Where did the summer go? It seems like just yesterday I was prepping for Ironman Tx. With a stress fracture in my left foot and in the boot yet again – this has become a bit of “old hat”. As we have done this three other times before, coach said, " this is just how we do it". I am so grateful for my sponsors at Promotion Physical Therapy and the use of the Alter G treadmill. I ran several 20-mile runs on the "moon". The day of the race came and as usual for us - I just wasn't sure how the foot would feel but I trusted that we were well beyond the healing period and my drive and passion would carry us through. Sure enough the foot held up as the temperatures rose.
I thought it was ironic that I went from running on the mood to racing on the surface of the sun. The swim was a mess and I had the worse swim that I have had in years. Just didn't find my rhythm nor was I clear on the course. I knew I had work to do on the bike to make up the deficit I had created by having a poor swim. Thankfully coach and I had created a great plan. I had power numbers thanks to the sponsorship from Britton's Bicycle Shop and helping me get an awesome race wheel with power. I stayed right on the edge of within myself and felt so solid with the plan. One-loop courses don't usually work for me, as I like to chase so I made up my own chase game. Before I knew it I was back to the Woodlands and saw one of my most amazing support group ready to call into the rest of the crew that I was headed to transition. As I came off the bike, I heard the crew tell me I was in second. All right lets stick to the plan and see what the legs and feet can do. Having not run on gravity for over 6 weeks, how much pounding the legs can take is always the unknown.
As I started the run I knew my spotters would be cheering for me and I would be easy to spot thanks to my new Sunrise Kit from my sponsor Smashfest Queen! A big group of girls that I work with would also be decked out in Smash gear and I spent each loop looking for those hummingbirds! First loop came and went and as I started on the second loop I realized I was feeling a bit and the stomach was not cooperating. Ok hang on and we can mentally chunk down this next loop. I went from spotter to spotter and that is how we did the second loop. I know that seeing those that are important for me along the course is like mental Windex and helps me to remember that I am not whatever I am feeling at the moment. I knew I went from second to third and I knew that I was holding my place. The third loop included messages from Coachie in Australia, Chris in Tucson and chunking it down even more into little tiny pieces. This was my second fastest Ironman and the most meaningful. It was truly a "this is your life" day from racing through the town I lived in a s a little girl, to having my dearest friends from throughout my life to my children and finally to those I coach cheering and spotting as well as my "brother from another mother" team mate Tim Perkin racing with me.
At the awards ceremony I found out that I had indeed performed well enough to punch my ticket to the Ironman World Championships in Kona yet again. Yep, I was over the moon as it is such a privilege to get to compete at the championships on the same stage as some of the most talented athletes in the world.
Like any big accomplishment, it never is a solo effort. I am blessed to have a team that all get to take credit in this journey. I never could have made it to the start line or the finish if not for the team that shared in my goals and passion. My coach, Hillary Biscay who worked with my physical therapists Justin Martindale and Ashley Belrose at Promotion Physical Therapy to create a training plan that allowed a solid progression on the Alter G treadmill and strong strength work to correct the niggles that continue to haunt me. Hopefully we have uncovered one of the issues contributing to the problems with my feet. Smashfest Queen for making me look awesome before the race, on the course and on the podium! My chiropractor, Nick Milnor kept weekly tune ups on my very crooked spine to keep the lines of communication open between my core and the rest of my body. Coach Susan Ingram pushed me in the water to get my collar bone strong in the water. All my friends and family gave me the nod of encouragement and support along the way.
So begins my journey back to the surface of the sun on the big island of Hawaii. I am less than 60 days out and training is going better than it ever has. My feet are showing no signs of break down. My mind is as sharp as ever. New benchmarks have been hit as well as a strong plan for accomplishing a good race. The team at Promotion have tweaked and tuned my body and played detective to see what it needs to perform at my best. Hillary as given some me some new benchmarks and we have chipped away to be fitter than ever. So I have been to the moon, to the sun, back over the moon and looking forward to my dance on the surface of the sun!