Thursday, May 11, 2006

Vindication and exhiliration

It has been six days since the Wildflower Half Ironman and I am still on an incredible high. Without a doubt, it was the most satisfying race of my life. There are so many reasons for my euphoria.

The major ones:

1) Erase the memories. Last year I dropped out because I was a wimp and could not handle minor cramps, the 15 minute delay from changing a flat and general antipathy over doing another race. This year I wiped away all of those memories. As I rode by the location of my flat, and the point at which I stopped running, I seriously got choked up at the difference a year makes.

2) Tenacity. I broke through and shattered my mental barrier. For so long, particularly in marathons, I have not gutted it out when faced with crisises. At mile four of the half marathon leg of this year's Wildfire, I got major cramps in both of my quadzillas. Rather than pack it in, I walked them off and then kept running. Unprecedented.

3) Hit all three goals. 1) Finish. 2) Break 7 hours. 3) Break 6 hours, 30 minutes. My time of 6 hours 13 minutes was so unexpected, so exciting.

4) Bring on Lake Placid. I am so geared up for the Lake Placid Ironman on July 22. I know I have a lot of training left to do but I know I can finish it.

5) I am not alone. I did the race with Will and a bunch of people who are as if not more obsessed than me about triathlons. I am not a freak. I even joined a triathlon group, ignoring Woody Allen's mantra that he would never join a club that would have him as a member.

6) Peeing. Last year I had to pull over about 5 times to pee. Wasted time, ruined my momentum. So this year I let it fly while on the bike. Hygenic no, but very liberating. Like being two all over again.

7) Lance. I wore my Discovery shirt for the first time and someone yelled at me to say hi to Lance. Even if it was a joke, I can pretend that they think I know him.

8) Recovery. I am already fully recovered from the race, even though I was totally spent on Saturday. Took the red eye this morning, and ran 8 miles around Central Park and felt great.

9) Armagedon. The Wildflower course is considered to be one of the hardest courses, particularly the run. Major hills at mile 4 and 10 and I ran up both. And broke 2 hours for the half.

10) So much room for improvement. I am so happy with the time for the race but I can become such a better swimmer and biker. So much time, so much fun to be had.