Norseman: The Journey #1

November 13, 2017

 145 lbs: +15-20 lbs

3 months postpartum

 

And so it begins. Today is my first official day of training.  On November 1st, I threw my name into drawing for the Norseman 2018 race.  On November 11th, I received an email notification that I had been drawn.  “Grab a drink, sit down and relax… you’ve been drawn for the 2018 Norseman race” – it said.   OMG. The odds of getting drawn your first year are similar to those of winning the lottery.  Is this actually happening? 

 

I let out as loud of a celebratory cheer as possible with a sleeping baby in a nearby swing and ran out in the backyard to call John on my phone.  I could barely get the words out I was so excited, the sound of my heartbeat was deafening in my ears.  “Norseman! NORSEMAN!!”  To that he just replied “NEXT YEAR?!”  

 

SIDEBAR:  You see this is my #1 bucket list goal.  Something I’ve aspired to since getting into triathlon in 2007.   My ancestors are from Norway, and we made a trip there in 2014 for the Haugesund 70.3.  There were so many athletes on the course wearing Norseman gear and that solidified my desire even more.  One day, I thought…. I will be there. This goal scares me to death, watch a YouTube of the race and you’ll see why, but I like a good challenge I guess.  

 

I never intended to race an Ironman-distance with 2 babies.   My intentions were to begin entering my name into the drawing this year so that next year I would have 2 chances, and 3 chances in 2019, and so on.  No one gets drawn their first year, is what I had heard and read.  

 

A million thoughts began racing around my head. The race is August of next year – Henry will be just under 3, Greta just under 1.  How could I possibly swing the training with my family, and my business?   I’m having a hard enough time squeezing in 3-4 short workouts per week!  Then there’s the issue of having little to no cardiovascular fitness right now as I’ve just had 2 babies in 2 years.  My last Ironman was 2013.  I was activity-restricted for much of my second pregnancy, so walking was the extent of my cardio.  In addition, I’d need to overcome some health issues related to pregnancy and childbirth that prevented me from racing in 2016 between the pregnancies.  I’d need to ease into this training, and really listen to my body.  

 

On the other hand, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am being given; I simply can’t pass it up if I have the support from John to make it happen. 

 

John and I sat down and discussed the logistics and in typical John fashion, he urged me to do it and began helping me problem solve the challenges.  I am one lucky woman to have him.   As I accepted and completed my race registration, I began to lie out what needed to occur right away from a planning perspective.  

 

There were non-negotiables related to my training:  

 

1) Minimize time away from the kids.  Family comes first.  I am not cool with being gone all weekend on training rides and runs.  Luckily, my work schedule is flexible and I can make Thursday my long workout day as we have nanny coverage all day. The other workouts will happen early in the morning, when John is free or our nanny has the kids, or during naptimes.  

 

2) I will nurse Greta until she is 6 months old, minimally.   I will work with my coach on this to ensure my training schedule is allowing my milk supply to remain strong.  

 

3) I will not let this consume every aspect of my life.  I’ve done Ironman races before; I know how they take over your life.  I want to minimize this and enjoy my young babies and have the focus be on them.  Conversely, I will give the training and race the respect it deserves and do my best to complete everything I can.  

 

4) Hire the right coach. I had worked with Cheryl Miller for my 2014 races and knew that she was the right support system for me.  She’s calm as a cucumber and has a can-do mentality that I dig.  Done.  

 

Some mantras needed to be established early on as well:  

 

1) MAKE IT WORK.  I am a perfectionist and it’s hard for me to let areas of my life slip, but I also know that everything isn’t going to be perfect over the next 9 months and I need to be accepting of that.  

 

2) NO SNIVELING. There is simply no time for procrastination or complaining.  

 

3) BE GRATEFUL EVERY DAY. It is a blessing that I have 2 beautiful babies and the most amazing husband.  It is a blessing that I was drawn for Norseman.  It is a blessing that I am healthy and can race triathlons. Be grateful for all of it.  

 

4) FAMILY FIRST.  If push comes to shove, and my family is suffering as a result of this, I will pull out.  No hesitation.  They are the most important thing. 

 

5) BE SCARED.  AND DO IT ANYWAYS.  Check this big, scary-ass goal off my list.  

 

 

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