I had an amazing day at Texas 70.3 last Sunday. I can’t believe it was 7 days ago because I can still feel almost every second of it. And that finish line…. oh man. I can still feel the thrill in my heart.
I was there to answer a whole bunch of questions. Do I still love it? Will I compare myself right now to the athlete I was 5 or 10 years ago? Would I start to compare myself during the race? At the finish line? Ever?
The answers to all of those questions came easily. I loved every damn second of Texas 70.3. Not once did I feel the pull to compare myself to any performance in my career. I never wavered from my race plan as it unfolded. I hit every mark, I hit every calorie. I stayed 100% present. I never felt anything but thrilled and freaking grateful to be there all day long. I loved that it was 50 degrees. I loved that it was as windy as hell on the bike. I knew if it was too cold for them it’d be just right for me. Hell compared to where I come from, this was summer!!!
Before I hit that finish line…. I mentally marked the spot during the first two laps of the run. Right as I made the right coming up that little hill from the beachfront. That place where I knew the finish line was about to begin. Right at that point I asked myself the question: do I want to truly go after this again? After a better performance? Do I want to reach for a podium spot in the future? Do I want to go through all of that again to be the best I can be?
I never hesitated in my answer. F*CK YES. I don’t have any interest in chasing the past. I loved every second of that past but the past is where the past should always be. I learned so much then and those are the lessons I have with me now, ready to create a new future. I am especially interested in next season, as I will turn 45 and that ages me into a new age group. Can I be competitive in that age group? Am I willing to put in the work to find out the answer?
Oh hell yes. I am in.
Right here, right now…. this is the work. I started on this comeback trail exactly a year ago. I have a good 12 months of continued development before I begin to knock on the door of being competitive on that bigger stage. Patience is a huge huge piece of all of this.
Patience is actually everything not just in sport, but in life. Talk is cheap. Plans are so easy to make, goals are easy to set. Sometimes these things take years or lifetimes. But if you truly love what you are going after, and you want it so much your bones ache….. then you must go after it.
I can’t tell you how often I am told that what I do is ridiculous.
I just don’t give a f*ck.
I am all in.
In 13 weeks … God willing … I will toe the line of my 9th Ironman. My first in 5 years. My last one I didn’t have the heart I do right now. I was ready to be done. I am so glad I took that break.
I need all 13 weeks to get ready. I don’t like to race a 70.3 within the final 6 weeks because of the taper and recovery. I want a good long build with strong trailing volume. I know now I need the time to not only prepare but recover. I am at a point in my life where I don’t have to be sleep deprived, and as a masters athlete I need to make sure I soak up every ounce of recovery that I can.
I came home from Texas hungry. Hungry for more adventure, more fitness, and more fun.
While I traveled to this race solo, I was taken such good care of by so many amazing people in this sport. Thanks to Marci, Jason, Mary and Keith for bringing me along to dinner! Thanks to Stacy and the Sonic Endurance Crew for wrapping me in garbage bags after the race and giving me a place to stay warm. Thank you to Tina for making sure I was all settled. Thank you Jenna and Ricardo for being out there and cheering! Laura, I was going to stop and give you a hug instead of a high five and now I regret not hugging you! Thank you to all the amazing ladies in the 40-44 age group for being kind and fierce competitors. It was an honor to toe the line with you.
Thank you Mike, Heather and Gary, for being my guardian angels. I thought about you three a lot out there. I think about you three all the time. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings.
The biggest thanks goes to my awesome coaches Jen and Liz of Multisport Mastery / Jennifer Harrison Triathlon Coaching …. FOR EVERYTHING. Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
And thank YOU for continuing to read, and coming along this 20+ year journey with me. It is my deepest hope that you discover what YOU are passionate about, and you go after with everything you are. I don’t care if it is triathlon, long jumping, kayaking, or kitting. I want YOU to find that belief within yourself to not give one single f*ck what the naysayers say. I want you to flip the switch on your own self doubt, and to get out there and chase the dream that you have been considering. There is no such thing as too old. There is no such thing as too…. too anything.
Take your dreams by the horns and chase them with everything you have. There is one person who gets to be the author of your story.
So let’s do this, shall we? Game on.
Note: if you are interested in following the journey, I chronicle in more detail on Instagram, especially on IG story. I am not big on the workout selfie, but I am big on the story. Find me here.