|Appropriately named Discovery Park in Seattle|
Before I packed up my bike in Coeur d’Alene and turned down my spot to Kona, I knew precisely what I’d be racing over the next few months. It goes something like this:
Crew Ultraman Canada - I like to refer to my friend John Bergen as my Ironman big brother. He's given me great advice over the years and has been someone I've looked up to as a mentor. His wise words have helped me through many races and seasons and inspired me to be a stronger athlete. When he asked if I'd be interested in being on his crew for Ultraman Canada, I just had to say YES! He won the race in 2011 and I'm excited to be there to support him the first weekend in August. Most of my help will come on the final day, as I expect to pace him for 20+ miles of his double marathon. The race is up on part of the Challenge Penticton (former Ironman Canada) course and I'm also excited for a weekend spent with friends and other athletes giving back to the triathlon community. Besides the Okanagan region in British Columbia is beautiful and there will be some opportunities to check out the course on my own (and decide if its something I'd some day like to do).
Mora 1/2 Marathon - Where it all began - the tiny town of Mora, MN! The birthplace of my running obsession and the birthplace of…me. This run course goes by the hospital where I was born, my dad’s dental office, my church, my elementary school, the pool where I took swimming lessons, the hockey rinks where I learned to skate, my best friend’s house, my parents’ house, the tennis courts where I played countless matches, the Nordic Center and trails where I had XC ski meets, my high school, Main Street, and Mora Park. This was also a good excuse to visit home.
|From left: race tradition heel clicks after leg 3, our 2011 team, Sunday shake out run/hobble on the beach|
Black Diamond 1/2 Ironman - a local half Iron that I haven't raced since 2008. It's nice a low-key, yet a chance for me to try and put together a strong race. It will be a good chance to see where my swim and bike fitness is in the middle of the second half of my season. It's also nice that I can sleep in my own bed, pick up my packet that morning (the race starts at 9am), and hopefully convince a few friends to join me.
Austin 70.3 - If all goes well for training, this will be my second half of the season "A" race (sorry Puke & Rally). I've never been to Austin and I've heard some really great things about the city. Plus, the race looks competitive and should be a good time to gauge any improvement at the 70.3 distance.
As you can see, no tropical paradise and no big city fancy marathon. Perhaps I’m foolish for traveling to Mora, MN versus the Kona coast. But I’m excited about this schedule that has some new and old locations. I’m spicing it up a little, so that I can start planning the next one.
PS - in other news, it's been really funny and also a little frustrating to have a lot of people question what I'm doing the rest of the season. Some direct quotes have included, "so, are you still working out?" and "what are you going to do with your time since you're not racing Kona?" There IS life after Ironman and just because I didn't take my Kona slot does not mean I'm giving up on triathlon or hanging it up for the season. I understand most people are just curious and caring more than anything else. So, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I think my reasons for not racing Kona are really good ones that will improve me both as an athlete and as a person.