About Me

When I was 8, I was always the last one picked for dodgeball. Now at 29, I'm training for my first Ironman.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time to Say Good-bye

Please excuse me, but this one might be a bit sappy.  It's been an emotional weekend, and now I'm all packed up, waiting for the last leg of the journey to Ironman to begin ... the 18 hour drive to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (which, conicidentally, I still had to google for spelling).

I had a decent final week of training/tapering in Fresno (heavy on the taper, light on the training).  I was travelling for work Monday through Wednesday so I just ran and then swam one afternoon at a downtown gym pool in Sacramento between appointments.  That was one of those trainings that really felt Ironman-esque - not because it was intense or anything like it - just because I was willing to do anything to make sure I got it done - like walk several blocks in heels, pay a $30 daily use fee, swim in a tiny two lane pool in a bricked in room, jump in a lane where 2 people were already swimming and spend my whole workout darting around them since they refused to do a loop swim, and then have my last client meeting of the day with wet hair and a weird explanation.  You do what you've gotta do.

The real highlight of the weekend was the send-off party that Bob and Becki hosted for all of us doing the event and the supporters who have seen us through the training.  I had no idea how many people from Fresno will be travelling to Idaho this week to take part in this same adventure.  It was exciting to meet them all and to share stories from our training.

The Fresno Contingent for Ironman CDA 2012!

This weekend was more about packing and making plans then it was about training.  Packing was by far the longest training exercise I had all week. It was a multi-stage process that kept me up late last night, and I'm sure I forgot something, but I'm also sure there's a Target somewhere between here and Idaho.

Swim. Bike. Run. In Style.  Go Ironmanda!

This will get me through only 14-16 hours of the next 10 days but is the bag that took the longest to pack.

I was able to squeeze in one last bike ride with my dear understudy, Kelly, and my friend Rochelle on Sunday morning.  We just rode easy out to the Shell Station in Friant and back. On the way back, I got a flat tire, on the back.  And I changed it in less than 5 minutes.  I'm getting pretty good at this.

Love her.

On Sunday afternoon, I went up to Bass Lake to see my grandpa for fathers day.  I jumped off the boat and swam to the shore.  No wetsuit, no goggles.  Just me in a red bikini.  I felt strong and healthy and adventurous.  And that's what this is really all about. I wasn't always adventurous, and I wasn't always the type of person you'd point to and say "I bet she'll do an Ironman." I have spent much of my adult life forcing myself out of my comfort zone, sometimes painfully so, but almost always to wonderful results. 

It really hit me on the way back that from my ride Sunday morning that this is it.  Even though the event is still a week away, the journey is already coming to an end.  When I signed up for Ironman last summer, it was because I wanted to spend more time with these amazing people that I had grown closer to while training for Barb's Race (half-ironman) last summer.  I wanted to smile the whole time like I saw Kelly Irwin do when she completed Vineman last year.  I wanted to go on crazy, endless bike rides with Dave Kurtze, and Jason Miller and Michelle Eskew.  I wanted to meet Bob and Becki McKee for Friday night swims at the lake. In a lot of ways, the training has lived up to all of my expectations, and in some ways it hasn't ... but that's been ok too.  Michelle got hurt and I missed out on training with her - but she'll be back and there will be plenty more miles to bike.  Friday night swims turned into Tuesday or Thursday or Friday mornings ... but they were just as fun, and even more beautiful.  Dave Kurtze led us on plenty of crazy bike rides, and one hot afternoon last week, I was even able to keep up with him and Jason.  And most importantly, I have smiled a lot.  And I'm confident that I can channel a little bit of IronKelly next Sunday and let her mockingjay pin carry me through the rough patches : )

This has also been a solo journey in a lot of ways too though.  It is completely impossible to have someone there with you for every single training (although Kelly and Jason came close).  And in the end it will be a solo journey on Sunday too.  And like it or not, that's what I need, to know that I can do this on my own - without my faithful friends - Kelly, Jason, Dave, Mark, Rudy, Matt, Katie, Jill, Steve, Christine, Cheryl, Bob, Becki, Shelley and so many others that have swam, biked, or run with me along the way.  But someone once told me that there is a difference between being lonely and alone, and I know that I will not feel lonely for a single stroke, pedal, or step.  They will be with me all the way.

What I saw when I opened my garage to leave for my bike ride yesterday .. and a beautiful reminder that I am lucky to have spent so much of the last 6 months exploring the amazing world we live in.

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