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Almost exactly one year ago today, I confronted my feelings about an injury the only way I knew how–to write about it. In the midst of pouring out all of my emotions into a blog post, I was going to physical therapy two to three times a week where I suffered through dry needling and aggressive deep-tissue massages. I was limited to low-impact activities like swimming and biking. And worst of all, I had to forgo not one, but two marathon entries.

But as I confronted these feelings, I came to an unexpected conclusion: I actually really enjoyed the swimming and biking, which I could still do even when I was injured. Enjoying exercise even during an injury? This was a whole new concept to me. And that’s when I decided to set out a new goal. A goal that all my readers, friends and family would read and hold me accountable to: Finish a full Ironman in 2016. Here’s an excerpt from that blog post a year ago–

Set New Goals: All the biking and swimming I’ve done during these past few weeks reminded me how much I enjoyed training for a triathlon four years ago. And with all the excitement from last week’s Nation’s Tri, I couldn’t help but set my sight on a new goal. One that I’ve had my eyes on since college but put it off because I caught the marathon bug.

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That’s right, the biking and swimming Instagram updates aren’t going away even when my IT Band gets better. In 2016, I’m going to complete an Ironman: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run in less than 17 hours (the official time limit for an Ironman to actually count).

Why not 2015?  I’ve got lots of money to save to afford a new bike that’s capable of riding 112 miles (My road bike was stolen back in June) and I still want to qualify for Boston this year or next. But in the meantime, I’m happy to have finally found the silver lining in this ordeal.

Almost exactly one year later, I made the first of many steps to stick with this goal. I forked over the (expensive) race entry fee for Wisconsin Ironman 2016. With the advantage of being able to train on the actual course, which is just minutes from my house, I couldn’t feel better about this decision.

I have lots to work on until then, like my swim form and getting a few more miles on the bike. But I’ve already come so far since last year. I’m finally comfortable in the lake. My legs know exactly how brutal hills on the bike course actually are. And my running will continue to get better as long as I keep training smart. But all that said, I’m also glad I have an entire year to prepare.

I know the training throughout the next 12 months will have its ups and downs. But I have the advantage of that amazing feeling of coming across that finish line of Ironman 70.3. And as long as I carry that feeling with me during the next 12 months, I know I’ll have no problem getting out of bed in the morning to zip up my wetsuit, conquer the hills on the bike course and lace up my running shoes. Here’s to silver linings!

 

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