Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Boise Half Ironman, A different kind of RR...


I sat around for days upon my return from Boise, composing thoughts to share about my first experience at the half Ironman distance.  Heck, this was the first triathlon, aside from some sprint I did last summer, in 24 years.  I wrote, re-wrote and, hard to believe even over-wrote a very well-written and exciting post (Ha!). But the second I finished building the post of the century, my Boise "teammate", Katie, presented me this video, which pretty much sums up my verbose narrative, minus the relentless minute details.  You may as well watch the entire 15:26 video than sit and read incessant babble I wrote, which trust me, was longer than 15 minute.  It's cheesy, but I'm a sucker for cheese in some instances, and this would be one of them - it touches my heart.



Awesome, right?  I actually got choked up when I first saw it (hard to believe) the other night when we had a little post-race BBQ at Audrey's house.  I think it's really fun and as Tara, my old swimming and training partner, moves on with new life adventures out of Colorado next week *sigh*, I'll look back on this amazingly sweet day and cherish the incredible memories.
I look like hell.  It was 'one of those hair days'
It's no secret that I didn't physically train for this race; I have another adventure to train for which is far more emotionally personal to me which required this aging and hill-challenged body's training time, but I knew I could use this race as a very solid endurance training day, so I went into it with no real expectations other than the experience and somehow enjoy the day (how someone enjoys 56 miles of hell on a bike is beyond me...).  The relentless bike hills, the gale-force winds swirling in every direction, the intense heat as temperatures rose to 92 degrees - all those factors wore me thin.

But I'd do it time and time again, if I could share it with these very special people.

When I opened up blogspot for the first time around 5 years ago, it was at my daughter's urging because she knew I loved to write, loved to run, and wanted me to combine the two so she could, as she claimed, "have something to better understand me and my running 'disease' long after I was gone."  (I guess my endless verbal running chatter really does go in one ear and out the other)  I thought about this for a couple months before I eventually decided that yes, my running was important enough to me and the journey was something I wanted to share with my children.  It took a long time for technology-challenged soled me to figure this blog thing out, but eventually I wrote - and back then, I wrote a lot.

Many changes have taken place on this blog over the past 5+ years I have been writing.  It's pretty obvious I don't write as much as I used to, I don't feel the need or crave the outlet like I used to, but it is still the pen and paper-esque journal I set it out to be (and what it will always be); I truly hope one day, when I'm "long gone", that I've painted a vast landscape for my children describing a lifestyle that has meant a lot to me for the past 35+ years.

Somewhere along the course of the massive years writing, the journal morphed: blogging became a creative outlet, a source of motivation, and something that connected me with so many.  I shared a Boston Marathon hotel room with people I only exchanged typed words with; I raced races with bloggers in California, Utah, Massachusetts, Illinois, and my home state of Colorado (to name a few); I found my coach(es); I lost a running friend who always, always believed in me; I learned copulas amounts of running information, advice, and opportunities - and I connected with so many of my now best friends.  

All this, because of the encouragement my daughter set upon me over 5 years ago.

The incredible people doing Boise with me I met via this blog (except for Audrey, who was Katie's friend...but Katie and I met through the blog).  Before Tara had her baby 9 months ago, her and I meet a couple times a week to swim (and bitch about how cold the water is).  I met her though the blog.  This little blog of  mine - wow, Boise wouldn't have happened without it.

Katie wrote a synopsis of her thoughts about Boise when she sent the video.  I was going to post the whole thing she shared with me but this post is getting super long as it is (I know, I can't shut-up when I actually DO take the time to write :)) so he's a short blurb ....

On June 7th, I nervously sat in a lecture hall at the Boise convention center.  I have to say it was the first time I was required to attended an informational meeting before a race....which just made me more nervous.  The breakfast I had choked down was starting to creep back up and my heart was racing. I sized up the people around me and realized I actually had no business being here.  Look at me....look at them!  I was about to flee....then I looked to my left and there was Jill cracking jokes about how she was going to get a drafting penalty.  My breathing eased, my stomach settled, my confidence reappeared.  It was going to be okay.  I wasn't alone, my team was here....

