My first Ironman 70.3. A medal won by overcoming mistakes and fears.

How do I feel after completing the first IRONMAN 70.3? A GIANT!

The Medium Triathlon, also called this, is an endurance test that commits you to: 1900 meters of swimming, 90 km by bike and a half marathon of running. It is also called 70.3 because the sum of the distances is expressed in miles. The strongest take 4 hours and broken, I finished in 6 and 43.

I confess that in these days I felt strong again like a giant, I was floating one meter above the ground, showing off the medal and enjoying the satisfaction. I renewed energy and enthusiasm, found beliefs that were fading, along with a good dose of self-esteem. All excellent weapons of defense against Mr. P.

The effort to tell

10 days have passed since the arrival on the red carpet leading to the finish line in Cervia on Sunday. I left the house with the medal around my neck, I relived in my mind moments of the race over and over again, also looking at the photos and the video of the arrival, but I have not yet told it well.

To do this I would have had to have:

  • Time needed, but this week has been very busy.
  • Someone really interested in hearing all of my story.
  • The energy, the voice and the tranquility to tell it. This is one of the symptoms I suffer most from Parkinson’s. While I speak I clearly feel the fatigue, I have difficulty maintaining a sustained and constant tone and managing my breathing, I tend to run away fast eating my words. But above all it is difficult for me to control the emotional tension, I tend to cut it short because I often have the distinct feeling of having lost the attention of those who listen to me. I’ve never been much of a talker, but I never had the perception of these limits until a year ago. I have to have to work.

But now I can do it: abandon myself to the pleasure of retracing the race moment by moment, both for me and for you, dear readers.

Beyond the wrong beliefs and useless fears

The medium triathlon is a distance that I had tried, unsuccessfully, in June 2019 in Lovere. I tell it in two articles: 2604 KILOMETERS TO GET TO LOVERE and ‘Telling successes and whistles never talk’ and since then I had not yet completely overcome those difficulties in swimming. Finally today I am happy to be able to say that it has passed, I have started to manage my thoughts correctly and I have resumed swimming well even in traffic. Then I’ll tell you better.

I signed up for this race immediately after my participation in the Olympic of the Ironman circuit in Cervia in September 2019, a race that I told here: 5150: I BEGIN AMONG DOUBTS, I FINISH WITH A SMILE . You all know what happened to triathlons, and the difficulties encountered in training between closed pools and lockdowns in 2020. For this reason, in the months preceding the race, I had thought of giving up several times by sending an email to the organization, where I asked to change the registration to participate, again, in the Olympic distance.

I did not feel ready or rather I was afraid of not making it, I was afraid of making a mistake once again. We often do this type of reasoning: I was not able, it could happen again, I don’t want to risk another failure, I give up. Instead, we can build our success precisely on mistakes: every negative experience lived, when it becomes a teaching, turns into a greater awareness, a new strength, which will help us to achieve success.

Today I can say that fortunately the organization never answered me, prompting me to re-evaluate my intentions. Since the beginning of September I have started to think differently. I decided to face the challenge and I started to change my way of thinking, I would have finished my test at all costs even by walking for the whole half marathon, the stage in which I was less prepared and that I feared most.

And so I did.

The previous evening

In the days before I had confronted several times with Alberto Schivardi, my athletic trainer, who had provided me with all the information, resulting from the verifications of my training that he always has under control, regarding the rhythms that I could keep in the various disciplines, the correct nutrition and hydration to reach the finish line with the famous smile on the lips.

con Alberto e Angelo

Friday evening I arrived in Cervia with my friend Parkinsonaut and new triathlete, Angelo Gualtieri. We placed the suitcases in the room and got on the bicycle, we immediately went to see the transition area. An incredible spectacle, inside impassable 2-meter-high railings, under the spotlights and watched by sight, 2600 beautiful bicycles were lined up, in perfect order, in four rows, which occupied the entire avenue of the seafront for more than 500 meters. On the ground, to the right and left of the bicycle, in each numbered position, a blue and a red bag with everything you need for cycling and running, shoes, clothing and food.

They were there, ready from the night before, because the next morning at 7:30 the queen race of the weekend, the Ironman, would start; 3.8 km. swimming, 180 km. cycling and running on the marathon distance, 42.197 km.

The next day at 6.30 the sun rose and the beach was already animated, music and speakers filled the air, the sand was teeming with athletes, fans, wives, children, family members and friends who wanted to share an unforgettable day with their heroes . Living a race like this is a unique experience that, if you are a sports fan, I recommend you try it once. My first time emotions are here MY FIRST SPECTATOR IRONMAN – FOR NOW!

This time I was more attentive to energy expenditure. As scheduled the day before the race, I took a 45-minute bike ride at a light pace and followed the race at times, cheering on the friends who passed by, thinking that the next day I would need every single one. drop of energy.