We want everything to go perfect always. In case you haven't figured it out yet, life just doesn't work that way. We chase the perfect plan, the perfect day, the perfect (insert something that is important to you) always. When things don't go as planned, I don’t like to say they went wrong, more like they went sideways. Something at some specific point sent the plan off track. It's important to find the lessons from those situations and apply them going forward. It's not always easy to find the lesson and it can be difficult to figure out but keep looking, something is there.
We won’t get into the nitty-gritty but lets just say there were some rough patches in May, June, and July. The question became how to move forward. After throwing around a few ideas with some really smart people, 2 adjustments were made for August. Adjustment 1 was to add a 70.3 to the race schedule. Adjustment 2 was to just go out there and enjoy the day. I can’t tell you training was great or races were great leading up the the 70.3 because they weren’t. The good news was the rocky summer lead to a pretty awesome opportunity. I got to go do something I love someplace I love. Translation, it was time to race a 70.3 in Michigan! Here is the short list of awesomeness...
- Dad would be able to see his FIRST triathlon (yes, his very first)
- Racing with close friends
- Getting to see college roommates and my old stomping ground
- Spending time with Dad
- Racing in Wolverine country (you Michigan people understand)
Clearly a no-brainer. August rolled around, the bike was packed, and it was time to head to Michigan. A huge thank you goes out to the Cotner family for making it feel like going home.
You're not going to find a breakdown of the race if you keep reading. The focus was to go out there and have fun, nothing else. My husband asked me what my plan was the night before the race and I said, “Go.” The plan worked. It was by far one of the most fun race experiences with friends from all over, family, and an awesome venue. To top if off, I spotted Dad at mile 55 of the bike. He jokingly informed me after the race that spectating triathlon is hard work and running shoes are required. The realizations of a newbie triathlon spectator!
How many jumped their bike at mile 45?! I wish there was a picture just so I knew how high my bike was off the ground. I know my bike flew and the first thought I can remember was, "Good thing my husband didn’t see that!” The run course was tough, and I paid for my bike ride a little, but I knew I just had to keep my feet moving forward. I saw Dad twice on the run and he noticed I looked better on the first loop. Pretty impressive that a first time triathlon spectator figured out the bike course, the run course, and made it back to watch the finish!
Best part of the entire day, Dad was at the finish line. It didn't matter that I got to hand him the finish line banner or that I went significantly faster than my previous best time. It didn’t matter that I suffered on the run. What mattered was he was there taking it all in, and I got to give him a sweaty hug at the end of it all.
August wasn’t over with my race. Next up was a more important role, cheerleader and family coordinator for my husband and brother at IM Coeur d’Alene. My stomach was in knots for weeks leading up to this duty! Anyone would agree that spectating and sherpa duties are far more stressful than actually racing. I couldn't be more proud of these two. All of the dedication, sacrifice, and determination that has gone into one day. Although one day ended in a heartbreaking bike crash, one day ended with a first time Ironman finish. We talked about it above, sometimes plans go sideways but we live to fight another day.
The month of August brought family and friends together to overcome challenges, adjust plans, and embrace opportunities. What more can you ask for. A huge thanks to the continued support from Infinit Nutrition, Blueseventy, Headsweats, Atom Composites, and Waikiki Brewing Company. An even bigger thanks to Coach Brady and the DeHoust family for guiding me through this sport. Lastly, to my husband and family, its impossible without you.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” ~ Aristotle