Beach to Battleship. It was beautiful! The weather was brutally windy and chilly and the logistics were complicated but the course was really fun and there were definitely tears at the finish line of this race. Sharing the day with me was my husband Nick and my teammates, Brenda and Casey who drove all the way to NC with some awesome signs to cheer me on through out the day. I also raced with a few fellow RTC members. Of course my thoughts while racing were filled with moments I had with everyone that had helped me along the way in this 2011 tri journey.
Before my crash, I wanted to go sub 6 in a half iron distance. Kinetic Half came and went and I was sadly still sidelined. It absolutely crushed me to be at home and to think I would not achieve that goal for 2011. We really were not sure in April/May if I'd be able to recover fast enough to build to a half iron this year....yet I did!
After my crash, I decided I would be better, stronger and faster than ever before. The crash changed everything for me. I became more committed and more driven. I did not enjoy my beautifully laid out plans and goals being snatched away in an instant like that. I wanted to make a "come back" and go sub 5:30 in a half ironman distance instead of sub 6...and I did...by about two minutes! Through hard work, sacrifice and an insane level of focused determination, I shaved 42 minutes off my fastest half ironman time and I am so happy with this race. I am so happy with the season. They say the mental aspect to triathlon is critical and now I can tell "they" are right. I wanted this season to be full of PRs and lots of fast racing progress despite the crash and it was. The suffering I endured trying to recover from the crash was fuel for my training and racing once I was able. It affirmed my commitment and goals in the sport. It was what motivated me to wake up in the dark cold October mornings to train alone and follow my training plan with precision. It allowed me to refrain from handfuls of candy corn and pints of beer and to eat greek yogurt and protein shakes instead. I learned a lot about myself during those dark days and along the road to recovery and I am sure that heightened sense of awareness did help propel me. This is my hobby. I do it to have fun, and it is the most fun to make progress! I am totally addicted to progress.
Sub 5:30 in a half and 4th/45 in my age group is more than I had dreamed of for this race.
I didn't do this alone. I had a lot of help from my husband, friends, family, coaches & team mates, my doctors and PT and heck even my co workers. I had the support of an entire community of triathletes in the Richmond area as well. Being a triathlete in Richmond, VA is a wonderful thing! I feel very lucky.