I train almost exclusively alone.  It sometimes sucks, especially when I'm high on a ridge in the middle of the Rockie Mountains on trails, lost, and have no idea where they're leading to nor if I'll find my way back to my car before my water runs out (Last week was a classic example).  It gets old.  It gets lonely....there are days that are very tough for someone like me (and I'm alone, a LOT!).

So when I get the rare opportunity to to share the road with some really fine people, I treasure the company.  I often wonder how I got so lucky to have friends like this.  I could laugh and half-kiddingly say that once they find out what I'm really like (after sharing a car ride for 13 hours!), all bets are off.  But the thing is, they already know and still there for me anyway - cracks, divots and all.

We need each other, you know, my trail shoes and my friends....sharing our experiences and making memories for each other.  We live our lives, love our people, and do our work.  But we can get into a fairly absolute pattern with these items, forgetting that we were designed for adventure too.  We need the experiences that stretch us higher.  We need validation.  When we ignore these needs, it's easy for our passions to get clogged and erupt, or morph in ways that are harmful.  We are not designed to thrive under restlessness or complacency; our lives need life, they need adventures.

Thanks, ladies - I had a blast (except for the 13-hour drive home).


7:01
1 minute off where I had hoped I would finish.  But thanks to a lovely 33 minute first mile run when I forgot my bib and forced to go back to retrieve it, which added an extra 2 miles to the run, I'll take it.  The day was exactly what I set out for it to be - a great endurance training day!  I just got lucky to share it with some amazing people.

Dare I even say this out loud, publicly - I actually loved the triathlon itself (what???).  I can't even believe I'm even entering thoughts of a full IM, but there just happens to be a new one in Boulder next year (on August "hottest day in Hell" 3rd).  Hum....

As for Leadville training....it's still going, though admittedly I'm sick of it all and starting to feel the affects off my body starting to break down.  It's not that I'm over-trained, it's that I'm burned-out.  Tired of it.  Tired of so much time away from my kids as I spend days away each week at altitude training. I'm just ready to be DONE!  I'll have a post up this weekend (Promise. Maybe);  I recently had a great race up Mt. Evans last weekend to write about, and an upcoming Leadville training race this weekend.  Gawd, get me out of damn car; I spent more time driving to a vertical training run than I actually RUN!  2.5 weeks left....

29 comments:

ajh said...

Wow! You are so impressive. Look at all the things you are doing! Amazing! I had to laugh at the running back to get your bib. Oh my that is so something I would do. You have my sympathy. An extra two miles? Last year in my first sprint I had to go back for my chip but we are talking maybe 5 minutes. Can't wait to hear more about Leadville. What memories you are building.

Colorado Gal said...

Congratulations on your awesome finish-- even with the additional running :)

saundra said...

That's awesome, Jill! Thanks for the last 5 years of sharing.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Oh no about forgetting your bib and having to run back for it, but awesome job still! It can be hard training alone all the time. I do to.

Michelle said...

So awesome! One of the great things about being more "experienced" (ok, aka, older) is that having to go back to get the bib didn't RUIN your experience! We can laugh and continue on. You rock. I'm loving seeing the training for this climb! It's crazy.

Denae said...

Wow! Awesome Job!

Gracie said...

That's a killer race, especially with the extra miles! Wow!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Keep it up you are doing awesome!!!! I know it's hard when you are burnt out but it will all be worth it in the end!! I still can't believe you went back to get your bib :-) That's an awesome finish though either way! I train alone a lot too just out of convenience but I agree it's always much appreciated when I do have company. You are an endurance rock star!

Robin said...

Congratulations, that's a fantastic result, especially without really training! Hang in there for Leadville! Almost there.

Johann said...

You are really incredible Jill, well done! Loved the video! Made me feel I know you just that bit more closely and better :) You are going to kill Leadville with all the training you are doing, awesome!

