Today I did my longest swim ever, the furthest that we will ever do in training for Ironman, and quite possibly the furthest I will ever swim in my life in one go. The Ironman swim is 3.8km. This morning’s swim was 4.3km, so an Iron-distance plus 500m for good measure. 6 loops of the island and it felt amazing!
Swimming is such a temperamental sport. It makes you work so, so hard to get proficient at it. It doesn’t care how good your cardio is from other sports or that you can run marathons already, it demands it’s own fitness. But if you put in the effort, the time, and the patience to master it, it will reward you by improving fitness in every other sport you do. And even though it took you months to be able to swim just 200m in one go, one day just a few short years later you wake up and are swimming over 4km at the same pace that you do 100m, and you are less afraid of doing an Ironman swim in the mighty ocean than you were before doing your first triathlon which was 500m in a quiet dam.
Last week I literally cried while I was doing the canal swim (yeah, in the water mid-swim behind my goggles). It was tears of joy and gratitude, I just couldn’t contain the magnitude of what I was doing and what I was about to do shortly.
I’m starting to get so super excited for race day. It’s 5 weeks to go until Ironman. And there’s still a lot of work to be done to be ready, but it’s about the journey and not the race day alone. It’s about the people we meet, the relationships we form, the suffering we endure, the treats we share, the endless early morning trainings in the dark, and the banter that makes it all feel easier. And most important, it’s about the support of amazing family and friends that makes it all possible.
Ironman is evidence that sometimes….a start line is bigger than a finish line. Because although getting to the finish line is the biggest physical feat that you will ever experience in a single day, trust me… getting to the start is harder!