You know that feeling after an achievement that you can tackle any challenge? Well it can lead to decisions which will have a profound impact on your life.
And it can start from something really small.
- A year ago in January we started running at lunch with a few colleagues. 10km killed us. So much that I even injured my back and didn’t run for 2 months.
- In April we made the decision to run the marathon in Amsterdam and started training. By August a 20km run wasn’t abnormal anymore.
- We ran the marathon on 15 October 2017. I was relatively disappointed due to the finish time and pretty much immediately decided to start training for the one in Antwerp in April 2018.
- I’ve been cycling as well for about 4 years and have always been a decent swimmer, so by December I was contemplating going for a triathlon too. There seemed little point in going for an Olympic distance one as I couldn’t quite see the challenge in that. Might as well go for a half Ironman right? Signed up for the 70.3 Moselle soon afterwards.
- In the meantime, around February, my best mate convinced me to do the Dodentocht, a 100km walk. No real plans for this but we signed up anyway.
- We ran the Antwerp marathon on 22 April 2018. I was a lot happier with the time but still room for improvement.
- On 17 June 2018 I did my half Ironman. I finished within my goal time and of course instantly started dreaming of the full distance.
- On 10 August, Wouter and I ran the full Dodentocht in just under 13 hours.
It’s the last one which convinced me.
I had just proven to myself that I had mental fortitude that I never thought I would have. I’ve given up way too quickly on too many things in the past. The smallest setback would sometimes mean that I would stop trying, in lots of different aspects of life. Now, I fought through massive ups and downs, physical pain and general tiredness to finish my first ever ultra run.
I now know that it won’t be my mind holding me back from completing the ultimate sporting challenge.
Yesterday, I signed up for the Ironman in Copenhagen on 18 August 2019. That’s exactly 354 days from now. 354 days to get my body ready for the physical challenges that await me. Because it’s a whole different beast from the ultra run I just did. The run was at an easy pace. For the Ironman, it will be 11h (hopefully!) of pushing hard, looking for the limit whilst not crossing it.
I know there’ll be loads of ups and downs to meet me along the way. There’ll be days where I won’t want to train; days where I won’t be able to train; days where a long run feels great; days where a long ride kills my arse; days where my wife will want to kill me; days where she’ll be proud of me.
In any case, it will change my way of life. It will mean getting up early on the weekends to fit in both training & family time. It will mean giving up on certain nutritional lovelies in the run up to the event itself (bye beer, bye sweets,…).
It will all lead up to that one day. The day where I’ll hopefully be able to say at the end: “I am an Ironman“.