The day after the race I woke to thoughts of the bike course from Rev3. It was such a sweet route. I opened my sleepy eyes and said, Troy, I’m going to go ride the bike course again (casually). And I did. I downed a Mix1 for breakfast, threw on my cycling kit, hopped on my bike, and headed out of the hotel. It was better than I remembered. It’s amazing how little you actually see when you are racing. There were tons of little streams I never noticed, I called them “gater streams” because if I were a gator I’de live in one. Are there even gators in Tennessee? I experienced Southern Hospitality at it’s finest on the ride. At one point the road was rather narrow. I had a car back and I scooted over to the edge of the road so they could pass when it was clear. The car sat at a comfortable distance behind me, pressure free, for 3 miles waiting for a spot that they could pass comfortably. When they passed they gave me a little thumbs up. I’ve never had that kind of treatment anywhere before.

Instances like this happened 4 times during a 20ish mile ride. I was pretty shocked. I’m not used to this in Colorado where drivers seem to make dicey moves daily on my rides.

After my very enjoyable ride we packed up, had lunch at this super awesome restaurant where the curry chicken noodle soup had soba noodles in it (must do at home...add curry and soba noodles to chicken soup), and then we were off for the 2.5 hour drive to the airport. I was a little sad to leave. The weather was so nice in Knoxville, a little brisk, but sunny and not humid at all. It’s very green there, so I assume they normally have higher precipitation levels, or humidity, but the weather was grand for our trip.

On the drive to Nashville I got an email from Chuckie reviewing that this week was a huge week. It’s time to put the nose down and get it done. It’s time for the hammer, time to let the Grrrr out, time to stay on my game. I don’t think I’ve EVER had this much excitement and anticipation for a training week in my life. As Chuckie has said before, I’m like a border collie, if I don’t get my daily run, I start ripping up the house. Well, I’ve been ripping up the house and he was letting the dog out for a run. Big training weeks are one of my favorite past times, so I was jazzed.

Then I got an email from PIC saying she was home and that it’s projected that Denver will get 2 feet of snow on Wednesday...the day that Chuckie had me scheduled for a 7 hour ride.

I sat there in the car stunned. I started tearing up and could feel the anger mounting in the back of my throat. I didn’t even know how to process this information, it’s May 10th for Pete’s sake. I have an Ironman in less than 7 weeks. At first I actually felt like the weather gods and the triathlon gods had a special meeting and said “We don’t want Sonja to get to Kona this year”. Then I thought about it a little bit, and you know, I have positive feelings about the triathlon gods. They have been good to me in the past. They gave me a little sign about 8 months ago telling me to work on my swim LOTS, and I did, and they rewarded me this weekend, so they must have bigger plans for me. After a few minutes sitting there stewing, I came to the conclusion that they were actually saying “What are you made of, lets make sure you really want it”.

So I looked at Troy and said, “I need to go to California”. I checked the weather. Humm, sunny and no rain all next week. So we started calling Southwest, trying to change my flight. After all, I had my bike, and my swim goggles, and plenty of new swimsuits from Trakkers. I had everything I needed for a week of training, why not California? Sure, I only have like 3 outfits for Annie, and 2 sportsbras for myself, but seriously, I can make it all work. And I’m sure Annie will have like 15 outfits after a week at grandmas house.

After several calls to Southwest we ended up calling my good friend Hillary and she got on her computer and booked Annie and I one-way tickets from Denver to San Jose that departed an hour after I arrive in Denver. Denver and it’s stinky snow has been demoted to a “connection”. Boo Ya!

My parents live in San Jose and my mom will be great support. She will work from home in the mornings and I can get in my first workouts. Then she’ll go into work and Annie and I will play, and color, and do fun things. Then I’ll get my second workouts in after mom comes home from work. It’s going to rock. Plus, I’ll get to ride some terrain that I don’t usually ride, thus it will be a different stress on my body which is super good! There are plenty of masters programs, and outdoor pools, and SUNSHINE.

So, here’s to making lemonade out of forecasted lemons. California here I come. It’s time to drop the hammer. PS: I arrived safe and sound in San Jose. Laundry is in the washer and it all begins tomorrow. Impromptu training camp for I come.