Monday, December 5, 2011

What's the rush?

Smart people, practical minded people, ask me this all of the time. What's the rush? So what if you don't do an Ironman this year. Well, let's think about this for a moment. 

The United States has about 311 million people living in its glorious countryside. With about 30,000 people participating 10 Ironman races in the USA, the stats reflect a much reduced opportunity of finding a local training partner. 

When all of the stars align and you find at least 11 local training partners, it makes you think, "Maybe I should do an Ironman this year instead of 2013!?"  (OK, really, I'm not superstitious, but 13? It's a sign. I'd probably drown in 2013.) 

Who is racing this year? 
Awesome Cheryl! I can't say enough about this woman. Of course, since we're blood relatives that makes me slightly biased, but she is pretty incredible. She has overcome so much adversity in her life from losing her father at such an early age to raising her mother and two younger sisters. Hey, I'm not kidding. I love my sister, but Cheryl was the one with the good head on her shoulders when I moved out of their home to marry Camo-Man. 

Cheryl joined me in 2009 and we competed in our first sprint triathlon together here in Tremont. Of course, she rocks and got 3rd in her age group. Me? Well, I got 4th in my age group. (Always a bridesmaid.) Cheryl's words keep ringing in my ears, 
"I would love to take on the ultimate challenge of an Ironman with the person who inspired me to do my first triathlon almost 4 years ago."
And to think we could get matching tattoos! Just don't tell me sister. She'd probably croak...and then try to forbid us from getting them. Regardless of whether I compete in Louisville or not, I will be on site shouting my lungs out to cheer on my personal favorite lady! 

Don't we look cute in our condom caps? 
The Legend. Some people call him the Legend. I've call him friend for the past 4+ years. He brought the triathlon back to Tremont and has inspired generations of athletes to get out and run. He's a runner at heart, but mostly he loves  competing. He's already completed to Iron Distance races. Awesome Cheryl & I went to IM-Wisconsin last fall to watch him compete in his 3rd Iron distance race. My heart nearly broke when he DNF (did not finish). For some reason, he had fluid on his lungs and with the compression of the wet suit he couldn't finish the swim portion of the race. I can't imagine the amount of disappointment he had to endure after preparing for such a huge race for well over a year. He was well prepared for the race, but his body had other plans for him that fall day. After numerous tests and never-ending questions from me, he has received an all clear. He will be back to tackle Louisville with a vengeance. 

Mr. Muscle in the middle
Mr. Muscle. "What's going on?" He doesn't fit the typical runner profile. He's built like a mack truck with biceps as big as my....well, let's not go there. It's probably not a good idea to compare body parts. He loves to compete with the Legend and he knows how to push my buttons. "Come on, Carla, you can do this!" If it wasn't for a strange twist of fate which brought him and The Legend to a recent liquid lunch (just kidding), I probably wouldn't even be contemplating taking on this monumental task at this time. 

The Intimidators
The Intimidators. Yep, that's what I call them. Of course, now I know they are like little puppy dogs, but in 2009 when I first met them they scared the crap out of me. Like I said, I like to compete, but I always do it with a smile on my face. I'm here on this planet to have fun while being healthy & fit. These two? They are serious about their training and their races. I'm not saying they don't ever have fun. They just approach their training very seriously learning as much as possible so they can achieve their goals. Let's face it. I can learn from them. 

The best part of having all of these dear people participating in IM-LOU this year is that regardless of whether I decide to do a half or a full I will have inspiring training partners who will help me set some lofty goals and then achieve them. 

So what's the rush? An incredible support system made from inspiring athletes with lots of experience in this sport called triathlon. 

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