It’s difficult to fathom the Ironman World Championship finished last weekend and even harder to believe that the 2016 racing season is over. While the season didn’t end on the highest of notes from a racing perspective, a ton of family made the journey to the middle of the Pacific to be a part of the experience. Having family around supporting the journey was awesome and makes this lifestyle possible. My brother and sister-in-law took the extra step and arrived with shirts and hats for the entire family and if we were better at coordinating and taking pictures I would have one of the entire gang. Next time, I promise! I’m sure my family is thrilled that I’m already planning a future family Kodak moment. Before I get too far, let me take a second to highlight a few interesting facts about the family during their weeklong stay:
Sister-in-law: Can ride a 50 plus pound beach cruiser with limited gearing up massive hills and literally won't give up…and can also eat 50 pounds of powdered sugar in one sitting.
Mom: Retired from 140.6 viewing - rumor has it’s a maternal thing.
Brother: Already planning his second IM race and we all knew this would happen. Also, don't try to race him up hills on beach cruisers.
Dad: Also retired from 140.6 viewing for the time being, I’m sure he will change his mind eventually. Good news dad, you have a couple years to change your mind.
Husband: Will yell literally anything to keep my feet moving forward and will follow through on his promise to have a margarita ready as soon as you can drink one after the race.
I have to thank these people and the family that wasn't here from the bottom of my heart for their unconditional support when things are going well and when things are going a little (or a lot) sideways. This time they helped me get through a sideways race which wasn't the plan but those were the cards I turned over.
Now let’s get onto the sideways race. The swim went well. I swam a bit wide to stay out of the brawl. Swimming in the bay is always beautiful, making it hard not to enjoy perfectly clear water where you can see the bottom the entire time. As expected, the temperature on the bike went up quickly and the wind was in our faces going out and it’s not much of a surprise it was also in our faces coming home. I planned for it by putting a shallow Atom Composites wheel up front and by carrying extra nutrition to account for the possibility of being on the bike a little longer. The kicker, after some analysis, was that I did not intake enough water or my body was not retaining the water I did drink. It started to show around mile 90 on the bike, which is normally where I ride strong. I drank bottle after bottle, but it wasn't enough. By the time I reached T2 things had gotten worse and the doctor and 2 volunteers held me in a chair while I argued with them that I needed to go run. News flash, I paid for the opportunity to suffer! Yes, they were doing their jobs and I’m grateful because if they didn’t hold me I’m sure I would have fallen flat on my face. I wish I could thank them and apologize for my arguing because they kept me safe. The run turned into a battle of Christine vs. Christine for 26.2 very, very dark miles and the race plan shifted into somehow getting to the finisher’s chute. My brother and husband kept my feet moving and I knew if I could get to 13.1 miles I could finish the other half. It wasn’t pretty. It was actually very much the direct opposite of pretty and it didn’t go as planned, but that is racing. We take the lessons, make adjustments, and apply them going forward. This is why we do what we do.
This season has left me hungry and 2017 season planning has commenced. I will be racing a new group of ladies and I can't wait to undergo the challenge. I want to say a special mahalo to some very important people and companies for helping make 2016 happen: Infinit Nutirition, Atom Composites, Juliet Nacino of Body by Juliet, Aren Viveiros of Hawaii Sports Chiropractic, BlueSeventy, and Waikiki Brewing. Now on to some very special people: my husband and family for allowing me to chase the dream, my coach and his family for continuing to guide me along this journey, and all of you following this adventure.
To everyone who has wrapped up their 2016 season, congratulations! Learn from the good and more importantly, learn from the bad. To those of you who still have races on the calendar, enjoy them and best of luck out there!