For Guts, For Glory, For an Ironman Finisher’s Medal!

Happy Hump Day from Reno!

Life will never be the same for me after August 14th, 2011, and I am still riding my adrenaline wave from this weekend’s crushing of the Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3! It feels fantastic to have planned, anticipated, hoped, and trained for such an awesome event, and then to come in the top 10% is just additional icing on the cake. The picture from the finish line doesn’t do my excitement any justice (yes, I found the energy to leap at the end).

Here’s a few, of many, thoughts I took away from the race:

  • Hone your skills – Until the completion of these 70.3 miles, I felt that college graduation was a pretty big deal, and not to take away from that moment, but my success at Lake Stevens was the crowning achievement for me since graduating, if not for the past five years. My pathway for triathlon has taken me from the noob stage in 2007 to half-Iron bragging rights in 2011. The awesome thing about triathlon is there is always room for improvement, always seconds (or leg hair) to shave, and ways to build upon your fitness level. Each year gives me the opportunity to find something new and exciting, whether skills, event locations, sport efficiency, or gear, and give it a test run. You really can’t fail unless you rollover and quit!
  • Man up to the unknown – It seemed appropriate to do my 25th endurance event just a month shy of my 25th birthday. My college and post college life has been full of adventures, experiences, foreign countries, interesting food, new hobbies, ultra-endurance competition, and awesome friends, and all of these experiences combined to prepare me for what is coming in the future. I have no bloody idea what the next 25 years will hold, but it’s going to be exciting. Life has an interesting way of preparing us for what is to come, and it always seems to happen at just the right moment. There’s a good chance that I would’ve bonked on the 13 mile run had I not completed a marathon, and yet I broke my personal record for a half marathon while in the middle of my half Ironman! That’s pretty sweet. I didn’t know what to expect from my adventure on August 14th, but I do know that these past years as an athlete had prepared me, and in hindsight, I was more than adequately prepared.
  • Celebrate! – It may seem like this would be the easy part of the adventure, but it’s pretty tough for me to enjoy my victories for any period of time longer than a day or two. Absolutely I’m pumped, but that excitement is what drives me to bigger and better things too!  There’s no point in doing something if you won’t enjoy it, so celebrate the little things, or in this case, a big thing (70.3 miles is kind of a big deal)! As always, learn from the negative but focus on the positive.
  • Leverage your success for the future – I’ll admit it, I spent the drive back planning my training for the rest of the year and identified some of my “A” races for next year (look out Boise and Vineman!). As previously noted, I enjoy my successes, but only long enough to turn them into a greater opportunity. I have no regrets about this race season (except that it’s over), and look forward to a packed schedule next year in preparation for a full Ironman in 2013. Yes, that’s 140.6 miles of AWESOME!I apologize in advance to my friends who thought I was busy and unavailable this year…just wait till next season }:->

My closing piece of wisdom is this: There are few things in the world that are better than free food, unless that free food comes after an Ironman. Instant win! :-)

Who’s ready to start training for a 2013 Ironman with me!?

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