The Unknown!

15 Nov

Stepping into the unknown!

“When you leave your shell and venture into the world of the unknown you do so with a little fear a little excitement and a lot of who knows but let’s have fun”~ Mike Buenting

So today as I sit in my home office getting ready to travel to Arizona and I read wonderful messages from my friends and people who lift me up and support me my mind wonders into what I’m about to take on this weekend as I step into the unknown.

The journey to Ironman Arizona started a year ago. The race filled in 10 minutes so I was not sure if I would get a slot? But lucky for me a coach I work with and my friend Troy Jacobson (head coach of Ironman and Life Time Endurance) was able to pull strings and get me a slot into the race. So the journey began. I started preparing for this race 11months ago, I circled it on my calendar as my “A” race the race I would focus on and all the events I have raced all year were just in prep in leading up to this one day in Arizona. But as I look back over the last 11 months and all that has happened all the great moments training, racing, resting, all of it I say to myself no matter what happens on Nov. 18th 2012 (race day) I have enjoyed an amazing journey one that I will never forget and one that will always shape me for the rest of my life. Yes I have goals on race day but the #1 goal is really just to finish it’s to step outside into the land of the unknown and take on this new challenge having no idea what to expect and giving it my all. So I may finish with a blazing fast time and qualify for Kona? Or I may finish with a slower time than expected and miss my chance at Kona? But no matter what my finish time is no matter what happens that day on the course when I cross the finish line and I hear my name called out “Mike Buenting you are an Ironman” I can say I’m a winner! I’m an Ironman and I just did something most people dream about, something so many people have done before me and will do after me and now I will be part of that special club.

For those of you who don’t know what an Ironman Triathlon is; it’s a 2.4 mile swim (in Arizona the swim is one loop in Tempe Town lake and the water is cold) then you transition and ride the 112 mile bike course through the desert, come back transition again and run a marathon 26.2 miles of running to finish off this epic day. In total 140.6 miles of fun I like to call it.

This is a huge step into the unknown for me, I’ve done 70.3 races (half Ironman) and know what to expect and how to handle them. I’ve run marathons, but never have I done the full Ironman the 140.6. So the last 11 months I’ve trained hard not only my body but my mind. I’ve spent countless hours swimming laps in the pool at Life Time Fitness, during the summer I got a lot of open water swim time in as well. I’ve rode thousands of miles on my bike all season mostly outdoors on the road, but also a lot of indoor trainer time and teaching cycle classes at Life time Fitness. And I’ve run thousands of miles, I mean a lot of miles. Maybe what sets me apart from most Triathlete’s is that I run a lot and do a lot of run focused training because I like to race marathon. I’m hoping this run training pays off on Sunday. Most of my training all year as been done solo for a couple reasons. 1. I have a flexible schedule sometimes so when others are at work I’m out training. 2. My paces are so much faster than most the people I know around here that when I truly need to work on speed and pacing it’s hard for me to go with others because they just can’t keep up. 3. I don’t know too many people training for an Ironman well a bunch of my friends did Madison earlier in the year but that race was early Sept. so they have been done for awhile and I was really ramping up my training when they were done. So timing affected being able to train with them much. I can say that a lot of my run training has been done with my amazing friends my running group people I coach and run with at least three times a week. These people are like family to me we support each other and lift each other up!! And the memories I have from all those training runs, and talks and messages from them is going to be great power come Sunday come race day. That is one amazing and inspiring bunch of people and I’m so thankful to have them in my life.

I have had really good training days and I’ve had some really tough ones, I’ve trained in extreme heat this summer and now cooler fall weather the last 6 weeks. I’ve practiced my nutrition testing various gels and drinks etc… that will give me the calories I need during the race and the energy to sustain my paces. So I feel prepared but still the fear of the unknown is looming over me and until I cross that finish line on Sunday I will be living in the world of the unknown.

I’m a big believer in mind-body-spirit and getting yourself aligned and in harmony with positive energy and good vibes. I believe the mind is what will make or break my Ironman race and I think I have one of the strongest minds that will be on the course that day. Others might have more physical gifts than me but I have a mind and a heart that carries me through some really tough times.

I also like to say I have my secret weapon in my father. My dad has since past 5 years ago but when I race he is alongside me and I feel his presence. As my friend Anibal said to me yesterday, “when you get those little chills during the race that is your dad patting you on your back telling you how proud he is of you and giving you that little extra push” Those words were huge and rang true in my head. I’ll think about so many great messages from so many great friends as I race that course and whenever I start to slow down feel fatigued I will reach into my memory bank and pull something out from them and push on. I know my family will be waiting for me at the finish line and that is huge!

I can’t prepare anymore than I have, the training is done, now it’s just relax keep the mind focused and get ready to step into the world of the unknown leave my shell and try something new something that will forever change me as a person and as an athlete. I welcome this new challenge with open arms and can’t wait to experience the ride!

Thanks everyone! Keep an eye out for Bib# 1565



One Response to “The Unknown!”

  1. Francisco U. Brooks February 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    In your typical routine, when you’re not training for a marathon, do you do 10 miles a couple of times a week or, say, four miles every day?A year ago I ran five to six miles, six days a week. Now, with my kids’ schedule, I can’t fit five to six in every single day. That’s how I started doing longer runs fewer times a week. It actually is worth it, because then you have a whole day off the next day. Now I run 10 miles every other day. Travel weeks throw me into a weird schedule, though. But when I’m looking at the week ahead, I plan my runs based on my schedule. If it’s on my schedule, I do it, because that’s when it gets done.

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