Well, the road has been long, the journey a challenge, but the week is finally here. I’ve arrived in town for IRONMAN Lake Placid after a long car trip with my parents and my 11-year-old daughter yesterday. It’s a week that I’ve been not only training for, but waiting for and anticipating a long time. I’m not bringing my boys – they’ll stay with their dad – because it would be too tough to manage them and also focus on the race. But as for the family that did come with me? It’s awesome. My mom has never been to a race before – not even a running race. So this is really huge that she came to the Ironman. The three of them are in awe of the beauty of this place.
And it’s no wonder why – it truly is stunning. I took this pic from the balcony of the hotel when we arrived.
See what I mean? Lake Placid, people… it’s magical.
As for the race. Thinking back, this day has been coming for a lot longer than the period of time since I registered last July after volunteering.
Long ago, before I was a runner let alone a triathlete, I used to watch Ironman events that were shown on cable. They weren’t the glossy, ultra-produced IRONMAN World Championship Kona events on network television of today. These were simple, lower-budget cable coverage programs. Some athletes were profiled and the pros were covered, but really I just loved watching the test of physical and mental endurance.
I didn’t really think about whether I would ever do one – I wasn’t even a runner. I started to watch my friend Robin do triathlons, including an Ironman 70.3 in Florida and then traveled to Frankfurt Germany in 2005 to watch her do Ironman Germany. And that’s when I discovered the thrill of the full Ironman race day.
While at the half in Florida, I decided that I wanted to do my first triathlon. I was all set to do a sprint and then go pregnant and abandoned that dream for the short-term. I vowed to do one by age 40 – and I did!
And then I got completely hooked, maybe you could say I got a little obsessed… and I knew I’d do a full Ironman one day.
And that day is this Sunday in Lake Placid.
When I think about what it’s taken to get to this week, it’s been hard. With a busy job working long days, evenings, weekends, and traveling around the world, my schedule hasn’t been exactly predictable. And I have three kids, and some “side gigs” to juggle.
In really fun news, I’ll be on the pro panel Friday in Lake Placid speaking – the lone female on a panel of male pros. I’m representing the IRONMAN Foundation and Women For Tri, and I’ll be asked about the challenge of training for this distance as a first-time Ironman.
My biggest challenge is TIME. And I’ve been thinking of the times leading up to this a lot while on the drive up here.
Of times training alone late at night on my bike trainer.
Of long rides outside with supportive people motivating me to push myself.
Photo credit: Bob Villanueva
Of times when the scheduling of workouts was just too much to juggle.
Of creative solutions to working out while traveling, even to Russia this year.
Feeling more like myself again here in Moscow after a 5 mile run on the hotel treadmill and a kettlebell strength workout. The jet lag combined with long work days was a killer yesterday so I'm glad to get in a solid training day today. Do you work out when traveling? #ironman #ironmantraining #imlp #imlp2017 #im703chatt #traveling #triathlontraining #swimbikerun
(if you can’t see the pic, you can find it here on Instagram)
Of running around a track with friends before dawn.
Of making new friends, with whom I have had countless conversations about Ironman, training, and life.
And of times with my kids, and times where my kids have watched me working towards my goals.
The road to the starting line hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.
I am behind on race recaps – most recently IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga – but I promise a race recap fest when I return. Including a complete Ironman Lake Placid race recap!
Because I plan to finish what I started.
(Unless something crazy happens!)
Just kidding. I’m feeling pretty zen about Sunday – there’s nothing I can change about my training, or the training I didn’t do, now. It will be what it will be. I have personal goals, of course, but some good advice given to me was that my goal is “to set a PR”. It being my first Ironman, that’s what I can count on!
Keep tabs on my Instagram for a more in-the-moment result of the day. I’ll post when I finish and then I’ll recap this amazing experience afterwards.
Thanks for following along, and for your support along my journey!