I've decided that there is a new me, I've decided to own this new me, and now I'm going public. I'm launching Athletic Powerhouse 2.0. Here's why and what it all means.
My perception of what my body can do has changedI finished two Ironman races within less than three months. Sure, other people do this all the time. For me though, this was a real experiment. Usually I take a bit of time off after Ironman. (OK. A lot.) I get a bit unfit, and I get a bit fat. (OK. A lot.)
I did this in the past because I told myself I had to.
It makes sense that pushing your body hard all the time isn't healthy. You DO need time to recover. But my body doesn't need months of inactivity, cheese, wine and chocolate to recuperate from 15 hours of racing.
AP2.0 means I'm back in training and looking for new challenges to push my physical and mental boundaries. While the prospect of an ultramarathon frightens me, I can no longer see any reason why my body couldn't handle it.
My relationship with exercise and training has changedI thought I might begin to resent going straight back into training after Ironman Melbourne but I didn't. I loved it.
I switched to double long runs to build my kilometres back up quickly. I continued with midweek long runs, so the no brainer was to run to and from work. My longest commute run was 34ks on a work day - 24.5 to and 9.5k home. Not bad going really.
Each week I got home after my commute run feeling energised in a way that isn't possible after sitting in peak hour traffic in a car.
AP2.0 means I will not let hard earned Ironman fitness dwindle away to next to nothing. Six weeks after Ironman Cairns, I'm already into regular training and I'm still running to and from work once a week.
My body has changedI lost weight late last year when I detoxed. I thought it would probably be temporary. Six months later, and five weeks after Ironman Cairns, I've decided it isn't. My weight used to sit around 60kgs. It now sits around 52kgs. I look like an athlete, and as a result I feel like an athlete. At last! After ten years of trying!
I am a little sad to admit here that my relationship with my body, and how I see it, hasn't changed a lot. I still have quite an inaccurate view of how big my body is. I look at Size 8 clothes on a hanger and think they would never fit over my hips or around my belly, but they do.
I know this isn't healthy, but I'm at least aware of the tricks my mind is playing. My perspective and acceptance of my new body will happen in time. I know it. Writing about it here is part of flicking that switch in my mind.
AP2.0 isn't quite used to this one yet, but sooner or later I'll have to come to terms with being a lean, svelte machine, because that's just how it is now.
My relationship with Ironman has changedIronman used to be this big scary thing that I thought was impossible. Finally, after seven finishes from seven starts, after seven long training programs, it now seems less frightening and more normal - more like just another aspect of my life, and just another thing that I do.
This isn't to say that Ironman is no longer a challenge, or that I have less respect for the race or the distance. Neither of these things are so. I know that I would have very little chance of finishing an Ironman without appropriate training and preparation, and I also feel within me that I haven't done my best Ironman yet.
But like the race itself, I'm starting to feel like training for an Ironman is also just another aspect of my life. It no longer seems like a chore, and nor does it seem difficult to fit in.
My time will come to chase that PB but until then, Ironman is part of my life.
AP2.0 means I accept that I really am an Ironman, not just on race day but every day.