Monday, November 10, 2014

Finally Race Week - Ironman Arizona 2014

I'm SO excited!

It’s been four years since my last Ironman, and as a result, I’m bursting with excitement and pure enthusiasm for this coming Sunday. I haven’t been this excited for a race in a very long time and it certainly helps that I’m feeling healthy, strong and content.  Now it’s simply getting out there, executing my plan and smiling along the way. Pretty simple right? Ha, I’ve been coaching and around Ironman long enough to know full well that unexpected and random things can leave even well prepared athletes searching for Plan B and Plan C. The ups and downs of IM day are always part of the challenge,  so I’m doing my best to prepare mentally for that balance as well. 

I’ll have several friends and a few of my athletes in Tempe to cheer which just warms my heart beyond description. My friends mean so much to me, and having their support is extremely special. My mom who travelled from Newfoundland will also be there to spectate and experience her very first Ironman. 

After racing for 12+ years, I’m constantly seeking new and exciting challenges to keep the fire burning. I registered for this race last year with the primarily goal of breaking the 10hr mark. My current Ironman PR is from IMFL (10:12) and I’m confident that if conditions are “normal” in Tempe on Sunday, I have a solid shot at hitting that target. It’s historically a fast course, but I know that conditions can certainly make IMAZ ‘interesting”.  Forecast right now looks optimal, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us.  Although my goal for the race is primarily time based, I (of course) took a quick glance at the start list last week and quickly recognized a few very talented and speedy women in my AG (W35-39), including the reigning 70.3 AG World Champ and another gal who’s pretty much won every 70.3 she’s done this year. Once I saw those names I stopped looking at the rest of this list, knowing full well that in order to podium in this field it will require my absolute best -  AS it should be!!

Thankfully I have countless sources of inspiration and a healthy doses of perspective to keep the emotions in check.  And yes, perspective is a beautiful things. As much as i’m fired up to have a great day out there, it’s important to reflect on the big picture. My body has held up SO well during this, and for that I’m most grateful. The power of all the details - I had a fantastic training plan and I combined that with very smart nutrition, consistent rest, routine body work and inspiring yoga. I feel healthy and strong right now and that alone makes me very happy and thankful. No Ironman exhaustion on this end. Sharp and ready!. I registered for this race almost a year ago, and I’ve likely thought about it every day since. There’s been so shortage of miles but thankfully I’ve really enjoyed this journey. It’s been extremely rewarding so far, and truthfully the race feels like the celebration dance.  

And if something takes me way off plan on Sunday, I’ll still be heading to Switzerland with KY the day after - WIN!  (Yes, I'll be seeking full body compression and a baby aspirin).  And regardless, I’ll be indulging in a little Swiss chocolate to celebrate living a healthy and happy life!

Cheers AND best of luck to all the racers!!

Here's glimpse into my Ironman toolkit: 
In the swim - Awesome new ROKA wetsuit

Bike: Specialized Shiv, Zipp Disk/808 front, Specialize Evade helmet, Stealth T1 shirt, and LOTS of Osmo

RUN: NEW Voler Life Time TRI TEAM kits, Hoka shoes, and my Target brand jelly beans.