Right before an Ironman, or any big race, comes what is called a “taper”. This rest and preparation period is designed to allow your body to absorb the months of work it has done and rest for the big event. It’s also a time to prepare mentally for the challenges that will arise on race day.
The taper period involves less time training. Instead of 20-30 hours per week spent swimming, biking, running and strength training, during a taper the time spent is much less and I find myself with more time to think about my life, my journey and the race ahead.
Many great things have happened for me this year. I finally achieved financial independence so I could leave the 9-5 world and put my energy into things that I believe in and that give me joy. I am honored to serve on the boards of non-profit organizations that make significant contributions to our community. I have married the most wonderful man in the world and I want to make him as happy as he makes me. I glow when thinking about my three wonderful sons who are following their dreams and making their mom so proud. And my goal to get back to the Ironman World Championships happened by a stroke of luck when my name was drawn in the Hawaii State lottery.
Yes, this Saturday, October 12, I will compete at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. This will be the second time I’ve toed the line in Kona, but it is a much different race for me this time than it was in 2009. This time, I am much more experienced and prepared. This will be my 7th Ironman event and I’ve learned much at each race. And even though I am four years older, just shy of my 60th birthday, I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life. That gives me a level of calm and confidence that was absent four years ago. I will miss racing with Eduardo Torres de Sa, our “Duda”, as I did in 2009. But he will be with me and all of us who remember how he helped us make the most of our training and racing, but also to how laugh and enjoy life.
My goal at the Ironman World Championship is also different than it was in 2009. I want to do my best and race smart, but also savor the experience, smile a lot and thank all of the people who have helped me get here.
The race starts at 7am HST. Track me live at www.ironman.com. I’m #441.