Ok, Bob called me out for not having fun so I need to clarify something ...
I AM having fun. The last 1.5 years that I have been chasing this dream have been incredibly rewarding and I am having a wonderful, challenging, exciting time and I am enjoying every moment of this life changing experience.
That doesn't mean it is never hard, it is. Or that my motivation is always at its peak, it's not. Or that sacrifices are not being made to chase this dream, they are.
I have a second Iron Distance race on my radar for 2010, the Rev3 race at Cedar Point. I was talking to my husband about this race and I told him that I thought training for it would be very different than training for IMFL. I think the first time that you do anything, it is hard. You don't know what to expect. You don't know exactly what you body and mind are capable of. You take everything very seriously and you prepare in earnest for the challenge ahead of you. Once you have proven to yourself what you are capable of, it is easier to relax about the process for subsequent challenges.
In school, I always studied to make 100, never just to pass or to make the grade I needed on the final to make an "A". When I commit to something, I give it my all. Thankfully though, I adapt. In school, by the end of the semester, I had gotten to know my professors and their testing style, so I was able to study smarter and not harder.
I hope that I can say the same about IM training next year. For now, I will keep my game face on, just know that underneath is a giddy girl jumping up and down with excitement.