This Year a Spectator

This is an important blog post because I will no doubt need to re-read this one many times over the next year. I volunteered at the finish line of IRONMAN TEXAS 2017 Saturday afternoon. AND I AM SO MOTIVATED TO BECOME AN IRONMAN IN 2018. So I will likely come back to this post as the training gets tough, to remind myself of how I feel right now.

After watching the race, doing a half Ironman most certainly does not make me an IRONMAN. It is twice the distance but clearly more than twice as hard. I touched a few hundred people as they crossed the finish line Saturday. I gave them their medal and was likely the first person to congratulate them – what an honor. I felt their sweat (literally), saw the look in their eyes, felt their emotion. Some were overjoyed. Some didn’t know where they were. Some obviously had some great pain that had driven them to do this. Some were simply overwhelmed.

I saw the good, the bad and the ugly, and I want all of it. All day as I watched the swim and some of the ride and watched the run for about an hour before my medal shift, I kept asking myself “can you do this?” And deep in my heart, I know the answer is yes. I know I can do this. I know this because I saw everyone of my teammates cross the finish line, except one who crashed on her bike due to another rider’s error. Watching these amazing people train and being on the receiving end of all of their support has helped me so much. Finish Strong won the team division and while many of these athletes did exceptional; you don’t have to be first or at the top to be an IRONMAN. All you have to do is finish in 17 hours; which don’t get me wrong isn’t easy; but I can do that. Not today. I have a lot of training to do. But I’m going to do every bit of it and I am going to become an IRONMAN.

sunrise

Starting to work on some of the main things I need to get done by next year. Working on getting a tri bike and retire my ill-fitted road bike. Finally getting into aero when I ride. Making going to track a habit and getting a bit faster on the run. Feeling great in the pool and finally starting to do the workouts the way I should instead of just pounding through laps. Reading every single race report from last weekend I can get my hands on to learn what people ate, what they had in all those bags, how they dealt with the swim, etc. Still so far to go until next year, but truly enjoying the journey.

CB&I Sprint Tri is next weekend – looking for a new PR there. Then working to finalize the rest of my races for the year.

Hopefully the thought of hearing those words: Cheryl Perry: You are an IRONMAN will keep me as motivated on long runs in July as I feel right now.