I hope if you have never read one of my blog posts…….this is the post you first read!
This is it! Ironman race week has come and I couldn’t be more OVER-THE-TOP-EXCITED for the experiences I have had and will have on race day next Saturday. I have spent the last few weeks of taper, literally giddy. I think that’s what happens when you feel well-prepared and are at the precipice of checking off that HUGE item on your bucket list.
All this training (and rest) has really made me reflect on my life to this point. I didn’t just get to this place over the last 6 months. It has been a journey over a decade in the making. There are so many people who have been there. So many turning points I’ve navigated. I have to pause and applaud so many people in my life. Here’s the short/long list (in no particular order and definitely not all inclusive) :)
To Elizabeth (from McKenna Long Aldridge) for walking into my office the Spring of 2001 and asking me if I wanted to run a marathon.
To Herb Riggs who taught me to love running during all our muggy, morning runs through Washington, DC.
To Ray Murdock who continued to stoke the fire for my love of all things triathlon when life was hard and the road was rocky.
To Lasse Bjerga who showed me the epitome of “going hard” and not settling for anything less.
To Alice Burns who showed me that a mother,an athelte and a successful woman could exist in one body.
To Lynn Kramner for competing in Ironman back in the late 90s, when most 60+ year old women were not.
To Steve Olsen who bought me my first bike, a sea-foam green Bianchi, and supported me to my first triathlon finish. For letting me go and giving me the opportunity to become who I am today.
To Washington, DC for showing me that there is so much more to life than work and so many precious moments to live.
To Clair Jensen, who showed me how to go long and LOVE IT! You were the first person to see something in me that I never saw in myself. You knew there was nothing to long, nothing to steep, nothing I couldn’t accomplish.
To Chanda Jeppson for the miles, upon miles, upon miles, upon miles you have ridden and run right next to me (literally and figuratively). Best friends don’t get better than you!
To each and every client I have ever had the privilege of training. YOU INSPIRE ME! You continue to inspire me everyday. I love that you know how to do hard things.
To the Green Bianchi, the White Giant, the Silver Lemond, the Blue Giant and the Sexy Fezzari. Your handlebars have provided a cinema experience for my life. You taught me how beautiful and different the world is when viewed under your own power and with the wind in your face.
For Brian Jeppson and Cedar Cycle who have made sure I have NEVER needed to know anything about the mechanics of my bikes.
For Craig Coats and Heath Burchinal, the boys. For all the hours we have spent, laughing, crying, swearing, sweating, hammering, bonking, and succeeding. I wouldn’t be here without the two of you.
For Ashley Coats and Kristie Burchinal for letting me spend countless hours with your husbands. They alway have supported me and made me feel safe. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.
For my HT Training Family. You guys are the reason why this journey has been so sweet. I truly consider you family!
For Mahogani Thurston, the mom of our HT Training Family. For your unselfish hours spent on my behalf. For listening to me complain. For supporting me when I feel like there is no more to give. For having an undying confidence in me and my abilities. For making me want to make you proud.
For Heath Thurston, the dad of our HT Training Family. For your contagious personality. For sharing your knowledge and opening up opportunities for me. For all those bike fits, swimming lessons and belly laughs.
For Sarah Jarvis for sharing your talent with me. For making me feel like an athlete. For being an example of not only a world-class athlete, but a great friend, mother, and woman. Thank you for letting me take up a little space in your shadow and always inspiring me to be that much better.
To Tony Elangovan for being a great example of conquering hard things.
To my Dad who secretly “gets it”. For always quietly showing me how proud you are of my accomplishments.
To my Mom who believes I’m just a bit crazy, but always puts forth the effort to try and understand.
To my parents collectively, who support me and my children unceasingly, who without, I would not be at this starting line.
To Adam (my husband), who has undying support for me in EVERYTHING I do. Who makes sacrifice without complaint (well not too much). Who is patient beyond belief. Who is an amazing dad without trying. Who without……..I would be nothing.
To Adam (my massage therapist) and his wife Alysha…….this one is self-explanatory. For giving of your time and your friendship. It is not just a massage, it is quality time with friends every week that I cherish.
To my daughter Sydney, who is too much like her mother. For your spunky attitude and unconditional love. For teaching me that hard things come in all different shapes and sizes.
To my son Jake who always has a mischievous grin and a hug. For being my favorite little guy in the whole-wide world.
To PowerTri who helped me realize that reaching for the stars is always a good thing.
To TriEdge, Fezzari and Red Mountain Resort who believe in my abilities and make my Ironman journey that much easier.
For good friends like LaRae Nelson and Jill Burkett who understand me and are the best cheerleaders a girl could ask for.
For Facebook who helps me connect to a world of friends, athletes and individuals who inspire me, make me laugh, and keep me motivated.
To Cedar Mountain for teaching me how to work.
To the Color Country Cycling Club who taught me to never give up and taught me some valuable “lessons”.
To my brothers who through their version of “tough love” made me a strong-determined-run-with-the-boys kind of girl.
Wow my list is long and I feel like I could just keep going and going and going (if you feel you should have been included, please send me a nasty comment on Facebook….you are probably justified)!
The message here is that it took a village to raise this Ironman. It took years of hard work, training, relaxing, injuring, learning, losing, smiling, and succeeding to bring me to this point. A collective, THANK YOU to anyone who I have ever met or had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with. I know that it was in those experiences where my life was shaped and I became the person standing at this start line today. I can confidently say……..I AM READY………..