Only half crazy – my IRONMAN 70.3 journey

If you’ve been following my older blog posts you might know that I’ve been struggling with a nasty knee injury for about two years. After I got surgery in October 2016 I finally did my comeback race in august 2017 – a sprint distance triathlon in my hometown. Since then I’ve been working really, really hard on making 2018 my year and on my dream of competing in an Ironman 70.3 race. It all sounded like an awesome idea when I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg last October. And then.. life happened again and I overstretched my inner ligament in my good old knee. Giving up my dream of racing this 70.3 race in June? Not an option. So I kept working hard. And now it’s just less than 4 weeks until the day – and I find myself in a downpour of excitement and self doubts, gratefulness and fear.

For those of you who don’t know:
an Ironman 70.3 (aka half Ironman) is a 70.3 miles long race including 1.9k of swimming, 90k of cycling and 21.095k of running.

So, let’s break this down to the three disciplines:

photo by Ralf Schuck

I’ve said it before but will say it over and over again: the most positive thing about this whole injury is that it made me fall in love with swimming. Swimming kept me sane over the years and gave me so much joy. It’s been the only constant in my life (as dramatic as that sounds, haha). Without that injury I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now: someone who goes to the pool at 6am, someone who swims 5k sets, someone who does double swim days, someone who just loves every single stroke.

photo by Laurin Ring

With cycling it’s kinda the same thing as with swimming: without my injury I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. I spent a lot of time on the bike since my injury started in 2016 and then in December when I tore my inner ligament cycling was the only thing that made it better: so I just did a bit of cycling daily. I definitely think that cycling made this whole injury as easy as possible. Last winter I decided to ride outside as much as possible, no matter the weather: so I went from a ‘good weather cyclist’ to someone who would ride in snow storms. And I love it! These days I really do have the feeling that I actually do have some kind of strength when it comes to cycling – all the winter miles are paying off! PLUS the joy got doubled some weeks ago when I finally got my Ridley Dean, my weapon for my race!

Over the years I had to learn one thing: don’t compare yourself and your running form to what it’s been once. I’m not the fast long distance runner I’ve been in 2015. But on the other hand I’m also not the runner with incredible knee pain I’ve been in 2016. I’m in a place where I’ve never actually been before but I found my joy of running again, I am pain free and I will try my absolute best on race day, knowing that no matter the pace, all I can ask for is a pain free run – and that’s honestly quite a lot!

 

Bring it on!

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