It’s been radio silence on this blog since Vegas! Let’s get this party started! Where does a girl even start? How to begin? Let’s go way back. About a year, actually, exactly a year ago. I was sitting on the airplane home from Hawaii, an Alaska flight from Kona to San Jose . My body was sore, but not as sore as I had hoped. I was trying to process my race, the many bathroom stops, the frustration with my first Ironman in 8 that had gone totally south. Sitting 15 rows ahead of me was someone I recognized. The man with the dark brown ponytail and wise kind eyes. I had read several articles about him through the years, he always stuck in my head because he lives and coaches in San Jose and that’s where my parents live. Muddy Waters.
I turned to Troy and said, “I’m gonna go introduce myself”
Troys eyes got wide.
So, at a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, I met the last coach I will ever hire.
Fast forward 360 days, two amateur titles later at St.George 70.3 and Ironman Brazil, a new Ironman PR of 9:50, 10th place amateur at Vegas World Championships. The plane has just touched down in Kona, and that same man with the ponytail turns around in his seat as the planes precious cargo cheers and looks me straight in the eye with a huge smile. We both know the significance. A year later, he has taken the broken down sad little puppy he met on the plane, and turned her into someone who was so ready to throw down everything she had on the lava fields. Not only was she emotionally ready, but physically as well.
Folks, there is no substitute for hard work. It takes a lot of work to make it to Ironman Hawaii four times in a row. But I know how to work. The changes that have happened this last year have been about so much more than that. Back a year ago when Muddy asked me what I needed, I told him I needed a wing. A wing? Yes. I know how to train hard, I will work my ass off for anyone, but what I needed was someone who would believe in me and my potential, who had my best interests at heart, I needed a wing to be under.
This year Muddy gave me a wing, he gave me an umbrella, like a BIG umbrella. He gave me his support and he put me in a community that tucked me right in the middle and took care of me like no other. A huge group of boys that pushed me like no other, treated me like their kid sister, and in the end, made my heart fill with joy as they all competed in Ironman Tahoe with glowing success.
The story of my Ironman Kona this year is about so much more than 9:54 on the worlds toughest Ironman stage. It’s about a phenomenal coach, a phenomenal group of guys, and my ever ready family support system.
The race was hard, it's always hard, but I had tools this year like no other. I put the process in the hands of Mud and it was enlightening. I've never been so excited about triathlon in my life!