Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I couldn't have done it without you ....

On November 6, 2011, nearly one year ago, I took the leap and registered for Ironman Florida.  In just over 2 weeks, on November 3, 2012, I will race in the biggest event of my life.  As every Ironman will tell you, it's the journey to becoming an Ironman that will change you forever.  And throughout that journey, there are many people along the way that sacrifice for you, inspire you and mentor you.  And to them all, I am grateful!  Here is a call out to a few of them!

First and foremost I have to thank my husband Barry.  He convinced me 2012 was the year I should do Ironman instead of putting it off to 2013. He has been my biggest supporter, footed the huge financial bill, listened to me go on endlessly about training, allowed me to watch as much triathlon "porn" as possible on uTube, and has put up with going to bed obscenely early. I'm so proud of him for getting into the best shape of his life and joining me in the sport of triathlon (and duathlon).  I look forward to racing with him at Mt. Tremblant 70.3 in June 2013 and one day supporting him in his journey to become an Ironman!

Next I have to thank my kids: Calli Anna, Jensen and Griffin.  They have put up with a momma who is usually tired and grumpy and sore.  I hope that one day they look back on this year and see the grit and determination I put into this training to accomplish something amazing.  I also hope they realize that I tried my best to not let the training affect our family life.  I tried my best to do my training while they were in camp this summer and in school this fall.  Of course this didn't always happen and I know they spent a fair amount of time with sitters.  I hope they know how thankful I am that they have allowed me this opportunity. And knowing they will be at the finish line is all I need!

Carole @ Ottawa Marathon

My biggest fan, after Barry of course, is Carole.  Oh what would I have done without Carole?  If ever I was in need of just about anything, Carole would be there.  In a pinch with the kids, Carole to the rescue.  I'm frustrated, tired and low, Carole was there to pick me up.  I'm high on endorphins and want to talk endlessly about my incredible workout, Carole was always there to listen, without complaint.  AND, she is coming to my race, flying down with Barry and the kids - because goodness knows, how could he fly with the kids on his own?  Carole, from the bottom on my heart, and from the entire family - thank you for being you!

Speaking of childcare, my next big shout out goes to KatD!  While I wanted to get my long rides in while the kids were at school, I just couldn't make it back for pick-up   Not to worry - KatD is here!  Thank you for always being willing to grab the kids after school or look after them early before the school day started.  You gave me those precious extra minutes needed so I didn't have to rush and I could get my training in.

Clinton and Julie: clearly they are both triathletes!
Now, how did I exactly get into triathlons and eventually the Ironman?  For that I have to thank two of my childhood friends: Julie and Clinton.  It was September 2009 and through Facebook I found out my most athletic childhood friend Julie was racing the Nation's Tri - an Olympic distance in Washington DC.   Then in November 2010, Clinton, who used to ride the bus home with me in Middle School to be dropped at MCHS pool as he was a swimmer, raced in Ironman Florida.  That sealed the deal and I knew in 2011 I would complete a triathlon (Nation's Tri was my "A" race that ended up being Wasaga Beach) and the seed of one day becoming an Ironman was planted!  If they had not lead the way, who knows if I would have ever found and fallen in love with the sport of triathlon!

The year after Calli Anna was born I joined my gym - the Mayfair.  One of the best decision I ever made.  I have to thank the Mayfair, and in particular some of the trainers especially David, Sabine, and James.  They have supported me, pushed me, and mentored me every step of the way and most important they never stopped believing in me.

And I cannot thank just the trainers at the Mayfair but also the dear friends I have made there. It's friends like Joanne and Lawrie that making going to the gym extra special.  It's that extra little push to get you to your workouts knowing a friend will be there and after the sweat there was sure to be a coffee (or beer, or wine) and chat to follow.

Training for an Ironman takes a toll on your body.  I want to thank my medical team - Jen, my ever wonderful massage therapist who changes her schedule to accommodate me, Will, my chiropractor who tortures me with ART and electric acupuncture (and doesn't get too mad when I forget my appointments) and finally my sports doctor, Howard Chin - who thankfully, since healing my "hip" injury I have not had to see!

TTC Group Ride
And last, but by far not least, I thank my training partners and the Toronto Triathlon Club.  Riding with Cavin, Chad, Michael, Dushan,  and Phil pushed me to become a better cyclist.  These guys had the patience to ride with me knowing it would slow them down.  I remember my first "long" ride out of Wilcox.  I think it was 80km - and it appeared no one was riding that distance - and Michael stepped up and said "I was only planning on 40 -50, but I'll ride with you".   And I'll never forget Chad taking off work one Friday (very last minute) to join me for my first 100 mile ride - he went from a longest ride of 105k to 180+k that day!  You boys really taught me a thing or two about cycling - stop getting faster so that one day I might catch up!  Joining the TTC was a great decision and I have formed friendships with like-minded (crazy?) people that I look forward to training and racing with in the future!  Mt. Tremblant 70.3 will be one heck of a fun race!  When the going gets tough at IMFL, I will think about all of you following me, I will imagine the words of encouragement being posted in real-time on Facebook and I will draw from your collective strengths to persevere!

I'm sure the moment I publish this post I will think of someone I left out.

To all of you who have listened to me go on endlessly about my training, thank you for listening.

To my friends who I don't get to see very often any more because I'm either training or sleeping, thank you for understanding.

To my Facebook friends and twitter followers, thank you for the supportive words, encouragement and accountability.

And to my mom and dad - thanks for everything - I love you and I'll see you in 2 weeks in Panama City Beach!

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