It has been what seems like a very long time since I began my Ironman journey back in 2012, when I clicked a button and $700 later, was signed up for the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe in 2013 with a group of friends from Team in Training. I didn’t really know what I was signing up for or what to expect. How many hours, sacrifices, and heartbreak it would take to get me to that start line. All I knew is that I wanted to finish. But then, I came across the finish line in 4th place and missed a Kona slot by 8 minutes. Fate is fickle that way.
I changed gears and upped the ante and set my sights on Ironman New Zealand in 2014. Training through the winter and then traveling to the other side of the world in the end of their summer made for a very interesting journey. I shaved an hour and a half off my previous time, was the first amateur female out of the water, and went a best time of 3:47 in the marathon. However, this was only enough to get me 9th place in my age group. Back to the drawing board.
Decided to hedge my bets, and put my sights back on Ironman Lake Tahoe. Homefield advantage, lots of family and friend support, and a course I knew like the back of my hand. But fate had other things in mind. A fire blazed across the mountains and smoke threatened the athletes on the morning of the race. Merely 3 minutes before the start of the race, everyone’s days and Ironman journeys were ripped apart as the race was cancelled.
Time for Plan B. This meant Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2015. A new coach, a new state, a new job, a new journey across the country. Things in the season started off better than ever, with an age group win at Ironman New Orleans 70.3, but things changed quickly. At Challenge Knoxville in May of 2015, I took a spill on the course and lacerated my liver. Little did I know that this would set me back for the rest of the season, causing me to cancel my date with Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Fate wanted to challenge me.
Fast forward to the Ironman World Championships in Kona 2015. I woke up that morning with my heart racing in my chest and this uncanny feeling inside me that 2016 was going to be my year. I would be in Kona in Kailua Bay next year. My mom called me that Saturday and told me she had a dream the night before that we were in Kona and that I was racing. Goosebumps raised on my skin. I wondered if fate would let me get my chance with Madame Pele.
So now: Plan C. Ironman Texas. Flat, fast and sometimes unbearably hot. Less than 6 months away. I will do everything in my control to make this the race that I have been waiting for all this time. I somehow know that I was not ready before now to be where I am. Things have all lined up now, and this is my year. To tackle fate, and take control of my destiny.