Wednesday, November 16, 2011
While training, preparing, and planning for an Ironman is undoubtably thrilling and exciting, it's also nerve-wracking and to be truthful, a bit fear-inducing. I can get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it too much, and I've learned never ever to think about it late at night or I'll be up for hours from the sudden jolt of adrenaline. Clearly, my body knows how serious it is, even if my mind can fool itself into thinking these are trivial details about an event that is far, far away (though creeping up, week by week).
I've decided to employ the courage breath as a regular part of my Ironman training. Borrowing from my martial arts, my plan is to use this breath both during training (since the intervals that are the bulk of my current regimen regularly make me nervous) and during racing when I'm sure there will be some moments when I will need to call on my reserves of courage and calm. I'm going to practice drawing in and letting go of that courage breath when I'm standing on a cold, misty lakeshore in my wetsuit, or heading to the track at dawn.
One thing I've learned well from karate is that nothing, not even breathing, can be done well if you don't practice it with intention. So today my intention is to breathe well, and take courage from my breath. You can follow along, everybody now... inhale..... and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. See, don't you feel better already?