Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Two Year Plan

Everyone has some kind of plan for their life, right?  Well folks, somehow or other Ironman became my two year plan.  Somewhere around the Strathmore race last year I decided that an Ironman seemed like a great endurance goal.  I found a coach, decided to race two half Irons this year, and even planned a race and a vacation around showing up for Ironman Canada in order to volunteer and sign up for the 2010 event.

Every time I talked to a teammate or friend on Saturday in Penticton they would ask if I was signing up for 2010.  I would grimace with nerves and shakily say, “yes.”

And somehow on Saturday night it hit me.

The enormity of what I was aiming to do, despite the fact that I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.

And I panicked.

I had the worst pre-race sleep ever last night as I woke up at midnight, 1 am and it is hazy as to whether I was asleep between 1 am and 3 am.  Rough when your alarm is going off at 3:50 am.  In fact, I even had crazy race nightmares when I was asleep, where I dreamed that I had forgotten to race lap 2 on the bike at Lake Stevens and only realized this after 1 lap on the run.  And I wasn’t even racing Sunday.

Why was I all of a sudden so scared, and afraid to admit what I had long been planning to do?

Maybe it is the $600 CDN race fee.
Maybe it had something to do with the sacrifices that I made over the last few months when I was “only” training for a half Iron distance race.
Maybe I was scared of how training for an Ironman would change me.
Maybe I was scared that it wouldn’t change me at all.

My mom reminded me of something this evening though.  That you will never know what you are capable of unless you try.  Back in grade 9 I was scheduled to take a clarinet exam in the United Kingdom just before moving away to Canada.  I was not very diligent with my practicing.  In fact, my teacher was so confident that I would not pass that she strongly encouraged me to not take the exam because she was worried it would reflect poorly on her.  My mom said that there was no way that I wasn’t taking this exam.  If I passed or I failed, it was for me to find out.  If I did fail then I would have to realize that for myself, instead of quitting without knowing how I would really do.

At the exam you usually have no indication of how you do until you receive your results in the mail a month or two later.  Since I was moving my teacher had asked if they could give me a hint at the end of the exam.  The lead examiner told me that I didn’t have anything to worry about.

When the results came, not only had I passed, but this was the highest mark that I had ever received on a music exam, EVER.  Just about gave my teacher a heart attack since she was certain I had flubbed it miserably. 

So how can I know what I am capable of if I don’t try?  And shouldn’t such a big undertaking involve just a little anxiety before committing?  So you can bet that I’ll be in line for registration Monday morning. 

Not that there was any doubt.


Marlene said...

I think you've proven this year that you are more than capable of taking on Ironman. The nerves are understandable - it is a BIG deal. Thinking of you this morning as you line up to register! Can't wait to join you on the journey.

Maddy said...

You have come a long way.

In my eyes you have become stronger and faster and there is no doubt that next year you will crush it!

We'll be watching and rooting for you the whole way to the finish line next year!

You can do this!

Lily on the Road said...

So, are you in the line??? Your story also shows you what a wonderful support system you have with your family and now your blog friends. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. As my blog masthead says,

"Before you can accomplish it, you must expect it from yourself"

Good Luck in all you do Leana, because just like us, *you* know you can!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great two year plan. We'll all be cheering you on!

Molly said...

I'm so excited for you!!! I may be there next year to volunteer and sign up, if so I'll be cheering for you!!! :)

Marci said...

Go sign up, you can do this! I do understand though, it *is* a huge deal, but you are ready to take on the training.

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

GREAT post! Really really great... congratulations on signing up! HOORAY! You are more than ready...keep up the training, keep the mental toughness, keep the belief! You CAN DO IT!!!

RunToFinish said...

I have been amazed to watch your dedication and abilities. I have no doubts that this is something you can do, but I would be scared poopless too

joyRuN said...

Your Mom is a smart woman - you won't know until you try.

I soooo look forward to following your training for Ironman Canada 2010!

SBJ, $600?! Yowch.

Badgergirl said...

So exciting! Can't wait to follow along on your next journey.

You can do it!

Keith said...

So, I don't think I saw you in the line, but then again we haven't met in person yet I think. I have some stories about that. Hope the butterflies settled down. I had some, but I figure better to work and give my best shot at, rather than wonder if I should have.

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on taking the iron leap!

It is a big deal but I think you are ready for the challenge. Truly you never know what you can do until you try. Shoot, I wouldn't even be doing tris if I hadn't signed up for an Ironman.

Follow your dreams!!

Lauren said...

Aced your clarinet exam? What a dork. At least you have much cooler goals now :)

By the way, have you read your blog? You totally can ace an ironman too. You're amazing.

lindsay said...

lol. i played the flute! i know, no one can picture me playing such a girly insturment... i was like always last chair. :) very cute clarinet story though!

now, the ironman - hello! you are awesome. you will own it, no doubt! leana, you are very dedicated to your training and you have a great head on your shoulders. i know you can and will do it!