I devised a race plan based on process oriented goals. I threw time and placement goals out the window. Sure it would be nice to finish in the top six & in the money, sure it would be nice to PR, but I knew that those goals were not in my control. The only thing I could control was the process. So, without time goals, I devised my plan for each discipline. The plan was simple. No more then 6 or 7 words per discipline. The simplicity of the plan enabled me to have a narrow focus during the race. The less I think, the better I perform. When I am in a robotic state, I am able to reach my ideal performance state.
I knew that obstacles would come, so I devised a plan when I would meet adversity face to face. When adversity struck, my mind had been there before and I knew how to adapt. Adversity struck before I even landed in Lake Placid. Instead of arriving at 1:30 pm, I arrived at 1:30am due to many flight issues. Instead of being negative with the situation, I decided to make the best out of the moment. I got a lot of work done in the airport and bonded with my twin sister.
After a few hugs from Mike, Cassie, Meghan & Ken, I was ready to go & the gun was about to fire.
I found my friend Lesley at the starting line and we were ready to swim together. It would have been better to draft off of one another, but we loved the security of swimming side by side each other during the 2.4 mile swim. After the first lap, I glimpsed at the clock and it read 32 minutes. When I dove back into the water, I thought that I had swum 42 minutes, and they had adjusted the time for the amateurs. So, I disappointingly checked my watch to a stunning surprise. It was 32 minutes. My brand new Blue Seventy Helix worked amazingly. I have had the privilege to wear some good wetsuits in the past, but this was by far the greatest wetsuit I have ever worn. I swam 8 minutes faster then I did in Hawaii & 11 minutes faster then my first Ironman.
The bike was beyond challenging but I loved it. I loved the climbs, I loved the headwind, I loved the scary descent. My PowerBar gels, PowerBar Ironman Perform & Nathan tabs worked flawlessly. I also felt pretty consistent throughout the 112 miles and passed a couple females the last 12 miles. My favorite part of the bike was seeing the Timex crew & teammates, Meghan, Melissa, and Ken along the way.
The run…well, let’s just say I need to learn how to run a marathon. I was so happy to be off the bike I took off like I was running a 5k. My legs felt like they were on the verge of cramping beginning at mile 2. Once I passed two pros around the 5k mark, I saw my sister at the aid station. She told me I was in fifth place. What?? I could not believe I had worked my way up to fifth place. So, I began to settle. I no longer raced. I ran. Scared. Instead of going after the next girl in front of me, I feared falling apart and not being able to finish. I ran consistently and timidly so I could hold onto my place. With more Ironman racing experience, I will be able to cross over the barrier from running to racing. I will learn how to race without fear & limits.
There is so much to learn with the Ironman. It is a battle of mind, body, and soul. Looking back on the day, I stand in disbelief that I was able to not only make it through an Ironman, but stand on the podium during my professional Ironman debut.
Just a few years ago, I recall being in the Cayman Islands with my family over Christmas break. We were planning on going scuba diving, so we all had to pass a swim test. Ten laps in a ten yard pool with masks. You know what? I failed. I could not successfully swim the ten laps.
I went from failing a tiny swim test to becoming a professional triathlete. If you work hard, dig deep, dream big, anything is possible. Where there is heart, where there is courage, where there is belief in things bigger then ourselves dreams can come true.
Thank you to my sponsors, family, and supporters for helping me believe that anything is possible.
A special thanks to the Timex crew: Tristan, for putting up with my 5:00am text race morning; Keith for great cheers; Cassie for the pre-race hugs, & all the Timex racers who had big smiles on race day…..Thank you to Dave for letting me hold the microphone;) and for this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jFU3U_dpDk&feature=youtu.be….Thank you to QR for the sweetest bike around….Thank you to Challenge Tires & Shimano for the great wheels & tires….Thank you to Mer for the power…Thank you to Blue Seventy for the best wetsuit in the world and for goggles that did not leak or fog….Thank you to Champion System for the super comfy gear…Thank you to Tri Slide for keeping me chafe-free….Thank you to Brooks for the run shorts and TrySports for the Pure Connects & laces…Thank you to Rudy Project for simply the best aero helmet, and the great eyewear….Thank you to PowerBar for the 15++ gels and the gallons of Ironman Perform consumed….Thank you to Nathan’s for the electrolyte tablets and transition bag….Thank you to Cliff for seeing the big picture….Thank you to all my friends for the calls/texts/messages. You helped me make it through.