Leading up to the NYC Marathon, I had been thinking hard about the 2014 race calendar. I was very tempted to sign up for IMTX again but at the same time, thought a break might be good. Once I finished the marathon though, I knew I wanted a break. I knew I needed a break.
I just kept thinking about the progress I’ve made this year and I thought about how I wasn’t quite ready to take a break. But then I thought about all the stuff I miss because of training and reminded myself that a short break wasn’t bad. I emailed Ana and let her know that my plan was to do IMTX 2015.
Then something happened. I started looking at other Ironman races. I had always thought if I did an Ironman outside of Texas, it would be Florida or Arizona. And then it happened. I saw the date for IMAZ…my 40th birthday. To me, this was a sign that I had to do it. But I’ve already told Keith, my sister and my coach I would take a break. I asked Keith what he thought and he of course gave me his blessing. I asked if it was ok to tell Ana and he agreed. He knew that once I told her, there was no turning back which is why I wanted his permission. Well, needless to say, Ana was thrilled. And that’s how I went from taking a break in 2014 to signing up for Ironman #3 all in the course of 6 days.
It’s barely been 4 days since signing up for IMAZ and I’m already annoying myself. But in a good way. I’ve been searching for places to stay while there and have already lost the place I really wanted to someone who is staying “far longer” according to the VRBO homeowner. Whatever. I’ve also been debating driving vs flying so I can bring the dogs. Yeah, I’m serious. I don’t want to leave them. I also don’t want to ship my bike. I’ve got some time to decide of course.
I caught myself visualizing this race yesterday. Umm, seriously? Ok, it’s a little too early for that nonsense. I even caught myself looking at race results for the 40-44 a/g, my new a/g as of 1/1/14 and was starting to crunch numbers. Ok, stop it! There will be plenty of time for obsessing later. For now, I need to enjoy the few races I’m signed up for and enjoy some down time.
So part of doing IMAZ means I have the opportunity to do a half ironman right in the heat of the Texas summer. Yay! My plan is to sign up for Prarieman Half Ironman which should be in early September. I was warned by my coach this is a tough race where a PR is not likely. No problem…I can handle that! I looked up the 2013 race results and O M G! I have never seen run splits so slow for folks who were on the podium. So does this scare me? Shockingly, no. This is how I know I’m a changed athlete. A few years ago, I would’ve been terrified of a race like this in the summer. But now, I’m looking forward to it. I told my coach that it sounded miserable in the most amazing way. She has created an absolute monster. What kind of psycho is giddy and eager to sign up for a race where it will be easily over 90 degrees and maybe even in to the 100’s with the humidity factored in? What kind of psycho thinks a 4 loop bike course that had 20mph winds in the past sounds fun? And what kind of psycho is excited because this will be the race she finally vomits at? Yeah, that would be me. My coach LOVES it too. Like LOVES the fact that she has created this creature. I actually believe that if I sent her a picture of me post-race with vomit on my tri kit, she would put it on her refrigerator like a proud sibling (my coach is my age so I will not dare compare her to a proud mama…lol).
When I think back to where I was in 2005 after my first race or even my first race with Ana as my coach, I shake my head and laugh. I have come such a long, long way. It’s crazy to me to think about how much I struggled in the past. I’m not saying I don’t struggle anymore because I definitely do. I’ve just finally learned to embrace the suck. Something I am confident I’ll be doing a lot at Praireman!