Monday, September 08, 2008

The Ironman Fix

Just last week I was starting to feel the effects of the LONG season. Thirteen races completed this year, 3 BIG races left, and thoughts of being undertrained, (but probably overtrained) were starting to enter my mind. The classic signs of late season burnout! THE CURE?? Go watch an Ironman, and preferably Ironman Wisconsin. That quickly restored heightened motivation!!

Initially I was going to skip the road trip to Madison this year: I was there in ‘05, ‘06 and ’07 and well, I have a few VERY busy weeks ahead. As the weekend approached and the ironman buzz was floating among the ranks, it didn’t take long to fill Jmac’s car with cowbells, snacks and energized “spectathlets” (thanks for the term ELF) en route to Madison.

I’ll skip the crazy details of Saturday night, but there's indeed a good reason Madison is frequently called MAD TOWN. Luckily I was the self appointed designated driver, but the lack of sleep certainly had an impact on my race day spectathlon SPUNK!

We arrived at the race in time to see the sunrise and hear Mike Reilly encourage the athletes “INTO THE WATER”. As always, the Start was something else, and the energy was amazing. We met up with a few additional friends and then made our way to “Cowbell Hill”, where the grills were plentiful and the party was ON. It was wonderful to see so many athletes putting their heart and soul into their race day performance. We were fortunate to witness hundreds of amazing stories unfold...

As we moved to State Street to watch the run, my interest in ‘racing’ another Ironman started to creep back. WHAT?? There’s just something that happens when you watch an ironman that reminds you of the magnitude of such an event and challenge. I am doing the Ironman World Championships this year, so yes that counts, but I will not be racing in KONA. I made the call early this year to stay focused on Short distance racing in preparation for USAT AG Nationals, and the US Open, so my goal for KONA is to simply eliminate expectations and enjoy an inspirational day.

Madison would be such am amazing course-I LOVE hills and I thrive on spectator energy. This course has both, and what makes it even more appealing is that Erik, Jmac, Kate Monster, Cathy and Terry are IN!! It would be an amazing summer training together (I’m sure Kerry would do it too) with frequent road trip to Madison and sharing the ups and downs of the long and emotional training... HUMMM…Well I missed online signup-I wasn’t ready to make the commitment this morning, but I WILL decide after Hawaii. If its in the cards, I’ll do a charity slot (this is what I did for IMFL) or attempt a 70.3 qualifier next spring. SUCH FUN!!

A few photos...

The Crew at the Finish line ( Julie, Erik, Jmac, Myself, Merilee & Jen):

THe famous Helix ramp leads to T1, with the lovely Cindi Bannick waving from the top:

Erik taking his volunteer duties very seriously:

Hanging with Kate Monster (love the Gear West Kit):

Elizabeth (E.L.F) & Jen Harrison being So Cute at the start: