Let me first explain that I wasn't even supposed to be IN this race. Last year the day after the Ironman, I took a chance and got online at about 11:58 Monday morning and started trying to sign up online. I knew it was a long shot considering how many people actually travel TO lake placid, volenteer and then get first dibs on signing up the morning after the race on Sunday. I had two friends that actually were there in 2010 for this specific purpose (to sign up in person). My chances were slim, but I wanted to try anyway. When I had only a few triathlons to my name, somehow Beth and I decided that it was our destiny to do this race and signed up. Let me repeat that, we signed up for an Ironman after doing a sprint triathlon and maybe an Olympic (like one). At some point that spring, we had a heart to heart and thought better of it (aka backed out). Looking back, I might have done it, but it would have been ugly.
Only 200 people got into LP online in 2010 for the 2011 race. Amazingly enough, this chick was one of them. How do I know? Because the race director announced it was never supposed to even go online due to the number of people they had sign up on site. When I qualified for Kona, I questioned if I really should be doing the race at all. Would it hurt my chances in Hawaii? What if I didn’t recover? I’ve never done two Ironmans in one year?? Would I really want to train hard in the spring AND through the fall?? When push came to shove I just really wanted to do this race. For the atmosphere, for the stories I heard from my friends, for the scenery and the fact that we had SO many people from Pittsburgh headed up to New York. All of those reasons combined just made sense to me. I had to do it, there were too many yes’s and not enough no’s.
I didn’t mean to imply in the last blog that I hadn’t trained for IMLP. There were plenty of long trainer rides from January through March, a training trip to AZ in Feb, and some longish bike rides in May and June. I think I rode 6 hours twice during my prep and did a handful of 5:30 rides as well. It was July that really threw me. That was when MTV took over my life. I guess I just didn’t realize what me taking over as the coach was going to really require (nor did my co-workers, family or friends). After about one week of basically working my hiney off, I was starting to get the picture. If I could fit in one workout per day it was short and most of the time, it was really just me riding at a heart rate of 100 with Branden (the Made Coachee) for an hour or so.
At one point about two weeks in I called Coach Justin in a state of panic. I think my words were something like “Justin, I’ve stopped working out, not because I want to, but because I just can’t. I’m not sleeping, I’m barely eating and what I am eating is crap. I haven’t seen a pool in more than a week. WHAT SHOULD I DO!?” His instructions were simple, “stop stressing.” He explained that if I wanted to undo any chance I had of doing well, just keep doing what I was doing and let my cortisol levels shoot through the roof. That would do it. The next part surprised me. He said to just fit in one hard run, one hard bike and the longer stuff (as much I could do) on the weekend and I would be fine. REALLY?? That was it?? I thought! Yep, that was it. Even my pre-race talk was “well, neither of us really know what’s going to happen out there, so, have fun, don’t go crazy at the first part of any leg and enjoy it!”
Well folks. That’s exactly what I did. Three months ago I had big expectations and I had told both Kyle and my Coach of my intentions. As of a week before, I was sincerely hoping I could pull off a decent race and just finish happy and healthy. There was no pressure or anything.. just national television…no biggie.
After finally pulling off Branden getting into town, post conference calls and schedule planning it was finally time to get down to business. I really didn’t give the race much thought prior because I didn’t have time! It was a hustle right to the start line of filming and chance meetings with fellow 16 year old triathletes ;)
Thank heavens for Kyle and my Ballou Skies Teammates and friends (Jeremy, Jocelyn, Mark, Billy, Chris, Eric, Bruce and all the other family / supporters) or I would have been a total mess. Just enjoying the atmosphere of the area and being among so many people I knew was something I was really looking forward to prior to the race (and one of the reasons I kept it on the schedule).