Like most of my solo adventures, many of the people I meet can’t wrap their heads around why I travel solo. On my most recent trip out West, I spent 5 days in the Alberta outback with a rental car, my backpack, hiking shoes, no running water and super spotty cell reception. Stupid to some? Perhaps. Soothing for the soul? Absolutely. There’s something so special about being surrounded by nothing but your own thoughts.
A girl from my running team posted in our club Facebook group asking if anyone wanted to join her and her mom for a running relay in the Yukon that coming September. With Ironman scheduled shortly before it, I discounted myself from the adventure, secretly dreaming about how awesome it would be to go to the Yukon. Fast-forward to a few months later that girl came over for a girl’s night and before everyone left for the night, I had somehow signed up to tag along. Not that it actually took much convincing… cause let’s be real, I truly can’t turn down an adventure!
I just finished the last spoon of the cookie dough ice cream tub that I’ve been devouring. Beside me there’s an empty family sized bag of chips and underneath that an empty box of cookies and a few single kernels inside the empty popcorn bag. No, this is not the sight of someone wallowing in sorrow instead it the sighting of an Ironman nursing themselves back to life.
Let’s start there. I am an IRONMAN. 365 days of double workouts, sweaty gym clothing, tears, frustration, moments of triumph, mood changes and everything else that led me to this moment. I did it. I am an IRONMAN. I feel like I could write a novel about the entire experience, instead, I will try to summarize race day in a single post. Be warned it was a long race so this will be a long post.
I just want it to slow down. I want to stop time and soak in every last second. I want to enjoy every last dip in the water, stroke on the bike and stride on the road. Even in the midst of two of the hardest and longest training weeks I’ll ever complete, all I can think about is how can I make it last longer? How can I better savor this moment?
The final push is here! Only 40 days stand between me and the Ironman Mont Tremblant start line. As my time gets more crunched and since people really seem to be loving these vlogs I’m going to try and alternate back and forth. In a perfect world, I’ll be vlogging once a week talking about how training is going and then write a post later in the week that’s more philosophical or talks about lessons and tips.
I woke up at 3:40am on Saturday to make the long drive up to Mont Tremblant for the long weekend. The goal of the trip was to get a taste of what race day will be like. I’ve virtually ridden the course several times now but until you can be there and see everything with your own eyes, it’s not the same. For me this trip had everything to do with mental training. The physical training was just an added bonus.
Rather than not posting anything at all this week I’m going to try and give this vlogging thing a whirl. I find that by the time these posts are written it’s either a gigantic rant with a ton of spelling mistakes or I end up spending an hour editing and re-editing the whole thing after it’s written which just isn’t in the card this week. Anyways enough from the writing me and over to video me:
Today’s the two-month mark till race day! How am I feeling? Honestly? Excited. Not everything has gone my way, a lot has shifted since I started but I’m actually really excited to see what I can pull off. I did my second open water swim of the season tonight. In an ideal world, I’d have someone kayak or paddleboard beside me but that’s really hard to coordinate. My next best bet is to have someone keep an eye on me from the shore – again hard to have a roster of people who want to sit on a deserted beach, in the middle of nowhere, on a Tuesday night and watch a crazy person swim, while it rains. Thus I typically end up with my last resort. I text a couple people before I head in and again when I come back out. I realize it’s not ideal but truth be told there’s not much someone can do if I truly run into trouble.
“Overly competitive people often lose sight of the fact that striving for excellence and beating others are two different things”
I didn’t think I needed to write this. Yet here we are. I’ve spent the last 8 months lying to myself. When I started this journey, I started it for a number of reasons; my passion for the sport, to find my limits and for Julie. Truth be told there was a fourth motivator, I wanted to win. At every Ironman, there are exclusive slots given to the top competitors to compete at the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. For females in my age category, there is a single slot at each race. One girl gets it, no exceptions.