Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Truth

I'll start with a few random pictures from our trip.
We left the boy's names in the lava with coral from our beach...

At the expo getting my legs loosened up with a compex machine...not sure what it was called. It's supposed to remove the lactic acid from your legs. It felt good at the time..who knows..

The beach Mark and I relaxed on the day before we left.




Ange and Nat cooling off with iced coffee from Lava Java.




Mark collecting coral for the boys




My poolside post race indulgence. Yummy! And oh- so bad.


Life post Ironman.....

Things have really changed for me in the past week. Eleven days ago...I crossed the Finish line in Kona. I donned that Lei and that beautiful medal and smiled a very satisified smile. I walked through transition to pick up my bags, my bike, and at last, the post-race pizza. I sat on the ground and just smiled. I did it.
The truth of that day--it was tough. So tough. Gruelling really. But I put my head down and got to that finish line.
Was the day perfect? No. Did I reach my full potential? Probably not. I can pick apart the race piece by piece and find places that I could have executed differently. Of course, I have done this. But the Truth is...I did the best I could do that day. I trained for two Ironmans this past year. Only one was planned. The second was only 10 weeks after the first. When I walked down those famed green steps into the waters of Kailua-Kona bay...I forced myself to remember this. I travelled around the world from Maine to Hawaii and prepped for an Ironman in 4 days. The honest truth is that that is not easy to do. I am proud of myself for holding it together and performing as best I could that day.
And that is my truth.

Mark and I drove back to the hotel that night for a shower and some food before heading back to the finish line. Throughout the week I had thought I was fighting a cold. I had a slight sore throat but convinced myself it was irritated by the salt water during my morning swims. My body let down all it's defenses during the 11 hrs of work on the lava fields and I was instantly sick. My tongue was swollen with cankers so badly that I coudln't eat. Within the next few hours I had a massive sore throat and cough. I had held on just long enough.
We drove back to town Just in time to see my friend MLou heading towards the finish line. I hopped out and ha...ran...to Ali'i drive.
What a party scene that was!!! I had so much fun standing at the finish watching more and more tough athletes make their way to the glorious end. Chrissie Wellington was dancing around wiht the volunteers placing leis on age groupers heads. I give her credit for this. She was there for 2+ hours enjoying the scene with all of us. Great music was blasting, the crowd was unbelievably energized and the athletes were all incredibly pumped to cross that line! I had a blast. One of the best parts of the day. I had perched myself on a wall overlooking the spot just after they went under the clock. Perfect...until some woman in front of me climbed up on the wall and Stomped on my foot!! I almost passed out the pain was so bad. My feet were already aching beyond description. The toe she hit is now a gorgeous shade of black and purple-the whole toe.
The next few days were spent relaxing, drinking coffee and eating pancakes at Lava Java, lounging on a deserted beach, watching manta rays in the moonlight, and then travelling hours and hours back to our children.
It was an amazing trip. I am so lucky that I had the support of my husband, my kids, my parents and my in-laws so we could make this trip happen. I have the greatest coach-Jen Harrison-who trained me so thoroughly so I was able to have the race of my life in New York and earn my spot in Hawaii. And then she miraculously took my beaten up body and retrained me for Hawaii just a short 2 months later. Amazing work Jen!! You kept me in line and made me believe when I thought I wanted to crawl into a pile of sand. My friends were so supportive as I travelled and hit the lava fields. I can't thank you all enough for the encouraging words and nice words after I crossed the line. And a giant thank you to you guys who stayed up Half the night to watch me cross. I tried to get before midnight...oh man did I try.

Now I am home and on break. I have had the question, "now what?" or "what are you doing next?"
Resting!!
Am I anxious to train again? Yes. I miss my workouts. Am I secretly thinking about triathlon? yes...It's hard to let it go. It's on my mind. Am I planning 2010 and making goals? Of course. I am.
The truth is...this is who I am. It drives me. It make me feel good.It gives me something just for me.
I love this sport and I can't wait to go at it again. Next season will read much differently. I will race shorter and faster and more frequently. I can't wait....
I made a promise to myself to be smart now. To savor this break. It is important. It is what will make 2010 successful. I wll continue to sleep in past 4:30, I will take showers when I get up, and I wont' schedule family events around my 5 hour bike rides for a long time.
The truth is...I need this break.

14 comments:

GoBigGreen said...

October is perfect for a break, at least until DLS ends I can't believe the sun rises around 7:30am! Congrats on a great season:-)

MaineSport said...

Short is the new long! An it's much more fun!

Swimming for ME said...

Sounds just like what you need. Can't wait to hear your plans or 2010

Kim said...

what an absolutely awesome 2009 season ange. you truly rocked it. now enjoy that rest, 2010 wont know what will hit it!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Ange! Love the pics and all the details of the race. You really had an amazing year and I am so happy for you. You really worked so very hard for your accomplishments! enjoy your R&R and take full advantage of this downtime until the work for 2010 happens! :)

IronMatron said...

Rest is good. (Keep reminding me, okay?) You more than anyone deserve a break. You had an AWESOME season. Loved the post-race details. xoxo

Michelle said...

Ange, what a great post-race write up! I love this sport - what other sport has the pros sticking around for HOURS after their finish to cheer on the age groupers? It's a beautiful thing.

Your comments about your rest period made me smile - while I didn't have the same season as you, not even close, I desperately needed some time off in September. Sleeping in past 4:30 and showering first thing - it IS sort of fun being a "normal" person for a few weeks!!! LOL! But at the same time, it's so NOT normal (not for me), so it's ... weird.

Enjoy being normal/weird for a bit! It's good for you - just remember that when you are itching to go a bit earlier than you should. :)

Melissa said...

Cool....

Running and living said...

I've been following your journey since Lake Placid. You are so determined and tough and talented. I look forward to seeing what 2010 brings for you - lots of PRs and AG awards, I am sure!

rungirl said...

what to say ... amazing. plus i totally get it all. how many people can say they love turning themselves inside out on a regular basis? real athletes, that's who!! rest up because i want to see you out their next year!!

Judi said...

it's so hard after an IM, to not have SOMETHING to focus on. i can't imagine how it would feel after kona. i hope you take the rest (Jen made me rest for 7 full days after imky, and i did it, thankfully) and savor all the goodness you had this summer/fall.

best-
judi

Heidi Austin said...

Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing... Can't wait to hear your plans for 2010. I don't think any of us can forget triathlon in the off season although we may try!

TriGirl Kate O said...

Many congrats again on such an amazing season! Your hard work and perseverance are such an inspiration. I hope you and your family have a great fall and all stay healthy.

Molly said...

Hey, awesome job out there. You earned the time off, so enjoy it!