Now that I am over and done with my third Ironman of 2010, sitting here in San Jose, sick as a dog, but happy and content, I can say “WHAT AN EPIC YEAR”! There are so many thoughts swimming around in my head both pertaining to the race, and the year as a whole. Before I launch into the race report...which is totally written by the way, I wanted to share some of my feelings.

A KONA slot! From the minute I finished Kona six weeks ago I knew I wanted to come back. I knew I wanted more of that race, of that island, of the training that it took to race well there. Troy, Annie and I had so much fun on the big island, and having extended family, Chuckie & Angela, and lots of friends there to share it with was too much fun. I wasn’t sure if I could get a slot at Arizona. I know that it tends to be one of the harder races to get a slot. With a fast course (on a normal day...which Sunday was not) and nobody having slots already, the Kona roll down at IMAZ tends to be a pretty short process. Especially for the women.

Coach Chuckie with his two Kona Qualifiers

This year amongst the females one slot rolled down one place in each of the W50-54 and W55-59, other than that, every woman that got a slot for Kona took it. In the male divisions, 7 slots rolled, with 3 being in mens 45-49, but they didn’t roll far. I’m ecstatic to be headed back to the big island, and even more excited to be able to train for Kona all year without having to get in another Ironman. This lets me breathe a little bit and really focus on the elements of triathlon that need work.

An Age Group Win! 3rd amateur! This was entirely unexpected going in, and it was very hard fought for. This was the most challenging of the 4 Ironmans I’ve completed (wow, did I just write “4” as in I’m a 4x Ironman finisher!). Terms like “against the ropes”, “on the ledge”, “backed up against the wall”, “in the hurt locker”, and “decorating my pain cave” would all be accurate descriptions of where I spent a lot of time during the race. The conditions were quite tough out there with the wind gods giving us a serious dose of “Muh-Ah-Ha-Ha”. You will learn more about how it all went down in the race report.

My PIC Kills It! Michelle, my Partner in Crime (PIC) also qualified for Kona, in her first Ironman. I can not begin to tell you how proud I am of her. Her longest run since June was 90 minutes. She flatted out there. Her first Ironman was weather wise one of the most challenging I’ve heard about. If you did not think PIC was tough before, you know now, she has a fire deep in her heart that is strong. AND, she killed me in the "smiling" competition, the girl smiled her way through most of the whole race (I have pictures). I’m so proud of you Michelle, and next year is going to be really, really, really, awesome!

Future PICs

The Support! I will be writing more about them all later, but we had the best support crew cheering for us. The cow belling was out of this world. The looped course meant that our crew was cheering up a storm every few miles. Right after the finishing chute I remember crying and looking over at my mom and seeing her crying, and seeing my dad teary. It was very emotional. Having Chuckie out there in person was really helpful for me during this race. I was in the hurt locker and it’s hard to explain how he helped me dig deeper and believe in myself out there, but he did.

Holy Fitness Batman! On Sunday I got a first hand look, or feeling you could say, of the depth of my fitness and my fire. This race took all I had of both. Chuckie tweeted to Michelle and I (and I’m going to give Angela credit for this one because apparently it was her words) “No deposit, no return. Because you executed our philosophy all year (the deposit) you received your return”. I wanted to tweet back “And now we are broke, in both the physical, and credit union sense”. I used it all up. I’m sick, on the couch with a cough. I’m sore, in my muscles, and in all the spots that are chaffed. I’m emotionally tapped. I’m extremely happy, and extremely ready for a little break.

When Chuckie told me a year ago that he knew how to get every last ounce of potential out of me I now understand what he was talking about.

So with that I will get some race reports up. They will be in parts as usual (I don’t know when I will grow out of that habit). I will warn you, this race was not a typical happy smiling Sonja report. I negotiated through some challenges out there, and I plan to tell you about them.