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Tomorrow is My Race, But I Don’t Really Race Alone

November 17, 2012

Less than 24 hours until the cannon goes off to start Ironman Arizona. My bike is already racked in transition, my bike gear and run gear bags already checked in. The practice swim is done. Tonight I will join my teammates for a final dinner, return to my hotel room to finalize my bike special needs and run special needs bag, and try to get some sleep. And tomorrow is my race. No matter what else happens on race day, it is my race. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. This is about doing what I can do.

But I don’t race alone. Nobody reaches the start line of an Ironman alone. I could not be here without all the support from family, teammates, and friends. And as I do my final preparations, I want to thank those that have helped me along the way.

Most important, thanks to my loving husband, Jeremy. Admittedly, he has not always been thrilled with how much time I’ve spent training. I know he’s been more frustrated with it than he lets on. But he’s put up with me. He’s tried to be understanding because he knows how important this race is to me. He’s let me borrow his car to drive to early morning training rides and races, when he would much rather me be home in bed with him. He’s been excited to hear about my races and asked if I won, even though he would rather be spending the day together. And he will be there waiting for me at the finish line (and he’s promised to bring brownies for me), and that will keep me going through those long run miles. And I promise him, after the race I am ready for some down time from training so we can spend some quality time together. Jeremy, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you at the finish line!

Next a huge thank you to my coach and teammates at Rowfit! Without you, my Ironman dream would still be just a dream. My coach, Nell, inspired me to dream big, convinced me that I could learn to swim in a year, and told me that it would all be worth it. She has put in so much time and care in designing our training plan. She has helped us with nutrition concerns, with injury prevention and treatment, with technique issues, and with race plans. She has pushed me when I need to go faster, but perhaps more important told me to scale back when I push too hard. And my teammates have been just as critical. They have been the people I can share my concerns, victories, and goals with. Without Nell, Eric, Morgan, Doug, and Dan, all of those long hours biking on the trainers, biking outside, running on the track, swimming at Ohio Street Beach, and racing would have been unbearable. We will all conquer this race tomorrow, together. Go Team Rowfit!

Another huge thank you to my family coming out to see me race. My parents are driving in from San Francisco and my grandparents are driving in from Las Vegas. After years as an athlete, this is only the second race they are able to see me in (the other was Head of the Charles when I rowed in undergrad). It means a lot to have them there for me. I can’t wait to see their faces as I run around that course, again and again. I am so glad this course is so spectator friendly (three laps on the bike and run — meaning multiple viewing opportunities). My dad even asked if I want to get breakfast together on race morning, even though he knew breakfast would be at 4 am and he doesn’t expect to be in Tempe until 11 pm tonight (I politely declined — I’ll be eating breakfast in my room as I race around getting ready for the day!).

Thank you to everyone who has donated to support my fundraising efforts. Together we raised $650 for Ironman Foundation and $567 for Challenged Athletes Foundation! Wow! My smile will be that much brighter as I cross that finish line, knowing I’m doing it not just for myself, but for other incredible athletes. I had a chance to stop by the CAF tent at the Ironman Expo and learn about some of the athletes with physical disabilities who will be in Ironman Arizona. It humbles me to be able to support these athletes.

And finally, thank you to all the friends who have encouraged me along the way. You have listened as I talk on and on about races and training. You have asked about my training and races. You have wished me good luck. You have understood when I missed dinner plans, parties, and other events because of my training. And your excitement makes a huge difference to me.

Tomorrow. I. Will. Be. An. Ironman. IMAZ 2012. Here. I. Come.

15 Hours Till Ironman Arizona.

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From → motivation, races

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