9/10/17

Ironman 70.3 World Championship - quick recap


Life can be interesting.

There are many times in life when we can plan, prepare and perform. Times like these make life easy and fun. And then there are times when life throws you a curve ball and you can't help but think "this sucks."

As a lifelong athlete, I have experienced a lot of success in sport but I have also learned many important life skills and lessons. The hardest lessons are often the most valuable ones, as it's never easy to overcome obstacles and to manage a setback.

This weekend was filled with highs and lows. As much as I wish I could be writing two race reports from the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, I can only write Karel's race recap and not my own.

As you may have heard on social media, on Saturday morning (race day for me), a few minutes after my 4am alarm went off, I blacked out and ended up on the kitchen floor. My face took a good beating and since this has never happened before, it was very scary. I was alone when I got out of bed so when I woke up from my accident, it was hard to tell Karel that something was wrong as I knew he would be very worried and scared. Karel was quick to tell me that I was not going to race. I agreed with him but to be honest, the decision included some tears. I've dedicated my entire season to this race and since we arrived on Tuesday, every day made me more and more excited to race on this tough course with so many fit and strong female athletes. I felt in great shape, my mind was mentally committed and to be honest, I was just telling Karel how healthy and strong I feel going into this race. And then comes that curveball, out of the blue.  

I've always believed that a setback paves that way to a comeback. Unfair situations help us grow into the person that we are destined to become. Without a setback, we wouldn't learn about our health, our strengths, our weaknesses, etc. But more importantly, when an opportunity is stolen from you, that emptiness that you feel, typically filled with sadness and heartache, eventually becomes full again with a good or better feeling.

Like with most things in life, time heals. Although a part of me will continue to grieve for the loss of not participating in my first IM 70.3 World Championship, I am thankful for all of the kind words and support from Trimarni followers, my Trimarni athletes/teammates, my family and most importantly, Karel.

                        

Although physically I was feeling back to normal a few hours after I fainted, I was still devastated that I was not able to race. Picking up my bike and my gear bags on Saturday afternoon was tough - tougher than I imagined it would be. But, I could not have been more thankful that I had Karel's race to watch on Sunday. I just love watching Karel race and being out there with Trimarni athletes Natalie and Stephanie (who raced on Sat) and also watching Trimarni athlete Al on the course, along with my spectating buddies Meredith, Peggy, my mom, Leigh Ann, Leyla and Laura, and running into some familiar faces, was exactly what I needed. I needed to surround myself with others, smile, laught and watch the sport that I am so passionate about. I was happy to be out on the course - even if it was just on the sidelines.

As for Karel's race - what a race it was! Karel raced very smart and although he did not take it easy, he did not dig deep or take any risks as he has Ironman Chattanooga in 2 weeks, which is a very important race for him. Well, this strategy of racing smart and pacing well paid off as Karel put together an unbelievable performance, placing him 8th in his age group (40-44) out of 403 athletes (and less than 30 seconds away from 6th place!). Karel looked comfortable, in control and confident all day, on a course that suited his strengths.

I'll be writing more about the race weekend but for now, here are Karel's race stats: 

                                      
Swim: 30:34
T1: 3:28
Bike: 2:30.29
T2: 2:23
Run: 1:26.35

Total time: 4:33:28
8th AG (40-44)