Immediately after failing to complete Ironman Louisville, I decided to race the next Ironman race that was still open, Ironman Cozumel. My immediate thought after that guy took my timing chip was, "Well, I just have to try again". I didn't want all of the training that I had done and my fitness to go to waste without trying again. Many of my friends told me to hang up my triathlon shoes and try again next year. I was advised to finish the year out with the NYC Marathon and be proud. I felt fine and decided to sign up for Cozumel. My Coach thought that I had enough time to ramp up again and that I would be fine, if I wanted to do it. I did. It was terribly hard getting back into the high level of training again, but I did my best. I ran the NYC marathon on November 4th, which was a COMPLETE BLAST.... minus the last 6 miles. After the NYC marathon, I was DONE for the year. I did not want to train anymore. I no longer wanted to race Cozumel. I did not want to have to follow a training plan anymore, so I applied for a refund from Cozumel, Tri Bike Transport and Endurance Sport Travel. I was fine with my decision. Here's the thing: I always know exactly what I want to do. Sometimes I question my reasons, but I know what I want to do.... however, I reserve the right to change my mind and I am okay with that too. I am sure that my friends and coach thought I was a little insane or that I made the decision to race Cozumel too soon. But no one knows me like I do. I knew that I wanted to do, until I didn't want to do it anymore. Makes perfect sense to me. No one has to agree or support my decisions.
For the next 5 months, I struggled to get in some exercise. I tried Solid Core, Fly Wheel, Soul Cycle, running speed work with Derrek, indoor cycling classes with DC Tri, etc. I was never consistent with anything. I tried out a Paleo diet and went back to my regular diet to see if I felt differently. I watched my belly grow and my arms and legs get flabby. I contemplated hanging up the triathlon boots and becoming a Pilates instructor. At the end of it all, I just wanted to Tri again, so I signed up for Ironman Louisville. I just HAVE to try again. I signed up for some running, cycling and swimming events and the Columbia triathlon to help me to build up my base fitness. However, I wasn't ready for the first few events on the calendar. I decided that what I needed was a training plan again, so I hired a coach. I started full on training again at the beginning of April. It was incredibly hard getting back into a routine again, but the clock was ticking and the Columbia Triathlon was creeping up on me.
May 15, 2016: Columbia Triathlon - Olympic distance
What went right:
- Unlike last year, I did not cry multiple times before the swim, nor did I have the multiple 'nervous pee in my wetsuit' thing going on (DON"T JUDGE ME!!!)
- Unlike last year, I did not have a FREAK OUT session as soon as I got into the water. Last year, I immediately swam to the wall and told the cop and volunteer that I didn't want to do this today. I was extremely nervous about the bike ride after the swim. The volunteer asked if I was trained to do the distance. When I told her yes, the cop told me, " WELL, GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME AND GET TO SWIMMING!". Such tough love, but it got me going...
- Unlike last year, I did not find myself waiting in transition, crying by Lisa's bike and texting my friends that I could not go on the bike course. Nor did I have the subsequent cussing out by Lisa to "GET YOUR SHIT AND LET'S GO OUT ON THE BIKE, NOOOW!!!" (I have such lovely friends)
- Unlike last year, I did not find myself crouched behind Lisa on the bike for the first 5 miles, because I was afraid of the slick roads and I wasn't comfortable on my bike
- Unlike last year, I did not make adjustments on the run to finish
- I FINISHED and to me, FINISHING IS WINNING!!
- The water temperature: The water was FREEZING (reportedly 62 degrees). I had on a neoprene cap, ear plugs, a wet suit, neoprene sleeves, neoprene booties and I was STILL freezing. I needed neoprene gloves. I had to bald my fist up and scrunch my toes a few times while swimming to get the circulation going. I was at the 300 meter buoy before I got into a groove. I couldn't see the buoys because of their position in line with the sun. This was a slow and FRIGID swim for me, but I got it done. My hands felt frozen so my T1 was extremely long. Ever tried to take off booties or put on socks with frozen/numb hands?
- The wind: At certain points on the bike course, I felt like I was going to literally get blown off my bike. Being wet and cold made the winds feel even worse. I literally could not feel my toes and my hands felt numb
- Not seeing a familiar face as I crossed the finish line. I knew my girls were close by, but seeing a familiar face in the finish chute is priceless
- Increase my confidence on the bike. I am still nervous to go aero
- Get stronger and faster on hills. 90+ will help me with this (when I can make it there. Traffic and work doesn't always let me be great)
- Get faster on the run. I basically need to run more and run intervals and hills. I have a sneaky suspicion that my coach has something up her sleeves to help with this
- Hearing my name called as I exited the water, finished up the bike and approached the finish line. I think it was the awesome Live Now Tri Now folks that had me feeling like a ROCK STAR out there!! I know how hard it is to be a spectator and with such undesirable weather conditions, I appreciate each and every one of you even more! THANK YOU!!!
- Seeing my girls as I approached the finish line. I cussed 2 of them out, but they just laughed it off and told me to hurry my ass up and finish (where do I find such lovely friends???Lol!)
- Learning that my coach WON THE TRIATHLON! She was the first female finisher! How awesome is THAT? This chic knows what it takes to be successful in these Triathlon streets, so I will be obedient.... well, I will try :)
I am extremely proud of myself for crossing yet another triathlon finish line. I think this was Triathlon #15. I do this because I can. I do this to become a better me. My goal for 2016 is to become an Ironman triathlete. I have been chasing this dream since 2014. I have had the goal since 2012. Let's make it happen! Who's with me? If you don't Tri, I can always use a yoga buddy. It takes a village....