Race I am done running: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
For those of you who have been a part of our community for more than the last two years you are familiar with my story and why this was much more than just a test of endurance for me. For those of you who are newer to our group I will give you the short version. In 2019, I experienced a weight lifting injury that ultimately led me to becoming disabled. I was unable to work, unable to get out of bed or tie my shoes. I was in jeopardy of losing my practice, my financial life was in dire straits and I doubted if things would ever get back to normal. Fast forward two years, over 500 workouts, thousands of miles biked, hundreds of miles run and thousands of yards swam I was able to officially put this part of my life in the rear view mirror. Last Sunday, surrounded by my entire family and with the support of the Aligned Life community, I was grateful to successfully complete a 1/2 Ironman! This included a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. My total time was 6 hours and 32 minutes. I was hoping to finish in under 7 hours so I was really pleased with the final result. For anyone who is interested in triathlon, endurance training or the individual sports of swimming, biking or running I would be happy to discuss with you what things worked, what didn’t, and a few key points for race day!
Ironman lessons I am learning: Top 5 Things I Learned From Preparing For An Ironman
a) Although this seems like an individual sport, it is definitely a team event.
b) When doing something substantial, don’t focus on how many more action steps/time until it’s completed. Focus on the present moment and the time will fly by!
c) When you are exhausted and feel you can’t go any further, you actually have a ton more left in the tank. Don’t be afraid to play with your edges every once in a while.
d) Exercising outside in nature is one of the fastest ways to stir up a feeling of gratitude.
e) True satisfaction lives on the other side of doing something that is really hard for you.
Quote I was repeating: “Run your own race!” ~ Old man at the pool
The day before I left to drive up to Santa Cruz before the race, I did a quick swim at the pool in my community. There is an elderly Asian man who swims (mostly butterfly) with his wife on most mornings around 6 AM. Periodically they have spoken to me about my reason for swimming by myself on most days. Upon hearing about the Ironman, the gentleman said in a quiet voice, “Run your own race.” A few days later, while in the midst of the swim, bike and run I kept repeating his mantra over and over again. I found that it gave me comfort (when much older men and women went cruising past me…haha), reassurance (when I would check my watch and saw that I was ahead of my expected pace) and confidence in myself (this was an entirely authentic experience). I believe that his words can be applied to more than just racing. Always remember, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy!” This week, own who you are and search for moments that can bring out the best in you.
Have a kick ass week everyone!
Dr. Devin Shea, DC