This Runner's Trials

The scariest race of my life

Posted by runnerstrials

No, I am not going to recap this day again.

And I'm not referring to my next race, an 8k turkey trot on Thanksgiving. While my lack of speedwork is relatively frightening, I’m not scared of those 5 miles.

The scariest race of my life is taking place this weekend. And I’m not even racing.

My husband is competing in his first full Ironman this Saturday- the Beach2Battleship Ironman in Wilmington, NC.

Whenever I tell people this I get responses like so:

  • Ohmygosh, that’s so cool.
  • You must be so proud of him.
  • You’re so lucky to have a spouse who is into racing like you.
  • That’s insane.

I completely concur with all of these thoughts. I try to tell the person that I agree with them, but I’m not sure I’ve ever done a convincing job.

The truth is, whenever the Ironman is brought up, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach, my heart races, and I just pray for the day to be over. Sometimes, I wish the race wasn’t happening at all.

My husband has two main goals in life: to complete a full Ironman and to become a father. And since we all know how awesome my reproductive organs are, I’m not about to deny him his chance at completing 140.6 miles via swim, bike, run.

I know I sound like a horrible wife. The most important person in the world to me is about to compete in his dream race and I can barely muster enthusiasm.

I worry he'll drown, get in a bike accident, or won’t stop if he doesn’t feel well. All of these things could happen. But there's a much greater chance of him finishing the race grimacing with a smile on his face.

I know this. But I am still petrified for Saturday. Basically because racing 140.6 miles seems completely idiotic to me. Not only is it something I could never imagine doing, it’s something I have zero desire to do. I just don't know why anyone would want to put themselves through that.

Then there's the fear of the unknown. Hubby has only ever done half this distance before. I'm sure anyone who has gone from a half to a full marathon understands my uneasiness. Doubling the distance of your sport is not easy. Especially when you have 3 sports.

But I need to remember this race is not about me and my fears. He’s officially trained for 16 weeks to get here. He’s unofficially trained for 9 years since he started triathloning. I need to trust his training.

I hope my pre-race nerves disappear as soon as the race starts on Saturday. I really want to be the best spectator and photographer I can be. You know, for those whole 5 minutes of the 12 hour race that I actually get to see him...

When he crosses that finish line, one thing is for sure: we will both be beyond happy. Him filled with pride, and me with relief ;) Kidding. Of course I will be super proud of him.

Have you ever had a bad case of pre-race jitters when you weren't racing? Has anyone done an Ironman or aspire to do one? Any advice for how to make it through the day on Saturday? I'm bringing my furry companion, a book, lots of food, and my running shoes.

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