"Excellence is a journey. You're never as good as you want to be. It's a step wise process. You take these little steps and suddenly you have a change" - Toby Cosgrove, MD
I always love to look at the faces of the people that cross the finish line of an IRONMAN race. You can't replicate those expressions. The joy, the raw emotion. How often in your adult life do you have those types of expressions and emotions? Only a few times in your life, are you cheered for as an adult and that's a part of what I love about racing. I admire those individuals as they are doing something that brings out the best in them, something that gets them up in the morning and inspires them to pursue their passion.
Athletes who enjoy what they do are putting all their efforts into being the very best that they can be. They are focused, determined and willing to go through all the pains necessary to be all that they can be. Finding the joy in whatever you do is the best way to maintain motivation and purpose.
My season for 2017 has come to a close with my final IRONMAN race for this year in Louisville. With more of my cancer treatment behind me, I felt so much better both physically and mentally going into this race. The race was almost a year post-chemo treatment for me and I was happy to race my ninth IRONMAN and my third time in Louisville. I'm thankful for my health and continue to be amazed at how exercise can continue to help with my treatment. Having an estrogen positive breast cancer meant that I needed to take an aromatase inhibitor for 10 years which reduces the amount of estrogen in my body in an effort to lower the risk of recurrence. Many of the major side effects of the drug (Anastrozole) include joint symptoms (including arthritis, severe joint pain, osteoporosis). In talking with my oncologist these side effects are common requiring some women to look at alternative therapies as the side effects are often too severe. I've adapted well to the drug and have not experienced any of the major side effects which he attributes my fitness and exercise regimen - a plus for what I love to do.
I love the Louisville IRONMAN course with it's rolling hills and cooler temperatures. This year we had some dramatic weather changes with some wind gusts of 45 mph during the last 20-30 miles of the bike leg. I had my second best overall time with an 11:45 finish time (1:08 swim, 6:07 bike, and a 4:14 run) which put me in 14th place out of 156 athletes in the 45-49 AG.
I've made a few changes going into 2018...a new part time triathlon coaching job with Amphibian Multisport and a new coach for myself out of South Carolina (TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition). No better place to visit than the Carolinas!
My schedule for my major races next year include:
IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3
IRONMAN Chattanooga 70.3
IRONMAN Muncie 70.3