Saturday, November 29, 2014

2014 Turkey Trot

If you would have told me last year that I wouldn't be racing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, I would have likely laughed and said, "That'd only happen if I was injured/pregnant." Well, let me assure you that neither one of these is the reason that I did not participate in a Turkey Trot this year (sorry, mom/Kristina/everyone else who wants Ryan and me to have babies already).

Actually, at the time that most Turkey Trots begin, Ryan, his dad and I were in the air somewhere over Texas most likely. At approximately 9:30am on Thanksgiving morning, the three of us landed in Cancun and hopped onto a bus to take us to Playa del Carmen so that we could hop on a boat to take us to our final destination: Cozumel.

Ryan and I will both write our recap blogs next week, but I wanted to at least give a quick write-up since I haven't for awhile...

This past summer of training was the hardest summer we have ever had. Bill and Jen challenged us more than we had ever been challenged in the past and we just kept powering through all of the crazy 7hour ride/20mile run weekends. Just a few weeks before Ironman Wisconsin, Ryan and I had this crazy thought to race Ironman Cozumel.

Our rationale:

  • We'd be in pretty good shape after Kona
  • We could use our Kona fitness and just ride that out for another month-ish
  • The results from last year made placing first/second in our age groups seem doable 
  • It was during Thanksgiving Break, so I wouldn't need to miss much school
  • Mexico has been pretty darn good to us (Cabo was a phenomenal day for both of us)
My poor performance in Kona actually did not even factor into our decision. While I was super disappointed with my performance (with the exception of the run), Ryan and I had all but purchased our flights to Cozumel prior to Kona, so the frustration I gained from Kona only helped my training during these past six weeks get better.

Unfortunately, the results were a bit off from last year as the swim was cut short. And with only having 42 girls in my age group, I actually did my research this time to see who to watch out for. 

Turns out, Cozumel is probably one of the more competitive Ironmans. Eek!  Being in the female 25-29 age group is tough since it is really competitive, but does not draw as many participants, so my age group may only have one slot. Luckily for Ryan, being in 30-34 guarantees him at least 2 slots in his age group. This was the case in Cabo as well, but I was lucky that two slots were awarded to my age group. 

Regardless, the goal for tomorrow is to be use the current from the swim to move me a little faster, keep my head full of positive thoughts during the bike, and just do whatever I do on the run. 

 First mode of transportation: 3.5 hour flight to Cancun
 Second mode (not pictured): 45min bus ride from Cancun to Playa del Carmen
Third mode: rocky 30min boat ride from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel
 Yep, welcoming all the Ironmans.
 Getting ready!
Prerace meal of champions: steak (no burger in Mexico) and beer!

Since I didn't do my traditional "pose with a turkey after the Turkey Trot and list what I'm thankful for" post on Facebook, here it goes..

  • I'm thankful for my supportive family who never question my crazy schedule. Whether it's because of teaching or training, these people always have my back and understand if I can't make something because I'm sitting on a bike or swimming laps or running around Illinois. I truly appreciate your support and understanding throughout my crazy journey.
  • I'm thankful for my awesome students who make my job so much fun and get excited about my triathlon adventures.
  • I'm thankful for my amazing coworkers who not only support me and are excited to talk to me about my training and racing, but who challenge me to be a better teacher daily.
  • I'm thankful for an incredible district to work in. A district that truly supports and believes in a work/life balance that allows me to pursue my athletic dreams.
  • I'm thankful for the inspiring athletes I have met throughout my running and triathlon experiences. Coaching is a two-way street as both the athletes and the coach gain something from the experience, and I'm so lucky to have been able to coach and been coached by some pretty awesome people.
  • I'm thankful to be sponsored by EGO p/b Sammy's Bikes. The gear that we use and the bikes that we ride help us perform at the level that we ask our bodies to perform at. The relationship we have with Sammy is irreplaceable and I am so lucky Ryan happened to meet this guy on a usual store visit for work.
  • I'm thankful for Saucony and PowerBar for providing me with the gear/footwear and nutrition that help me power through my races and workouts. 
  • I'm thankful that God has blessed me with a body that can do these crazy things that I ask it to. Every time I go to race, from here on out, I will keep that in mind and hope that I can honor God for giving me such an incredible body to work with.
  • And finally, I'm thankful for the love of my life, Ryan Giuliano. No words can describe how lucky I am to be married to the man of my dreams, who challenges and inspires me daily.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and can't wait to post my final 2014 race recap next week.