Finally… I’m feeling the desire to write again.
I wanted to write about all of this sooner.. but I had a lot of ‘life stuff’ going on right after Ironman Mont-Tremblant. I also wanted to write lot more about the race day and everything that followed… but other things had to take priority, and that’s ok 🙂
To make a long story short… THIS moment was the proudest moment of my life:
Achieving the DREAM of Kona Qualification at my 2nd ever Ironman at IMMT!
There were only two slots this year in the 30-34 AG. I finished 2nd place, missing 1st place by under two minutes. Of course that had me thinking: “I wish I didn’t have to use that porta potty at mile 40 on the bike”… I could have taken 1st! I went into the race thinking I could do it, believing I could do it. I DID IT!
Overall time: 10:53:39
2nd 30-34 AG
11th Amateur Female
26th Overall female (including Pros)
35 minute PR from IMMT the prior year (25 minutes taken off my bike alone!)
All of this was achieved on a very hot day (rare for late August in Quebec). It was in the mid-80’s and almost Kona-like conditions during the second half of the race. And while I would love to recap this race from start to finish, I am going to go with an abbreviated version instead.
Punching my slot to the Big Island had me feeling like I was on top of the world!!!
When I qualified at IMMT with a 2nd place age group finish, I had no idea what would be in store at Kona. I had just raced my heart out and had the race of my life (including a battle during the 2nd half of the marathon for 1st/2nd place). I executed my plan (mostly to perfection). I had confidence going into that race, knowing I could get my Kona spot and I wanted it badly. When I earned my Kona slot, I was given a lei that I was so proud of… I practically wanted to sleep with it on.
Then, a week after a race reality hit that I would have to continue with training and my season was far from over. Two Ironmans in a seven week time span.. could it be done? How would my body respond? There were emotional highs and lows during this time, there were doubts… doubting myself and asking if I could really do back to back Ironmans like I was about to do. At one point it all became too much and I even said: “I wish I never qualified for Kona.” I know that sounds insane, but it was very, very overwhelming. My body was confused. After Tremblant my legs were craving a break that I couldn’t really give them (sorry legs).
On top of the fatigue from IMMT, I was dealing with some tough “life stuff” i.e. divorce that was affecting me from an emotional standpoint, this made training even more difficult and at times it was hard to get my head in the game. There were lots of tears during the Kona training block, not because I didn’t think I could do it, but it was just very emotional for a lot of reasons. After my last long brick workout, I stood on the treadmill and the tears were flowing (it also didn’t help that Bon Iver was playing on Pandora). I had exceeded my own expectations and I got through the toughest mental and physical training block of my life.
Racing two IM’s in two months would be a challenge for sure, but I was up for it. Once IMMT was over, I took a few weeks to rest and then I picked things up for about five weeks prior to taper week before Kona. Before I knew it, it was taper week. Those weeks between my two IM’s were some of the fastest moving weeks of my life. I feel like I blinked and I was putting my bike in it’s bike box for the airport and making my packing list for Kona.
In the few weeks leading up to Kona, I started to feel like I was actually ready to race again. My speed and power were coming back and my doubts were disappearing. The fears were not really the race itself i.e. the distance. I knew I was capable of 140.6 miles.. but it was the heat, wind and crazy conditions that Kona is known for that scared the heck out of me. And let me tell you, Kona is everything it’s cracked up to be… but you have NO idea what to expect, NO matter what anyone tells you, until you actually experience it for yourself. I watched all of the Ironman videos of the world championship from years prior… I read articles… listened to input from pros. but nothing, I’m telling you nothing prepares you for this race other than the race itself….