I wasn't sure if I was going to post anything before this race. The training for this one has been tough on me. When I signed up last year I had no idea that my dad would pass away, we would move and things would become more stressful than usual. I also started with a new coach, which is always a bit harder as I try to settle into a schedule. I did my best to try and manage the stress but there were things that just didn't go as planned. It was very disappointing to miss the Boston Marathon because of a foot injury from running too frequently. I know that I do best on 3-4 days of non-consecutive running per week but tried something different with the new coach. We revisited my run schedule and I just kept my eyes on the prize of IM Boulder. In the end, doing a marathon 7 weeks before an IM may not have been the best idea so maybe it all happened for a reason.
All that said, I am feeling ready and primed for this race. I felt more over-trained than ever two weeks out (my husband and friends can attest to that!), but my coach gave me a good taper and my body feels great. Being honest, there were some dark points during this training. I felt like I wasn't getting faster and wondered why I was missing time with my family. This may be my last IM forever or at least for awhile. I know, I know... we'll see about that.
As I prepare to start, I ponder why I am racing. Athletes are more successful when they race for an intrinsic reason versus an extrinsic reason. I always keep this in mind and think about the sacrifices my family made and want to make them proud. I also think about all the fun things that will happen after the race. There will be trips to WaterWorld and Elitch's with my son and more date nights with my husband. This time I also want the race to be about something bigger. I want to do something to benefit others that are not fortunate enough to do what I do. With the loss of my dad last fall, I was filled with emotion. Some was tied to his passing but it also brought back feelings of grief over the loss of my mom 23 years ago. My father died from complications from a kidney disease that first occurred when he was a small child. My mother died of a brain hemorrhage. I would like to help prevent these things from taking other lives too soon by donating money to those afflicted by brain injuries and kidney disease. For every minute that I come in under 14:11 (time of my first IM), I will donate $1 and for every minute I come in under 12 hours (this may be a stretch with a longer bike course and near-record heat) I will donate $2 to each organization. I know it's not much, but it's something bigger than just racing for me.