HappyTrails said...

You rule. :-)

Matthew Smith said...

Way to finish your first 70.3! I love that distance, although I don't know if I would want to add a couple extra miles to the run like you did.

egb said...

Congrats to you! Awesome job and I am totally impressed that you are already thinking longer distance! Great job.

Cory Reese said...

You are amazing! I'm seriously so impressed that you tackled something like this.

Don't worry, in some of my races I've seen plenty of 33 minute miles....and I don't have nearly as good an excuse as you.

Congrats!

Terzah said...

I can't watch the video yet (I'm at work), but I loved what you had to say in the post about friends, and all of us *needing* our adventures. Very much looking forward to helping you *rock* in Leadville.

Jesse - Questionably Texan said...

Congratulations! The video was great! You had a great finish time, even with that 33 minute mile :) You should definitely be very proud.

Sorry you're losing Tara as your training partner. Seems like you two have been training together for quite awhile.

Jenny said...

Amazing!!! :)

Char said...

Well done Jill. You're one of the bloggers who really inspires me to step out and do stuff that scares the crap out of me. All the stuff you said about blogging - totally agree with. Putting finger to keyboard has been one of the best things I've ever done.

Mike said...

Love the post and the reason you blog. So glad I met you through blogging and we got to meet in "real life" too. Your passion for running and pushing yourself is contagious.

Loved the video too! I watched the whole thing and reminded me of the feeling I had doing my first sprint tri a few years ago in my early forties. It was the first time I really felt "alive" in quite a while. Scary, refreshing and invigorated all at the same time. I have a full IM on my list too, so depending on my life situation and what race you ladies choose, maybe I can be in the 140.6 video :-).

Teamarcia said...

Oh Thelma you are spanking it. Cannot wait to come to Leadville for the grand adventure!

petraruns said...

I love love love that video. Really inspirational. Makes me want to get back on my bike / into my wetsuit (what? never again!). Girl I am blown away by what you are doing and how hard you are working. I know you are tired and it seems like you're paying a really high price but it's worth it. Believe it. It's amazing. You're amazing. I'm just sitting here marvelling at you. You're a marvel. Big hugs!

Kandi said...

As always, I'm amazed by you. What an awesome video.
Good luck at your race this weekend too!

SupermomE12 said...

You are amazing! Huge congrats!!! Love you heart and spirit. :)

Julie said...

Awesome!

Happy Tears!

BOULDER!

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

I, as usual, am showing up late to comment on the blog! I loved your post, I just loved it! I can't wait to see how you do in Leadville....I am all ready to produce your video...I already have a music suggestion for the title shot. I need to find some way for me and the kids to come up and watch you race that day. I don't want to miss seeing you rock it!! I really hope your ribs are okay.
I really hope you do that ironman so we can go on some more epic bike rides! Love you Jill and I can't wait to have some more adventures with you!

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

This is the exact kind of post I needed to read Jill. I loved the video that your friend made about your journey to becoming a 1/2 IM. It is definitely an achievement to be super proud of. I hope to potentially (eeeek!) sign up for Lake Stevens next year. Of course I need to survive my first sprint triathlon first! My ultimate goal is to finish IM CDA in the next 2-5 years. Big EEEEEEK!

Coy Martinez said...

Congrats!! I have nothing but serious respect for anyone who trains and completes these 70.3 and full Ironman races. Regardless of finish time. I'm sure you feel the same way. It's not just that they require guts and putting fears aside, it's that they make you go to places inside of you that you normally don't care to venture. The finish line is a big neon sign confirming that you are who you've always wanted to be. Strong!

Anne said...

What an inspiration you are! I loved reading all this, and yes, you having to go back for your bib made me smile and wince :) how frustrating!! But, look at you doing so well regardless and with all that other training going on. You are just amazing!!! You are strong and tough and I can't believe you're doing all that after all the foot pain you dealt with. Can not wait to read about Leadville!!!

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