Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

Confidence and Terror

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Besides tapering, eating well, packing, and sleeping this week, I’m spending a fair amount of mental energy on vacillating between fear and excitement over IMLP. As Jim told me, “I waffle between holy **it I have to do an IM race in a week and OMG I’m going to be an IM in a week. Sometimes, I can’t figure out what the difference is between the excitement and the anxiety!”

I guess this feeling is pretty common! I received an email from the Ironman Community Fund that called out this strange bi-polar feeling and how to cope with it:

Congratulations on making it this far! Many times the most challenging aspect of Ironman racing is merely making it through the training and arriving on the starting line in one piece. If you’ve made it this far, the battle is more than half over. As we watch athletes go through the usual waves of confidence and terror that precede an Ironman, we want to remind you of a few things which may or may not help you.

I am Terrified of:

  • The Swim Start (see above – that’s 2,000 people all at once!)
  • Flat tires on the bike ride
  • Stomach problems on the run

I feel Confident knowing:

  • Never in my life have I been this fit
  • I have a nutrition plan
  • Team RA3 will be there with me
  • My family and closest friends will be there cheering (in matching t-shirts, no less)
  • I’ll have support from many, many folks from DC to California to Singapore and Japan

Have you ever had that nervous excitement? How do you deal?


Author: sarabstro

My name is Sara Strope. I'm hooked on triathlons. I spend my days building a health tech startup, promoting organ donation, and producing events. Oh, and training!

One thought on “Confidence and Terror

  1. It would not be normal to not have some doubts or butterflies when embarking on such an undertaking as IMLP. Once you hit that start point, the c in compete kicks in. You strive, you go and you achieve. The key is to remember this IMLP is fun! It’s something you want to do, not have to do. Bonnie is right, move the c element to e for enjoy, which will help to channel nervous excitement to energy!

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