Last night was the end of the year banquet for or TriSmart Team. It send me into a time to reflect back to what was achieved or what did not happen as planned.
The year for me began with being asked to be a member of the Chicago LUNA Chix Triathlon Team. It was a huge honor. I believe in what they stand for and what they do. The team does fundraising for the Breast Cancer Fund which is close to my heart. Also they sponsor weekly runs and rides to promote women's health in doing triathlons. Best part was that my BFF Snips was on the 2011 team also.
My "A" race for 2011 was Ironman Florida. It would be my second Iron distance race. I signed up for it with my friend Flipper. More on that later.
My first race of the year was Rev3 Knoxville in May. It was an Olympic that I made an Aquathon. I was OK with how I did considering the hills on the bike course. The swim was a river swim which I had never done before and actually was OK with.
Batavia was my second Tri. It was a Sprint that I had done 3 times before. The month before my race I was put on a special diet for my metabolic syndrome and my training was limited. It was one of my slower times but I felt good and had dropped some weight.
Evergreen sprint was next on the agenda. My swim was respectable. I had a great bike for me followed by a decent run. This got me second place in my age group. I was happy.
Pigman Half Iron in Iowa came next. It was a brutal day. The swim was a lake swim and the temp was barely wetsuit legal. The bike course was one of the toughest and hilliest courses that I have ever ridden. This was followed by a run course that was downhill going out making the returning 6.5 miles all uphill. I was so happy to be done. I did finish 4th in my age group and qualified for Team USA at the ITU World Long Course Championships in Vegas. Unfortunately the same weekend as Vegas.
September brought the TriSmart 101 bike ride. Perfect placement for IMFL. Weather on the day of the ride was atrocious. Wind , Rain, and Cold. I began the ride very detemined to do the entire distance but quickly becam doubtful. It really sucked. At mile 10 when crossing a set of railroad tracks, a biker ahead slid and crashed. I was a fellow LUNA. She had busted her helmet and hit her head. She was OK but her day was done. As Snips, Flipper and I came up to the tracks we got off our bikes to walk across. I still slipped and fell. The group of us decided to continue to the first rest stop and rethink the ride. It ended up that I was the only one to continue. My plan was to go to the next rest stop and turn around. Once there I felt good and thought I would go alittle farther. Next thing I knew, I saw a sign that said "Welcome to Indiana". OMG. At that point in time, my mind was made up to go the distance. After 7.5 hours, I finished. I was so excited! And thrilled to see warm pizza. It was a highlight of my year.
At the end of September, due to a family situation, I discontinued training for IMFL. Too much was happening in my life to focus.
Then came an EMail that changed everything. I had been named the "Everyday Hero" for IMFL and would be featured on TV. Immediately I called my coach friend. I had already tapered and it was time to train for 2 hard weeks. On top of that I becam sponsored by QuintanaRoo and was given a new CD01 to ride.
IMFL becam a amazing experience that I will never forget. The swim was my hardest part. The time cutoff of 2:20 loomed in my head. Also the pink meanie jelly fish that were on the course did not help. I finished but barely at 2:19:30. A friend helped me change in T1 the on to the bike course. The wind gust of 25mph almost knocked me off my bike several times in the first 10miles. I knew my first time cutoff to make was to be at mile 88 by 3:45. I was averaging around 13mph into the wind but knew it would be a great tailwind on the return. I made it to mile 56 and got my special needs bag then continued. I began calculations in my mind on how my time was. The way I had it figured is if I could average 16.5mph on the return that I would just make the cut off times. As I was turning the corner at mile 60, the wind would be at my back. A white van pulled in front of me a a guy told me to pull over. I was stunned to find out he was an official pulling me off the course. I was speechless. I handed over my bike and got in for the long ride back. My day was over. I was numb. Still today I am unable to really process all the emotions.
So back to last night, it was an awesome night with tri-friends. Alot of looking back equaled by alot of talking of the 2012 challenges. For me? I have a free entry to an Ironman race. Now my favorite part of planning begins.
The other excitement for 2012- I am going to become a USAT level 1 Coach. My dream!! I want to help beginners and back of the packers like me face triathlon challenges.