My 6th Ironman race is now done. Thank Goodness!!!! I love this sport but woah, the weight off my shoulders right now is huge. Each one has left me with many intense feelings and stories but this one is a little bit different. Rather than sit at my desk struggling for the perfect opening sentence to capture my readers, I will just start telling my story and hope the words flow smoothly and my emotions can be felt from where you sit.
We traveled to Mexico on Thanksgiving Day this year. I felt some guilt for taking my boys and husband away from the 'typical' gathering around the table, however, both our parents joined us at our home the previous Sunday to celebrate the holiday. We were thankful for that and also thankful for having the opportunity to take our kids on this adventure to a different country this year. The day went smoothly and after hours of flying and then boating across the Gulf from Playa del Carmen, MX to the little Isla de Cozumel, we stood on the balcony of our rented condo and looked out at this:
The day before the race--I'll keep this brief and get to the race. I stayed off my feet. I ate so many white carbs and drank so much fluid that I felt like a beached whale by the end of the day. The winds calmed, the heat rose, and our wifi was OUT. This is relevant because that is how Ironman had communicated with the athletes about the cancellation of the practice swims. Were we ok for race day?? I had to assume Yes. That day, we had to drive to the location of the swim start to rack the bikes & drop off T1 bags but at that point there was no word on any changes to the race. At the athlete meeting the day before, they told us to bring T1 and T2 bags to that location. However, once there they said we had to go back in town to drop the Run bags. ( two transition spots). The logistics of these races can make it challenging for those of us trying to stay out of the heat and off our feet the day before the race. I think the whole process took 3 hours with all the driving, waiting in line and two locations. Not ideal...
Race day-- 3:55 alarm & I was up eating and thankfully, checking my ipad to see if we had wifi yet. We did. The many thoughtful Good luck notes friends and family had sent the day before came filing through my inbox. THANK YOU to all of you who sent me those nice notes. Each and every one meant so much and gave me a burst of strength from home. But then, my eye caught the one from the Ironman peeps. Sh$^#*$**!!!!!!!!!!
The race that I had put in Countless hours and so much hard work was now going to have an ** at the end of it. The subject line of the email read: MODIFIED SWIM COURSE FOR FORD IRONMAN COZUMEL
I am not kidding when I say my heart skipped a beat and started racing. I know this has happened at other races and they have even cancelled swims before. That didn't make me feel better.
"They " say you can't Win a Triathlon on the swim. True enough. It takes a solid performance in all 3 legs. But, I can get a lead and believe me, that is part of my race plan.
While I felt relieved that we still had Any swim, I was angry and I was worried. Our 2.4 mile starting leg was now 1.9 miles. I had no idea what this would mean to the day.....
All I knew was that I was going to swim even harder than I already planned.
We were out the door with all 5 of us by 4:45. My kids are such rock stars when it comes to this stuff. Seriously, they got up and out of there without a single squeak about the obnoxiously early hour. We buckled into the jeep and little Nick even said positively, "I just love the feel of the cool air in the morning." :) Love them... and so happy they were with me at that moment. My calm before the storm.
|athletes running out of the water|
|That's me in red, waving to the guys.|
|The very end of the swim course.|
|My support crew with Mark behind the camera.|
|The logistic for the spectators to get from the end of the swim Back into town to watch the rest of it was a Nightmare and took my family a few hours. They were stuck behind 100s of people walking and driving.... :(|