If I have not mentioned how much I adore Mont Tremblant, let me do so now. I love it. The weekend was a weekend of training, friends and a re-charge that I didn’t know I wanted, needed, or could even have again at this stage of my game. Mont Tremblant gives me something I can’t explain.
It allows me to ride in a place I feel completely safe. We ride on a highway with shoulders so wide and so large that we could ride four abreast (but don’t). I never ever feel threatened or worried about cars out there. Never.
The riding is amazing. Long sloping climbs that take minutes and not seconds to ascend. I tried to count how many shades of green I saw out there and lost count.
Sunday Joe and I got out before 7 for our long run. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that Kristen and Joe were early birds like me!!!!
It was great to be back on that run course. The crushed paved section of the run is now paved, and I never thought I’d say this about a paved trail but it was amazing. It’s a lonely section of the course, n spectators. It’s a long section, not as long as the out and back in Lake Placid. But if you are doing Ironman Mont Tremblant it’s a place where you need to be mentally strong. You can go do deep dark places in an Ironman and this has potential to be that place where it happens.
Sunday morning brought the sounds of a thousand birds as we ran under a canopy of trees. We both mentioned “Who needs church when we have this?”
This sport has taken me all over the world and has brought so many people into my life. I would have never seen these things or gotten to call these people my friends without a swim, a bike or a run. Form the streets of Germany, to Kansas City, to Kona, to Florida and Texas and Canada. I feel like everyone I have been able to meet and now call friend has become a charm on a charm bracelet of my life. It’s it’s full from all of the places I have been. It’s value of people is beyond anything I could put a price tag on.
We headed out for another loop of the bike as soon as we were done with our run. I am always asked if this bike course is harder than Placid. I can’t say harder but I can say you climb here. Placid’s climbing is sneaky, and a lot of it’s in the back half. Here it’s straightforward. The hills are long climbs and long straight ascents. The second part of the course is a climb and then a big descent back into town. If I have some time later today I will detail it all, with maps ad everything.
We rode and rode strong. It felt good to have the road miles back in my legs. I truly love to be on my bike. Again, I was seeing something I could not see any other way.
It was Joe’s first time up here to Mont Tremblant. His excitement was so big and wide and it made me so excited to see him get so excited. I love seeing that. I love it. I love being with people who share what I love.
This winter I dipped into the world of speed skating, thinking I might need a break from triathlon. All spring long I kept falling back in love with my sport. This weekend solidified my love for it. What I needed wasn’t a change, I needed to step aside and let it come back.
My decision to retire from Ironman was made long before I finished Ironman Mont Tremblant last summer. And it still feels like the right choice. I am loving my 70.3 focus. I am loving being out there. I am loving the people I get to spend these kinds of weekends with.
Triathlon seasons are insanely busy for me. With announcing, racing, coaching, camps… I am on the road every weekend in the summer. I get to travel mostly with my family, always with friends…. and I have the work / lifestyle to allow it to happen. My life is flexible, filled with everything I completely adore.
Between coaching and being an athlete I get to meet the best people. I get to be part of triathlon and life journeys I would not otherwise get to. There is nothing more gratifying than to watch an athlete grow, athletically and personally. I love watching them wade the waters of difficulty, I love to see how they handle it. I love to help guide them past the barriers and soak in the long awaited and hard fought victories with themselves.
This was the re-charge I needed. I am so in love with the aspects of this sport I get to be part of. It’s so much more than swim bike run. It’s the people, the experiences, THEIR experiences and my own that I love so much.
Amazing, amazing weekend. If you haven’t been to Mont Tremblant….. you need to go. Period.