I did something (what feels like) a little bit crazy on Tuesday…
On August 12, 2018, I’ll be attempting to become a half Ironman!
I began playing with the idea in early summer. While an Ironman seems absolutely impossible for me, a half Ironman seemed like a huge challenge that I could really conquer if I put in the work. Steelhead seemed like the perfect place, too, since Alex and I love west Michigan.
However, my sprint tri in July totally crushed my spirits. This was only my second triathlon and my first co-ed. I didn’t think that second part really mattered until I spent the first 100 or so meters being pushed down in the water by larger men wanting to pass me. There was also one dude who kept ending his stroke right in between my legs. I’m sure he didn’t realize just where he was hitting, but annoying all the same. Add in the waves from the windy morning and I wanted to call it quits before T1. And then came the bike, which was “rolling hills” that felt like mountains to this Chicago cyclist. I literally cried. If I couldn’t handle those 15 miles, why did I ever think I could handle 25 or 56?!
I honestly questioned why I ever fell in love with triathlon last August and whether I should drop out of the olympic distance I had on my calendar for the next month. Luckily, a lot of time in the saddle and an open water swim on a particularly choppy day helped me regain some of my confidence before that race.
And that race also helped me re-fall in love. The Chicago Triathlon was so. much. fun. While the swim was choppier than I would want, biking on Lake Shore Drive and on the lower streets was incredible. Biking is always my weakest leg, but I went the fastest I’ve ever gone and it wasn’t until almost the end that I was thinking “okay I’m ready to get off this bike now” which is a huge improvement for me. I walked away from that race smiling and not shutting up about how great it was.
That was three weeks ago and since then I have been absolutely stalking the Steelhead registration page for when it would open up. I kept saying “oh no, I’m not going to actually sign up” but I think everyone knew I was lying. My triathlon buddy at work and I kept jokingly saying #steelhead2018 because I kept bringing it up.
Well, #steelhead2018 is a real thing, my friends! Please excuse me while I go read up on all of the training plans ever.