I have always felt that I am one of those people in the world that has to work 10 times harder for everything I hope to achieve. Troy and I both feel that way about ourselves and it has brought us together as a couple. I couldn’t be married to someone who has things constantly fall into their lap, or who didn’t understand the value of copious amounts of hard work. Sometimes Troy and I overwork things, but I guess I would rather be in that boat, the over worked, over thought, over planned, than the alternative. That’s just us, it’s just how we’re built.

I think if I was born with an extraordinary amount of athletic genes, I would still be this way. I would still feel like I had to work for every inch, to pay back the forces that made me the way I was. There’s not a whole lot of entitlement flowing through my veins, there’s more appreciation than not, more courtesy, than not. It’s just part of my makeup, maybe part of my genes. I do recognize that I was not dealt a short stick when it comes to genetics, I’ve got a certain level of natural ability.

I was also blessed in some strange way that during my time as a high school and college runner I never developed an eating disorder. In college at times I felt like I was one of only 2-3 who still maintained a healthy relationship with food, and it was an isolating feeling, especially since I wasn’t running very fast any more, and at times questioned whether it was because of my non-disordered eating. I am thankful for that feeling now, as I am healthy as a horse and don’t suffer from any bone density issues, or chronic stress fractures, a few ways that I feel eating disordered women tend to have to pay for that illness later in life (just my personal opinion, and not meant to ruffle any feathers, I am in no way a doctor or a researcher).

Sometimes I think that I rely on this hard work ethic for my confidence. I gain confidence not from knowing that I trained “smarter than everyone else”, but that I trained “more/harder than everyone else”. More is always better right? Kidding. But this comes from that feeling that I have to work harder than most to get a similar result. It’s ingrained in me. Now that I think, it’s really a form of low self confidence.

Ten days ago I was starting to get itchy palms. I was starting to feel like time was running out for me. I was standing at the train station and I had missed the train. These feelings of anxiety were deep in the pit of my stomach and I was desperately trying to convince myself all was fine.

After these last ten days of training I am starting to understand. I am starting to shift where I get my confidence from. My confidence is becoming more of a quiet confidence, a secret confidence. Something only I understand. I have been trained smarter, and I saw the effect of that smarter training seeping out this weekend in the numbers. I started to feel better, perform better, know I was better.

My strengths and my work ethic were put to use during this last block, it was the best of both worlds, me and my work horse attitude, Chuckie and his technical/tactical/emotional training program. These last 10 days resembled a steam engine, both in mind and body.

Tomorrow I head to Coeur d'Alene (5 weeks out from the actual Ironman), all by myself for 48 hours of training and scouting the Ironman race course. It’s a good thing that I am going alone, because it will allow me to immerse myself, ingrain myself, in the course and the training. I welcome the time to focus and dedicate myself. I live for it, I enjoy it.

There has been a certain amount of unease and anxiety that I have experienced learning lots of new things about myself over the last few months. I’m glad to feel things coming together and glad to see the stress recede into the background, revealing a girl who has done the right work in the right way, and knows it.