The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.
~ RICHARD BACH
As race day gets closer and closer, I can say that I become more and more pensive and thoughtful. I’d imagine that is probably true of many of the athletes that will be toeing the start line on Saturday. As the training backs down, my thoughts and efforts turn inward. I have less that I need to do so I tend to focus more of my energy on why I do what I do, who is there along the way etc.
Yesterday I had some time to think while I logged my last ten mile run around the neighborhood. I’d say that for much of the last five miles I thought extensively about the journey that has gotten me from where I was to where I’m going. But more than that I was able to reflect on the people that have been with me throughout this entire journey. Not everyone has been there start to finish, but everyone has been a guiding force in my life and left such a positive impact on my heart. I would be remiss if I didn’t pause to thank you before heading out to Tahoe to attempt one of the greatest thing in my life. Through triathlons and this crazy life style, I have found a family. I have a blood family, but I also have this family. This family is my support group, my life line and my motivation much of the time.
Kimmy, I think of you every time I ride my bike up a hill. You always sing to me as you pass me, so I think of you and I sing to myself. Laurie, you hate swimming just as much as I do and that makes me happy. You also have mental strength that I hope to channel on Sunday because I’m going to need it. I cannot be alone in this! Brian & Alex… we were all newbies at the Lake George Oly a few years ago competing together in what, at that time, seemed like a huge event. You two made me feel like I was part of something that morning and you have ever since. Allie… I say DO IT! all the time and whether you’re around or not I laugh thinking of you because I know you’d be laughing too! Miss Jess, you have busted your butt training with me all summer long even though you are not doing an IM on Sunday. You’re motivation and dedication have helped me ten fold. I’m not sure where I’d be without you showing up to run & bike at 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30 AM over these past few months. Lonnie, your texts of encouragement and support bring a smile to my face every time I get them, even if you are just talking about your cat… There are so many more people to thank for your time, your words and your wisdom that I could go on forever. I think though that most of you know who you are. And hopefully you know that I love you and that I consider you my family.
Lastly and most importantly Ben, I have no idea where I’d be in this journey were it not for your resounding voice of reason, your undying support and your ability to get my laziness moving. You have put up with me on the good days when we’re enjoying the training. And you’ve endured the bad days and we both know that there have been plenty. You’ve listened to me blubber on about how I can’t do it and how I’m just not meant to do an Ironman. And no matter how badly you wanted to knock me off my bike and ride away, you stayed, you listened and … you didn’t knock me off my bike. You always believe, even when I don’t. From the bottom of my humble heart, thank you.
Each and every one of you have contributed to where I am today. And … I have decided that I need you with me on race day. Probably more than you can imagine. I need you to hold me accountable, I need you to send me good, positive thoughts and I can guarantee that I’m going to need to feel your love. It is because of this that I have gone ahead and ordered MyAthlete Live. It’s a real time athlete tracker. You have the option of downloading a free app to your phone or you can monitor my progress via the website here. You just need to scroll through the list of events until you find Ironman Lake Tahoe. Click that and then scroll through the athletes until you find me. You should then be able to get a real time track of where I am on the course. Of course, please remember that we are starting at 6:40 AM in California. So there is a three hour time difference between there and here on the East Coast. Also, the tracker will not be on me in the swim. It will be on and waiting for me in transition, so it will start moving once I head out on the bike. Any how, send me your good ju ju and follow my day in Tahoe as I compete in my very first Ironman event with two of my very best people.