2005 Mid-Season Update
Well, it has been a while since I have given an update as to what has been going on. I have been doing a fair bit of traveling over the last month or so. The traveling included, a race in Kona and a trip to Lake Placid for the Multisports.com camp.
I was very excited to be heading to Kona to do the Honu Half Ironman on June 5th. Any opportunity to race on the Big Island outside of the major hype of Ironman is a bonus. I was also happy that the race would be out at the north end of the Ironman course – this is a much more exciting portion of the course – including the climb up to Hawi. Being a first year race, the atmosphere of the race was nice and relaxed. The Kona gods were being very kind to us on race day – moderate temperatures (in relative terms) and quite favorable winds greeted us. I have raced in Kona enough times to know how bad it can get and especially on the north end of the course – we certainly were spared on race day. This is not to say that the conditions were not tough – they always are but it is all a matter of degree. I was happy with my race performance – I felt strong for most of the race – never fantastic but just good and steady. Michellie Jones put on a fair bit of time on me during the swim and bike, and Tina Walter rode like a freight train posting the fastest bike split of the day. This left me in a very familiar position – trying to play catch up on the run. I finally caught Tina around 7 miles or so and Michellie was just too far ahead for me to narrow the gap enough. So, I would finish in 2nd which I was very happy with. Then it was time for a few days of R&R before flying directly to Lake Placid for the Multisports.com camp the following weekend. During these few days, I was reminded of how harsh the wind conditions can be. I headed out for a ride up to Waimea – immediately upon making the turn to start the 7 mile climb, the wind started to blow. When I say blow, I mean blow, I was going a whopping 5 mph the entire way up. More than a few times, I had to stop and unclip out of my pedals to keep from hitting the ditch. I really felt like I was taking my life into my own hands. When I got to the top (which was my only choice because I certainly was not going to turn around and ride down in the same conditions) I called Roch and Huddle to come and get me. I was mentally and physically exhausted from trying to keep my bike on the road, and I was very happy to get in the car. This is the first time that I had ever required a “pick-up” in Kona. I am actually glad that I had this experience before leaving the Big Island – it was a not so subtle reminder of how nasty it can be – October here we come!!!!
Next it was off to Lake Placid for our weekend Ironman Lake Placid training camp. This year the camp proved to be very popular with a record setting 50 participants. They were a great group of people who came out to try and learn as much as they could about the Lake Placid course and any last minute tips to get them to the starting line in great shape. It is also a great opportunity for me to check out the course and refresh my memory for the race on July 24th. On Friday the group did a long Key Ironman Swim workout in the pool – where the lesson of the day was pacing. The main workout for Saturday was the a long ride on the Ironman bike course. The group broke into 6-7 smaller groups and off we went. The athletes were again taught the importance of pacing for a Ironman bike ride and were able to practice their race nutrition. A short 30 minute transition run followed the bike ride before an afternoon off. We finished the day with an open water swim in beautiful Mirror Lake – the lake was already a comfortable temperature – which means for race day the water temperature will be very mild. Great weather greeted us in Lake Placid this year – warm humid conditions so the water temperature was considerably warmer that previous years. Camp culminated with the Lake Placid Half marathon on Sunday. We specifically planned our camp on the same weekend as the ½ marathon as it is a great opportunity for the campers to check out the Ironman run course in a race-type situation. I decide that I would jump in and run the ½ marathon as well – again a quick reminder as to what the course is like. All in all the camp was a great success, and I look forward to seeing many of the campers at the race on July 24th!!!!
The camp was a great beginning to my Ironman training, and now I just have another 3+ weeks before toeing the line. The race this year is the Profession Women’s Championships, so the focus will be on the women. We will be starting quite a few minutes ahead of the field so that it will be a very clean and fair race – one I am looking forward to.
A couple of other happenings over the past couple of months:
For those of you in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania may have noticed my smiling face on a few billboards throughout the region. I am featured in the advertising a campaign of cosmetic dentist Dr. Mary Viechnicki. Mary was kind enough to give me a brand new smile – and now it is out there bigger than life. A great big thanks to Mary!!! See below for the billboard, and check out Mary’s beautiful work at: http://www.lvsmilesbydesign.com/
I was also been given the opportunity to reflect and realize how precious life is and how we need to live life to its fullest. A very close friend Kendra lost her battle with Leukemia in May. Kendra was an incredible person, one that we could all learn a lot from. She was always a bright light in any situation, and lived life to its fullest. Even close to the end of her very short life – she remained positive and encouraged us all to cherish what we have and enjoy every minute of our lives. I believe that things do happen for a reason. So rather than mourn her loss, we will treasure the time we were able to spend with her and take a lesson from her book – life is indeed very precious!!!
I will update you all after the race in Lake Placid!!!