As I sit here in my pajamas sipping my Osmo Preload with only 11 hours to go until my first Ironman, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the year and what tomorrow truly means.
I can honestly say that when I did my first triathlon in March 2013 I never expected it to lead me to Ironman. But I’m so happy it did. This sport has pushed me to my limits and challenged me physically and mentally in ways that I didn’t know were possible. It also allowed me to connect with some of the most hard-working, fun, dedicated, and passionate people on the planet.
When I signed up for Ironman Lake Tahoe almost a year ago I made it my mission to do everything possible to be prepared and confident on race day. When you sign up for the hardest Ironman in the world, the fear is enough to get your booty moving. Here are the events I signed up for and how it turned out:
2014 started off with a half marathon PR in the pouring rain (good test for tomorrow’s weather!) which I was beyond thrilled about. Then it continued on to the Wildflower Long Course where I raised $7,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and shattered my time expectations, beating last year by over 40 minutes. Confidence was starting to build. Then I jumped off a boat in the middle of the SF Bay and swam to shore as part of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. I still can’t believe I did that. Insane. Then I conquered Death Ride, a 129 mile cycling event that involves 15,000 feet of climbing in the mountains under high heat. That was a huge accomplishment for me and I can’t believe I felt great after 12 hours of tough cycling. Finally, it was the Vineman AquaBike (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike) where I got 3rd place in my age group and my first podium.
Through all of these races and training I managed to avoid any major injures (just minor knee pain here and there), to stay healthy, to avoid burn out, and to thrive on a plant-based diet.
Ironman training was a great way to learn how to set short-term and long-term goals and realize that there really aren’t any shortcuts. In life, you truly have to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. This is a lesson that I’ll take with me forever.
Ironman training also requires dedication and a positive attitude. I woke up at 5am almost every weekday and 7am on the weekends to get my training in. I stayed laser focused on my goals and I hope that tomorrow I can say everything has paid off.
Geeking out a little… in my peak month of training (August), I trained 752 miles, or 68 hours. I did eight bike rides over 90 miles this year. I went to Tahoe 6 times for training weekends. Finally, I ran 720 miles and biked 2,773 (that’s like biking from SF to Detroit) in 2014.
To say it was a successful journey is an understatement. But I could not have done it alone and I’m grateful for my coaches, teammates, friends, family, and co-workers who have supported me every step of the way. Thank you so much.
Overall I feel very confident for tomorrow. I know I’ve put in the hard work and my body and mind are ready for this. Tomorrow I’m looking to enjoy the day, to smile as much as possible, to wave to all of my friends and family on the course, to have fun, and to embrace the moment. It’s been a long journey and I want to soak in as much of Ironman day as possible.
I know it won’t be an easy day. There will definitely be dark moments, happy moments, and I’ll have to dig deep and push through the aches, but I’m ready to stay focused and find that finish line. “Do or do not”, says yoda.
Thank you again for the good vibes, for the cheering, and for the endless support. Bring it, Ironman.