Life is full of them, in every context. Some we open/close overnight, others take longer, maybe even years. Whatever the case, it's when we heed the lessons life is trying to teach us, when we finally outgrow something, or it just doesn't serve our purpose or path anymore that these pages of our life story turn to another chapter.
Ironman Boulder was a closing of a cycle in my life. It was much more than training these last few months- it was rediscovering WHY I wanted to race an Ironman (which btw, when you can answer that, is when you know you should be doing it), rediscovering my strengths, and more importantly my weaknesses in multiple aspects, finding out who is there for me as a true friend/supporter, what thoughts, feelings, and things do or don't serve me, and what it is exactly that I want for myself at least in the short term of a few years.
To quote one of my favorite authors, and public speakers, Brene Brown, "Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. It is not weakness; it is our greatest measure of courage."
That is racing, and that is life lived authentically.
I'm back home now, after achieving the one goal I had for IM Boulder: the slot to Kona. It'll be my fifth time on the island for that race, 10 years after my first Ironman which happened to be Kona! So to say it is special, is an understatement.
After a solid few weeks of incredibly needed rest I look forward to putting on the best preparation of my life for this Ironman. It starts a new cycle with immense experience, growth, grit, and connection to the people that are really my pillars for this fabulous journey.
Let's go over Boulder briefly....
First, I want to thank Andree and Chris Miceli for being the most wonderful hosts during my stay! Spoiled doesn't even begin to cut it. I met them in Cabo when they were there for IM in 2015, and that's the cool thing about triathlon- in one weekend you make friends for life.
I went in to Boulder, mentally ready and of course physically since I had prepped well for IM TX and also had that event in my legs. But that was a double edged sword...a couple weeks ago I felt the deep fatigue in my legs that just wouldn't shake. I did nothing too "long" in these six weeks between the two Ironmans, but still it lingered.
The swim was the best part of the day, it was a beautiful morning, and the Res is awesome. Exiting the swim, I found myself right next to Larissa- our newest 18-24 IM AG World Champ also from Mexico! It was super cool to head out onto the bike together :)
About 20miles into riding my legs were shot. Just bricks. Fortunately, I was enjoying the ride/scenery too much so convinced myself to just get to T2 and it was okay to hand in my chip there.
So I got to T2, and I honestly have ZERO idea how suddenly I was running. It was robotic, like I didn't even think and just headed out.
I ran about 8-10 miles decent, at least it qualified as "running" so this pumped me up and got me thinking dang I might just be able to finish this quite well, what a lovely surprise. Then slowly from there, everything fell apart.
This was unlike anything I'd ever experienced in a race because it wasn't mental demons, it wasn't caloric lows, or GI upset, or cramps....it was UNPLUGGED, DONE, ZAPPED, LEGS WILL ONLY WALK STOP TRYING TO RUN RIGHT NOW!!!!!!
So at mile 16 the walk began. Larissa passed me and yelled to hang with her. LOL, girl was moving! I smiled and told her to keep at it because I was beyond done.
Then an angel came by :)... At around mile 10 I had met this guy in a Timex kit, later to find out his name is Kyle, we briefly exchanged some words of encouragement and I ran ahead. At about that mile 16/17 aid station he saw me walking and said "Oh no, you said you want that Kona slot, you're not gonna miss it! Move your a**!" He was moving slower than Larissa, and it was like hearing my coach say none of that this hurts business, how bad do you want it?! So the jog of death began.
We walked the aid stations, and trotted the rest. The last 4 miles were an indescribable agony. It literally felt like I had to lift 200lb legs each step.
But then, there it was, the finish chute... Kyle and I ran in together, and he was right- KONA BABY!!!!