How To be an Ironmum in Seven Easy Months!

Part of achieving something is the ability to perceive it, right? Hence the title. If I set this diary up from the start, then come the end…the start line at Forster…I may actually believe I am capable of achieving something only a very small percentage of people are capable of doing.

My nickname (to some) is Wonder Woman. Friends from another lifetime, before triathlon, gave it to me as they wondered how I fit everything into my life. I have never thought I did more than any other parent did; though it’s probably a little more challenging being a single parent. My life tends to be governed by the chaos theory, the more I do, the more I do! Like Blacky, and Belly, my enthusiasm factor will be measured by the WOW factor (Why-O-Why? The lower the factor, the less convinced I am…the higher, the more determined).

Just to paint the picture for you – my family is me, daughter Morgan (10) and son Callum (8). We have two cats, one dog, two budgies, two hermit crabs and a few fish. The kids pretty much look after the pets, but it’s up to me to run the dog….and I’ve still yet to get them to clean out the kitty litter tray! We have no relatives in Perth (or WA), but the kids spend every other weekend with their Dad which will give me the time I need for the longer rides and runs I’ll have to do after Christmas. I work two part-time jobs on Friday night and Sunday morning (about 10 hours week). I am also a qualified Austswim Instructor and I hope to start giving lessons in Term 4. I am President of Southside Triathlon Club, and am involved with the Committee of my children’s teeball club, the Canning Cougars.

On a deeper level, I had always hoped my life would amount to something I could be proud of. Ironman is now my chance to push myself beyond the ordinary. As I begin this journey, I know the next seven months will be telling and trying…some of which you’ll get to share, some will remain more private. I know when the journey is finished and I have my family around me on the finish line that I’ll probably be crying my eyes out. Our dreams are fulfilled by taking one step after another….though I must admit Ironman is one bloody big step.

This season will be the beginning of my third. By my own admission, I am inexperienced. I try to make up for that by turning to those who know more, staying open to constructive criticism and letting my adrenaline make up for the rest. Inexperience tells me that I don’t know what I’m capable of, but inexperience also tells me ‘I don’t know what I’m capable of!’ That is exciting in itself. With the correct training I know I can do this. I’m never going to be an elite athlete, but I know I can do everything possible to ensure my chance of finishing. And most have told me that finishing is what Ironman is all about, crossing the white line! The elation that comes with it is beyond words…something few get to experience. The money’s been paid, the bed’s been booked, so there is no turning back.

Over the coming months I’ll have to refine my bike position and refine my diet. It can’t be too bad as my daughter came home from school one day saying a friend had asked her ‘why she always had healthy stuff for lunch?’ I was quite proud when she came back with ‘my mum just wants us to eat the best stuff we can eat’. Poor girl, I went out and bought them some chocolate chip muesli bars for their lunch box at school, just so they didn’t stand out too much! I also know I have to do something about my feet. Anyone that sees them asks why I didn’t become a ballet dancer, or some say ‘gee they’d make good flippers!’ Unfortunately, I’m no Ian Thorpe. And unfortunately, I heard Darryn Sargant mumble something like ‘severe pronation’ and ‘I’m surprised you only have moderate knee problems’. Apparently I should be having shin, achilles and foot problems as well. So orthotics are no doubt on the shopping list. As are more rolls of knee tape.

I have a couple of checks and balances put into place for the next seven months of training. One of them is you, the reader. As Belly said, you don’t feel like you can slack off when someone is monitoring your efforts. The kids are my other monitors. By necessity, I will include them in my training as much as possible, especially over the school summer holidays. Perhaps this diary will be a sample of the logistical nightmare your life can become when you undertake to train for an Ironman with no relatives living in the state. I’ve offered to pay the kids (bribe them!) $1 each for every training session they go along with and don’t moan about. This will usually involve long bike rides while I run and endless days at the swimming pool this summer. I hope I can afford them, and at least it takes care of their spending money for the trip.

By the third week of July this year I decided that I’d had enough time off and thought it was time to start training. I’ve been doing base work for most of August… until I popped my left hip out this week and spent two days in bed. It’s better now, thanks to the chiro, but I’m not going to be able to afford more days off like that so I had better get onto core stability stuff (where is that yoga ball?). No doubt many things will crop up over the next seven months and I’ll have to de-stress and go with the flow.

I’m ‘on-program’ by September 1 with Stuart Durham from Eclipse Fitness. So stay tuned…..