Gradual, safe exposure to whatever makes us anxious is always the most powerful way of eliminating anxiety.—Martha Beck
This quote is a wild contrast to what I actually do in life. Rather than "gradually ease into it", I just dive right in.
Last year when I was training for the Chicago marathon I decided during peak training to throw in a half ironman; because, one, I've never done a half ironman in my life, two, I wanted to see if I could do it, and three, I thought it would be a great substitute for a long peak training run. The ironman happened to land on the weekend of our 21st wedding anniversary, traditionally we take a long Harley ride up to Door County to enjoy a few days of nature, Peninsula Players and, of course, a fish boil.
Since this was the case, we rode six hours to arrive to pick up my packet, late the evening before the race. I didn't get much sleep that night , the race start was early and I had an hour drive to get there. The details of the race can be saved for another time, however, I ended up finishing my first half ironman, ever!!! I even made it within the time I estimated for myself. Nothing to brag about, but I did it! I shaved off over an hour on my bike split, so I was happy.
Today, I approach another challenge, to complete a 90 mile bike race around Lake Winnebago. I have never biked 90 miles in my life, the most I've done is the 60 miles in the Ironman. I signed up anyway. I've been working hard to get my body prepared to kick off training for my next marathon. A marathon that I plan to run in December. I can say I'm in shape! However, I wonder if I am trained for this type of bike race. =S Another early start, one hour drive to the start and a little more nervous for this one given there is a 12.5 mph cut-off at the 30 mile water stops. It's going to be an experience.