Taper. It has finally arrived. With it has come a huge sense of relief along with a decent amount of anxiety-the waning of workouts means race day looms ever closer. But for now, that anxiety is being held at bay by a larger feeling of gratitude.
Ironman it seems, is a selfish pursuit. One that takes focus, energy, and a whole lot of time. On the other hand, it is a pursuit that requires a great deal of support. Support in the form of family who are earnestly interested in how training is going. Support in the form of friends who will rush home from work to start a Bachelorette viewing at 6:30 pm. Support from the triathlon community here in Los Angeles as well as in Arizona, Colorado, and New Jersey. Support from sponsors who see something you hope to believe is true. And most importantly, support from a spouse who not only tolerates all of this craziness but embraces it in a way that words cannot even begin to do justice.
In essence, what I have learned over the past seven months is:
It takes a village to raise an Ironman.
This past weekend was not only the last big weekend of training before Coeur d’Alene, but also a wonderful example of this discovery. I had a workout on the schedule that loomed large. The last time I attempted it was before the 70.3 World Championships and let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. I was determined that this time around it would be a success.
Lucky for me the amazing Hillary Biscay was in town and agreed to do the entire bike-run-bike-run-bike-run session with me! The miles ticked easily by as we chatted and happened upon the final day of the the AIDS Lifecycle.
After stopping by the Ironteam training location, I “rushed” home to meet Mark and a few friends for dinner. Traffic was typical of LA and I knew I was never going to make it on time. When I finally arrived after showering and cleaning up as fast as I could, I was greeted with smiles a glass of wine (just one!) and food waiting. Not one annoyed look or comment about my lack of timeliness.
A perfect end to a lovely weekend came on Sunday morning with a beautiful two mile ocean swim chasing Hillary’s bright pink cap. The water was warm and felt like a huge swimming pool.
I am eternally grateful to the “village” that has helped to guide me through my first Ironman. I hope to do you proud on June 23rd.