We’ve been here in Lake Placid for over a week putting on our final training camp, putting the finishing touches on my training for Ironman, and just chilling. I love Lake Placid if that’s not obvious. I have been here three times in the past month, I have ridden and run this course a million times. I know every pothole, every raindrop, and every wind gust.
I did my final long run in the afternoon this past Sunday with my husband riding ice out to me every 20 minutes. If somehow the earth tilts and the equator runs through Lake Placid on July 22, I am ready. I am ready for anything.
This journey back to sport has been awesome. I have loved it. When I walked away from this distance and sport a few years ago I did so with relief that it was over. I dreaded the long rides. I dreaded all of it. This time I have longed for it. I have enjoyed it. I have cherished it.
I don’t expect to be training for another Ironman for a while after this. I have some new goals to chase in some new distances. I feel that urge to chase again. I feel that urge to find the best within myself again, at shorter distances.
This whole journey back has been so much about love. Not only my love for this sport rekindled, but love all around. From friends. From strangers. From everywhere. Past performances have stayed there. Expectations have remained realistic. I am expecting to be around the 13 hour mark in this race. I have gone faster. I have gone slower. This feels great to be right here.
My self esteem and worth is not defined by a finishing time or a placing. It’s defined by me. I am legit because I declare I am legit. I understand the privilege of this more than ever today.
The Buffalo Triathlon Club community lost an amazing man last week. None of us understand it, but the rising up of beautiful people has been amazing. Joe was planning on coming to talk to my nursing students this fall, about sobriety and the role that our sport has played in his life.
As we were setting up the talk, he kept emphasizing that it wasn’t the Ironman races or the medals or the times that helped him so much. It was the relationships that came with this sport. Now, a week later I realize what he was telling me. I am listening. And I understand the message. I will never forget that again.
In that theme, I extended the final trip to Lake Placid to spend some time with Luc. He’s the wind beneath our wings and my biggest inspiration. As he’s graduating next June, things will be different next summer. I wanted to spend time, he and I, in our favorite place without the rigamarole of the Ironman atmosphere in our favorite place. Life worked out so we could come up here and experience what we love about it here.
There are some new chapters ahead for all of us and I can’t wait to get them started.
But first….. a few more days of chilling in Placid. A few more miles on the course. Some fireworks over Mirror Lake, and then it’s time to come home. We will be back in a few weeks for the big dance, and to collect a medal I have been waiting ten years to come back for.