It is the eve of the Ironman and we have busily been trying to get all our gear in the right bag, placed in the right space, all while trying to predict the weather. I, for one, am a nervous nelly. I think race day is going to be super fun….but right now, nervous nelly.
I see all these fabulous bodies, fancy bikes, latest equipment…and it is a bit intimidating. But, what I have learned about these races (from watching Meg) is that this race is quite the equalizer. Fancy equipment only gets you so far, particularly if you bought all the gear instead of training. I’ll quit being snarky. It is intimidating to see 2200 athletes all ready to take this on for one reason or another…the stories I think might be the most interesting part.
I don’t have much to say….because I’m actually having a bit of an out-of-body experience. I’m doing this because I used to think it was the most physically impossible thing a person could do. I used to think that about marathons too…that is what got me into my first and second marathons. The learning from these events is definitely more emotional and mental than physical…at least for me. Although, this go around, I am having some incredible physical learning, such as…one can train 2-8 hours a day and gain weight….and it isn’t the “fault” of the athlete. It could be cortisol or leptin or adrenal difficulties. I am learning that I am not just feeling a bit bizarre and concerned about my body for no reason. I am learning that I am not a morally corrupt person because I haven’t lost weight in this process…in fact I’ve gained weight…with good medical reason.
Now, I am struggling with the fact that I have gained weight….because I have self-hatred that rears its ugly head and growls mightily with every pound. I have that misogynist crap I referred to back in the early days of the blog. And yet, I have visited an MD (Dr. Emily Cooper at Seattle Performance Medicine) that is going to work with me as she has with other athletes to re-balance and re-calibrate my body so that it deals with food properly.
People, my visit to SPM was the first time in my medical experience that I sat in a doctor’s office and felt met around the experience of my body, my weight, the seemingly inconsistent weight gain with my watching and counting of calories and extreme exercise. I can’t wait to get back and get this all figured out. Stress, cortisol, trauma, extreme exercise….all making my body feel like it needs to hold onto everything I put in it….regardless of what that is.
Anyway, all of this is on my mind on the eve of the Ironman because I am still struggling with feeling like I belong here…that I am an athlete (though I have been one my whole life)…..simply because I have more weight on my body than I’d like.
Well, tomorrow, I will be in my body, swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and run (shuffle) 26.2 and I will be an ironman or ironperson or ironlady. I will work on letting it in.