Thursday, October 11, 2012

While You Were Racing

I was a bit worried as October approached. I figured while the *rest of the triathlon world was getting strong and lean to prepare for the World Championships, I’d get the off-season blues that would result in feelings of remorse and envy. I was worried every other athlete would get fitter, as I just got paler. I thought I’d replay in my mind the awards banquet from St. George where I forfeited my Kona spot and let it roll down. But only a small part of me would like to be there racing. The past two years I’ve been so caught up in the Kona action to miss the fact that most people (*the real rest of the triathlon world) finish their year much earlier. They are able to enjoy the change of seasons without focusing on a taper, avoiding a cold, and flying to Hawaii.
*I sometimes forget that the triathlon world is mostly made up of people who do not get to race in Kona and that is perfectly okay!
Of course I’d trade a day at my office for a swim in Kailua Bay, breakfast at Lava Java, a run on Ali’i Drive, and some free swag from the race expo. But I’m kind of enjoying fall in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had some amazing weather in Seattle over the past four weeks and I’ve done my share of leisurely swimming, biking, and running – just enough to not feel super lazy, but certainly not too much. I’ve reorganized things at home, tried some new recipes, gone out for drinks with friends, tailgated, gone to football games, avoided the post-race sickness, and gotten enough out of shape to start to look forward to next season’s race calendar.
Yesterday my best friend Sydnie and my teammate Hallie both asked me if I missed Kona or if I was sad seeing all the updates on Twitter. My answer: not really. It’s a little weird to see the pictures, but all the action looks a lot like 2011. I honestly feel like I’m looking at pictures that were posted a year ago, just different swimsuits and kits – all super cute, of course. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the race and the experience for the past two years. But spending this October NOT in Kona has helped me realize that life goes on without racing in Hawaii and without a rigorous training schedule. Life without Kona actually has a lot of perks.
It’s true; I want to go back to race in Kona someday. And don’t get me wrong, racing in Hawaii was one of the best experiences of my life. I’d go as far to say that the first year I raced there was “one of the happiest days of my life” (seriously, I think I smiled throughout all 140.6 miles) and last year was my favorite vacation ever. But this year a break was much needed. As I sit hear listening to The Avett Brothers “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” after attending a beer tasting with a couple Oiselle teammates, I find myself completely content with my decision not to race in Kona. I know it wasn’t a perfect year of racing, so beginning my off-season a month early this year was for the best and a chance to step away from all the World Championship hype.
Best of luck to everyone racing on Saturday! Like my check-in volunteer told me in 2010, “May it be the day of your dreams.” I will be watching and cheering from afar, meanwhile accepting the fact that my dreams and life were a bit different this year.

PS – also while I write, I’m simmering this soup that I just whipped up. It’s from one of my favorite food bloggers. Hallie - do you approve? :) I’ll either serve it with part of dinner tomorrow to celebrate my friend Annabelle’s birthday (also making homemade mac & cheese, roasted vegetables, a kale salad, homemade butter & bread) or save it for the weekend. Molly Wizenberg says, “It also screams for a beer. It says October.” I thought it was very fitting.

Some lovely Northwest riding


UW beats #8 Stanford

Sunrise Swimming


  1. This makes perfect sense to me. I think you and I would both consider ourselves people who do it for the journey, not the destination. Doesn't mean we aren't proud to be in Kona on any given race day, but...there's more out there. AND I love your Avett Brother's reference. They were in Baltimore about a month ago and I got to see them play - amazing :)

    1. Thanks blog twin! Of course we’re on the same page. It’s truly an honor to be able to race in Kona, but what’s more important to me are the steps we take in getting to the start line of any race. LOVE The Avett Brothers these days! I need to send you a new mixed CD (put together by Sydnie) sometime soon!