Theme song and mantra

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Every time I go through a training regimen and gear up for a race I like to do two things; pick a song that will be deemed my training ‘theme song’ and, pick a mantra that I write on my shoes.

The song idea came from the second marathon I trained for. Without thinking about it beforehand I always made sure to listen to the same song as I started a run. In my mind it helped me remember that I was training and served as a reminder that each run was more than an individual run, but it was a part of a bigger goal. Also, as lame as it may sound it simply put me in a good mood as I ensured I liked the first song I was listening to. When your first half mile is good, it sets you up for a better run altogether.

Writing a mantra on the shoe was a fun way to remind myself of what my goal was, or what I could turn to for motivation during the race if I needed a little extra push. It also turned into a practical way to monitor what shoes I wore during certain races – and if I had too many mantras on one shoe, it signaled it was probably time to get new shoes!

Way back in May I decided that my theme song for Ironman training would be: “I’ll make a man out of you” – the main song from the movie Mulan. As I described here, the lyrics seem to fit really well, even the words about swimming! The song definitely puts me in a good mood when I hear it, because I often think back to my years in Germany when the guys would sing that song over and over again. Hearing the song brings back memories of Sang-Jin, Army, Johann and Sunshine, to name a few of the Sonne guys who blessed the dorm with that song.

The mantra I have written on my shoes for the Ironman is: Be a man. It obviously coordinates very well with the song and will remind me of that while running. Additionally, my school this year has adopted the theme of; BE. We are encouraging our students to think more about what they want to be, and hoping that we can enable them to BE individuals who identify with, represent, and live out what it means to BE in a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Throughout all my workouts my mind is constantly going in different directions and I have often thought of lesson plans and/or speeches I will give in our Chapel services. Through my training, it has given me time to contemplate what it means to be a man of God to the students I interact with daily.

And, at the end of the day on Sunday September 11, 2016, I am hoping that I can cross the finish line not only knowing that this journey has helped me to; Be a man, but it has also led me to; Be an Ironman.

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Oh yeah.

Last week was a bit rough in terms of training. As planned, the mileage and intensity dropped. But, for some reason as my body recovers from the months of training it has a habit of feeling a little more sluggish in the final tune-up to the race. While I trust my training and am confident in what I can do on the race course, last week was filled with thoughts of “oh no.”

However, this morning I finished a calm and easy 7 miles. My splits were fairly sporadic – though I know my mind was thinking about next week and I would get lost in a daydream and then realized I was going a bit faster than anticipated. I guess it is better to be going faster than expected rather than slower! Then I would slow down for the next mile only to get caught in another day dream and unintentionally pick the pace up again.

Yesterday I printed off a couple different packings lists to ensure I have absolutely everything I need. Once I finish doing the laundry today, I will pack my bags to ensure over the next few days I can double and triple check to ensure I have everything. I will go for a light swim on Monday, and then take Tuesday-Thursday off. Once in Madison on Friday I will get swim in the actual lake, and probably go for a quick jog just to break a sweat and release some nervous energy. I can count on one hand the number of workouts that stand between me and the Ironman!

Mentally and emotionally my theme for the week is; oh yeah! After 23 weeks of training, I am a week away from the race. When I finished my run this morning, I looked at the clock and said, “One week from right now I should be about 800 meters into the swim.” One. Week. Am I nervous? Am I excited? Am I anxious? Am I ready? Oh yeah.