Someone asked me recently why an Ironman distance event? Maybe it was being a child of the 70’s and growing up during the woman’s movement, but I’ve always had a desire to do things that are out of reach. I have always been drawn to challenges that scare me, but have the promise of reward on the other side. If I can be totally honest, I am beyond scared, anxious and afraid of failure, but it’s the excitement of accomplishment, that fuels the fire in my soul.
The question after completing an Ironman distance event is always, “What’s next?”
To go faster, to qualify for Kona? Of course, but those are big goals and since training time is a limiting factor, the most efficient way to get there is to find a great coach or mentor.
This past weekend was the end of the my 3 months of free training under TriEqual’s, Equally Inspiring program. Maria Simone, from No Limits, has been so gracious with her time and talent for coaching. I thought it was only appropriate to wrap up our 3 months together with my first race of the season, the Garden State 10 miler. This race meant a lot to me. Over the past few years, I feel like I hit a speed plateau. I felt like getting faster wasn’t in my genes. Maybe it just wasn’t in me. Well, coach Maria thought that it was. So I followed her plan. I found myself pushing new speeds and with each workout felt a sense of accomplishment. The night before the race I was pretty nervous. 10 miles at an 8:35-8:40 min/mile pace seemed like it would hurt. Would I bonk? Can I hold that speed for 10 miles? How will I ever qualify for Boston or make it to Kona, if I can’t improve my run speed?!? So much doubt.
Happy to say that the training and trusting the process paid off! I started the race a bit faster than goal pace, but held pretty steady throughout the race. It was a great course. Roads were blocked to traffic, which is awesome for runners and it was fairly flat. For most of the race, I was pushing a pace that was just under the bar of uncomfortable, but as I neared the last mile, I decided to start my kick. I felt pretty strong, but then came to realize a mile is long when you are sprinting and have run 9 miles before that. So the last .4 miles – I dealt with the dreaded side stitch. I wanted to walk, but there was no way. I crossed that finish line running and happy to say at a pace of 8:36 min/mile. Goal achieved!
Thanks coach Maria and thank you to my running friends who joined me on some of my crazy speed workouts! I’m going to continue to dream big and hope for the best. 16 weeks to IronMan Lake Placid‼! Woo hoo‼‼