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'|
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).
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....