If at first you don’t succeed….Race recap for St. George Ironman

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So, my goal this year was to qualify for Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii.  I actually won a free entry to Ironman New Zealand, held in March of this year, and figured that was going to be THE race that I would reach my goal. 

So, after I went to the Ironman 70.3  World Championships held in Clearwater, Florida (last November, 2009) I figured I would just keep the ball rolling and train right through to IM New Zealand.  I actually had a terrific winter of training and really enjoyed being so focused and excited for a great adventure.  It was a great adventure!  I loved New Zealand and thought the race was really quite wonderful…all except my knee that disagreed with the run for the last 13 miles.  So, needless to say…I DIDN’T qualify for Kona with a marathon that became a death march.  Also,  needless to say…I was pretty dang bummed about the whole thing.  But, I was still so grateful and lucky that I got to even go to New Zealand and have such a memorable and awesome experience!

Next up….Ironman St. George on May 1st.  After New Zealand, I really wasn’t too excited about doing another Ironman.  My body and, even more importantly, my mind were just plain TIRED.  I was also a bit discouraged and just didn’t feel like getting all intense and focused for IM St. George like I had for IM New Zealand.

IronMan St. George
So…I didn’t!  My training was much less in both intensity and quantity.  I even took extra days off and wasn’t quite as strict with my nutrition.  So, going into Ironman St. George…I was…relaxed, recovered, well stocked in the extra energy stores (that’s a nice way of saying…not super lean)…

The 2.4-Mile Swim
And…I felt GREAT!  I am a decent  swimmer so I came out of the water feeling great.  My bike was absolutely wonderful!  Not only was I SO comfortable on my Fezzari, but it looked SO good!  I remember thinking at mile 70 that I was still comfortable on my bike.  No real discomfort of any kind, great hill climbing, smooth descending, strong through the whole day and a great looking bike to boot?  How much better does it get!  (Oh yeah..and run was fun, too!)

The 112-Mile Bike Leg
I felt NO pressure from myself to do anything more than just enjoy my day and finish with a smile on my face.   I KNEW the course cause I had trained on it for the past  year on my Fezzari, so I was comfortable and familiar with how my bike handled the course.  I also knew what  my gearing needed to be and how I needed to be fit on my Fezzari  for the course. 

The Marathon
The run was an absolute party for me!  I knew SO many  people and had so many athletes on the course (27!) and friends cheering us all on…it was just like a rolling block party!  Before I knew it the finish line was in front of me and I was crossing the timing mat with a big smile on my face. 

YEAH…Mission Accomplished! 
Not only had I finished happy, but (I got a LOT lucky) and qualified for a spot to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Kona!  Whoulda thunk it??

The best part…I got to stay at the finish line and cheer in ALL the rest of my athletes as they crossed the finish line (except for 2 of my speedy men that finished WAY before me)!  It is such an amazing feeling to see someone that you care so much about finish something that they have worked SO hard to accomplish!

In fact..the whole reason that this race in St. George was so unforgettable was because of all the wonderful and awesome friends and athletes that were involved.  Cementing my already firm opinion that triathlon is so awesome and amazing because of the PEOPLE that you get to know and the FRIENDS that you get to make along the way!

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