Today is an interesting day. It’s a non-race, race day.
First, I was planning to be here:
Then I decided I was going to go here:
Instead, I am here:
I went to one of my favorite places this morning – Waterton Canyon – and did one of my favorite things – running. It was a gorgeous, warm, bluebird sky morning, and I honestly had the thought when I was out there “there is no place I would rather be than right here, doing this.”
Someday I hope to tackle both of these races, but this year just didn’t seem like the time for either one. I have always wanted to race IMWI. I grew up going to a summer camp in Wisconsin, so the area has a familiar feel. I spectated the race in 2003 when Mark did his first IM and got to experience the course and the town. It was a fun venue and I hope to experience that course from the racing side someday. Hopefully when “someday” comes around, I will be more of the cyclist that I need to be for the IMWI course.
Vegas, well, I was a bit more scared of that race. I knew its reputation for having a non-wetsuit legal swim, a super hard, hilly bike and a hot and hilly run. Since I spent the summer being a bit more relaxed, I didn’t want to go there and have a bad race and shake my confidence for IMAZ later this fall. I have too much respect for World Championship races to just show up and hope for the best and that’s what I would have been doing in Vegas today. I hope to race this event, but I would really like it to be something that Mark and I do together. Maybe next year…
Instead of racing, I am several weeks back into training hard for IMAZ. Our friend and tri-mentor, Kevin Koncazk, agreed to take me on as a coaching client for my IMAZ build and I am super happy to have placed my training into his capable hands. As much as I enjoyed doing my own thing over the summer, I felt like I needed some outside guidance to make the most of my time in the 3 months before IMAZ. I knew I wanted someone local who was familiar with my training terrain and could see me swim, bike and run in person every once in a while. I wanted someone who specializes in IM athletes and particularly people who are trying to KQ. Kevin coached Mark for IMCdA in 2010, and while Mark proved himself to be largely uncoachable due to his overwhelming need to do exactly what he wants in training rather than take someone else’s advice, we both trust Kevin’s judgment and experience. When I was scared out of my mind in Kona last year, Kevin took the time to call me and go through a lot of aspects of the race and the course. He has followed my race results for the past two years and knows my strengths and weaknesses. It seemed to make sense to trust him with my training this fall and I have been really happy with the decision so far.
I am doing a few things differently than I’ve done before. It’s been fun and interesting to train in some different ways and I’m finding that it feels fresh rather than the same old thing I have done for the past 5 IMs.
Congrats to everyone who got out there this weekend and put themselves on the line. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to find out what you’re made of in the world of triathlon and I have so much admiration for those who get out there and give it their all and for those who were getting out there for the first time. I enjoyed virtually cheering everyone on and being inspired by their determination.