entered Ironman Hamburg whilst on holiday in Kalmar prior to taking part in my second Ironman. I felt underprepared then, and had found it difficult with my work situation to get enough training in. I knew I was capable of more, so before I even took part in the Ironman I had booked Hamburg with the intention of training properly and getting the time I’m capable of. See my Ironman Kalmar Blog.
I had good intentions on training for the Ironman. I have been struggling to get a good work, family, life balance, let alone consider the training needed to properly prepare for the Ironman. Don’t get me wrong, I have good endurance, having run a marathon or half marathon most weekends, but often that’s the only training I have done. I have swam twice this year, and my cycling has been far from desired. I recently started to cycle to work, so at least I have confidence that I remember how to use the thing. I want to train harder, I would love to go to Kona, but know I would have to dedicate a lot to my training, something I’m not able to do at the moment. I could have done more, but I’m not going to dwell on what I’ve not done, instead I’m going to structure expectations, I want to finish, I wont be breaking any records.
The swim makes me nervous, I’m not the best swimmer in the world and drag my legs like an anchor. I think it’s the unknown and lack of practice that has made me most anxious. But I know I can do it, it may be slower, but I can keep going, and I can definitely do it in the cut off. I need to stop putting pressure on myself and remember that all I want to do is get through it. My wetsuit is usually my comfort blanket, I’m cautious as I don’t like being kicked in the face, but I’m still going to do it. As someone said, I will make up time not taking off the wetsuit. The bike will be fine, it won’t be fast, but it’s a flat course, so suits me. In fact there is a possibility that despite the lack of training I could PB on the bike because of how flat it is. And the run, well I know I can do that.
I have had a lovely day in Hamburg, walking miles around the zoo, I’m so full of food and beer I can’t move (don’t worry I plan on hydrating now). I’m here on holiday, and although we are here for the Ironman, it can’t be the only priority, so I will spend the next few days enjoying family time. It’s hard not to stress, but I know I can do it, and I will be a 3 x Ironman. It may not be the time I want, it will hurt more than it needs to, but I will do it. And next time I will find the time and train properly, honestly. But that won’t stop the nerves, and that’s not a bad thing. Thank you so much to everyone for their words of encouragement. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.