Richie Caiazza

Richie Caiazza

My journey into the unkown

The Season That IS!

April 1, 2012 I made my first post.  This date is significant for a couple of reasons.  First off, my baby girl was born on this day in 2010.  It was also the day that I decided to make a permanent chagne in my life.  The choice to make a lifestyle change is never easy.  It is never a "hey i am going to lose weight" and then POOF!  There it goes.  It takes hardwork, dedication, determination, and the ability to endure pain.  That year, I learned a lot about myself.  I learned that when i put my mind to something, There is nothing I can't accomplish. 

When I wrote that first blog post, I made some pretty challenging goals.  They were written down, "set in stone"  so to speak.  I put forth my goals for individual races, and then the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships.  Not knowing what exactly would be entailed in making these choices, I started on my quest towards September. 

The challenges that I put forth on my mind, body, and family were great.  There were rainy days where i didn't to even get out of bed, yet had to ride 60 miles.  There were races that I had suffered from heat stroke, malnutrtion, and dehydration.  Had to battle elements that most others opted out from.  Now, 9 Triathlons, 2 half marathons, and god knows how many training days later.  Over 1500 miles on the bike and 500 miles running, countless laps in the pool, and hours in the open water, I look forward to the weekend that I set out to do in April.  On Sunday, September 9, 2012, I will toe the line against the best athletes in the world in my sport.  I will be racing this race that is among the most coveted in Triathlon against the Top 200 men in my age group, 30-34 on the planet. 

The feelings that I have going into this weekend in my head would normally be reserved for a psycho-therapy session.  I am anxious, nervous, excited, and also sad, and depressed.  I have worked all season, I have fought tooth and nail against many obstacles that have come up.  I have battled injury, fatigue both mental and physical.  I have missed dinners at home, and Sunday morning breakfasts with my family.  But it was worth it.

I don't want to sound like I didn't put this upon myself.  Or that it hasn't been fun.  It has!  I have enjoyed my journey from a novice to what I have become.  My fitness level is someplace I never knew was possible, and my mental strength has become even greater than that.  I love this sport.  I love the challenges it presents, and I love the feeling at the end.  I love the hurt, the sweat, the tears. 

At the end of the day Sunday, I will be a 70.3 Ironman World Champion.  There are a handful of people that can say this every year.  I have risen from crawling out of the water at my first sprint in August of 2010 feeling like I couldn't walk another foot.  To racing in one of the hardest, most competitive fields in a 5+ hour endurance event that will test my physical and mental strengnth like never before.  There will be moments in this race where I will laugh, sing, dance on the bike, talk to other competitors, be someone elses cheerleader, clap for someone struggling more than me.  There will times where i will be crying like a little girl that lost her puppy, when I am thinking about my family yelling "GO DADDY GO!"  There will be times where i will feel pain the likes I have never felt.  On the other side of the coin, There will be times that I feel joy unlike I have ever felt as well. 

Thank you for taking this journey with me.  Thanks to all that have had there hand in getting me here.  

My next post will be a race report, and a full year summary.  I look forward to your comments, or nothing at all....Either way, I will be at peace with my season, and look forward to what lies ahead!


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