Its here! Race Week!
I am feeling goooooood too.
Boise and I have a history, and not a great one. I'm hoping that Saturday will change that. (oh please, I hope I didn't jinx myself).
In 2010, Boise was my 2nd ever 70.3. I was terrified. Really. There were hills on the course and I lived in Houston, where there were zero hills hills. I'd drive 70 miles NW of town to ride in Chappell Hill, which only had hills 150 feet tall. I'd have nightmares (really!) about having to walk my bike up the hills during the race. It was also the coldest water I'd raced in (~55ish degrees). And hello! This was only my second 70.3 - only 7 weeks after my 1st 70.3.
Race day arrived. The swim was good - I was fine with the cold water and I was happy it was semi-clear and not swampy. The bike was the hardest thing I'd ever done. We had 28-35 mph head and cross winds the ENTIRE race. I had a 4:04 bike split and came into T2 exhausted and a bit defeated. Full disclosure: I actually did fall off my bike and have to walk up a hill. They put aid station #2 right after a 90-deg left hand turn and part way up a hill. I didn't have the balance to get a water and ride up the hill, so I stopped and got one. My cousin (Jeff) caught me at that point and stopped too. We got going again, I couldn't get my pedal turned over quick enough to clip in and I tipped over, right at the aid station. I was too flustered to try it again so I walked up the dumb hill. Jeff came into T2 and told the whole family that I fell over and was bleeding.......
The run that day was my proud moment. Even with the hard bike, I ran the whole thing. Sure, it was more of a shuffle-run, but it was not walking!
Total time: 7:32
I was 63 out of 70 in my age group.
It was absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done.
2012 was supposed to be a redemption year. I was now an Ironman (IMTX 2011), I'd moved back to Colorado and was riding hills. I could totally do this race without being scared! My goal for 2012 was to crush the race. Instead, I broke my heel a few weeks before the race and couldn't run.
Undeterred, I switched my entry to a relay and found a random guy who had registered but had a shoulder injury and couldn't swim, so he became my runner. Sweet. I was going to crush that bike course.
Race day came and it was snowing on the back side of the bike course. Thirty minutes before transition closed they announced they were cutting the bike down to 14 miles, basically the distance from T1 to T2. And it was sleeting at the swim start. I was frozen, borderline hypothermic, and decided this was Mother Nature's way of telling me I really didn't need to race with a broken heel. So I handed my chip in and watched Matty Reed hop on his bike while wearing his wetsuit.
So, 2014 is now redemption year! (knocking on wood!)
this year I am:
healthy (except for a few minor niggles which are MUCH better)
not remotely scared
In the past 2 months, I've been up Deer Creek / High Grade 3 times and did that Ski Hill ride in Santa Fe in April. That's ~3000 feet of climbing in 13.5 miles. The total elevation gain on the Boise course is ~1,300 feet. I do that in 2 hours on my little ride around town. There's only 4 main hills to worry about, each with 200-300 feet gain and ~1.5 miles to get up the hill. I was in the airport last year for IMCDA transferring to Spokane and I saw the big hill that scared me so much in 2010 and remarked to my husband that "I eat hills for breakfast". I cannot tell you how good of a feeling it is to be excited about hills instead of terrified by them.
Cold water doesn't scare me either because that's pretty much all I swim in now.
And I know I can run, faster than I've ever run before. And that I can run fast in a 70.3.
I know I can put myself in a hurting, dark place and do well. Last year taught me to be brave, be open, and to try. Rewards are out there, but I have to chase after them.
This year, I'm excited to really chase those rewards and redemption down. I'm hoping to be at least an hour faster than 2010. The whole family comes out to cheer and I'm so excited to have them see me at my best rather than what they saw on my previous attempts at this race. Also: Uncle Nick will be able to get his margarita sooner, which means everyone wins :)
The race is Saturday at NOON and I'm bib # 634.
LETS DO THIS!