Despite having raced a boatload this year it’s always a little bittersweet to sit tight to through the end of the season races and watch all of the final events happen with my feet up and a drink in hand. Bittersweet, but definitely must happen to get me going for 2015 🙂 So many good things have been happening this month too, it’s been a fun few weeks just getting to watch it all unfold:
Haley Chura, SMASH sister extraordinaire WON her first Ironman title. This was awesome to watch because Haley is by far one of the nicest and classiest women in triathlon! But on a more selfish level, I have always used Haley as a barometer for what I can do. Back a few years ago I always seemed to be a year or so behind her in terms of times and races. When she dominated the race down in Brasil to secure the victory, I couldn’t help but feel a little more encouraged that my own win is only a matter of time (and training!) away. Goosebumps.
My athletes have been crushing it. From a 2:41 marathon this fall, to Ironman PRs, to some newcomers coming on board with some big dreams – it’s been a great few months to be on our squad! Given the fact that I’m on the road a lot, and when I’m not there’s a good chance I’m training my life away, opportunities to watch athletes in person unfortunately don’t come as often as you’d think. A few months ago though I had carved out a date in November to travel to the Richmond marathon to make sure I was there for this one. And, it was worth every second! It’s never good to get out to a race only to miss seeing your runner go by — but, when it’s because they are 13 minutes ahead of expected time, I don’t complain! That was what happened with Katie P‘s half, and I am more confident than ever that this woman is in for a solid 2015 of racing! Goosebumps.
I had another athlete out running that day, Miss Stephanie G. Steph and I began working together about a year ago, and while she had some big triathlon goals for the season, there has always been a lingering marathon PR to go after. About mid way through the season when things were going well, we made the decision to add Richmond to the calendar. She was fit, in good spirits, and was crushing the year. She could do it.
Of course, there’s always going to be something! Steph has shared more about what obstacles she had to overcome this fall, but I can assure you that while marathon training is never a cake walk, she definitely had it tougher than ever. It was my job to be able to take out all of the emotions from a lot of this and take a look at the training we did get in – and, the conclusion that I came to, was that she was still more than fit for this race. We were going to do it! After seeing Katie at the finish of her race, I headed out on the full marathon course and found Steph just after the halfway point. She was just as chatty as ever and I knew that was a great sign. For the next 12 miles I got to watch the marathon process unfold. There were good spots and rough patches, chatty miles and silent ones. But Steph kept her head down and nailed it. Every. Single. Mile. She ended up with a 16 minute marathon PR for the day. Goose freaking bumps! Could not be more proud!
I have a feeling that as I head out to Hawaii for Ultraman crew duties next week, more goosebumps await!