Ironman Lake Placid is still a week away and regardless of the outcome, whether it's the type of race where I don't want to cross the finish line because it will mean the perfect day is ending OR if it's the type of race where the finish can't get here fast enough, it doesn't change the fact that getting to the start line wasn't a solo expedition.
Thank you to all of my spandex-clad, bike-riding, own-too-many-running-shoes-to-count girlfriends for keeping me company during long rides and motivated to work hard during all of our training sessions. Katie, Sarah, and Mindy - I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend this spring and summer riding bikes together, filling up each other's inboxes with emails and texts on a daily basis - know that every sweaty mile was made 10x more fun because of your company! Kristin, it's always inspiring to see how all of your hard work unfolds into awesome races and I've loved having the chance to do some training with you (and you were very sweet for not dropping me and instead making me feel like a rockstar for keeping up :) ). Melanie, I'm so excited that Lake Placid isn't our last race together this summer, it will be so fun to race with you in Vegas as well. I've loved running into you on the running trails, at the pool, and riding Skyline with you and can't wait to keep it up this summer! Karen, we didn't get to ride nearly enough together this spring, but whenever we do get together, you always push me to work harder and your company makes rides with names like Diabolical Double feel much less painful and actually enjoyable. Here's to many more strawberry muffins in our future! To Dawn and Kendra, all of your encouraging words, via FB and text and e-mail, have really kept my motivation high this summer. I'm so excited for both of you and what the rest of the season has in store for you! And to my Tucson tri camp friends, especially Julia and Sarah, the best camp roommates ever, I can't thank you enough for all of your e-mails and messages. They truly mean the world to me (Sarah, I keep the card you wrote on my nightstand and it's making the trip up to Placid with me - and Julia, those salty nut rolls are coming to Placid too!). Because of you both, I really am starting to believe in myself.
And of course there is Jen - coach, mentor, and sports psychologist extraordinaire. Jen, you have absolutely molded me into a different, stronger athlete, both physically and mentally, since I began working with you. Thank you for patiently answering my panicked e-mails, for putting up with the fact that I stink at updating Training Peaks, for being my sounding board when it comes to making up a race schedule, setting goals, and dissecting my race performance. Thank you for giving me challenging workouts, for noting in TP "Do Not Skip This T-Run" because you know that sometimes that's the only way I'll actually do it. You are a fantastic coach and friend and you've definitely helped push me to believe that sometimes my abilities far exceed my expectations. And a thank you to my friends and family who have put up with me being MIA, being lame on weekends by missing out on fun in favor of going to bed at 9pm on a Saturday night. Thank you for not giving me a hard time about doing what I really enjoy - instead you encourage me and fully support my decisions; you have no idea how much I appreciate that.
Lastly, thank you to my husband. You make it easy for me to be able to pursue triathlon guilt-free. Thank you for all the times you've cooked dinner for me while I've been out on my bike or swimming, thank you for putting up with my bike perpetually being set up on the trainer and half-blocking the television because I am too lazy to put it away after I use it. Thank you for making me smoothies and picking up bags of ice for that ice bath you know I will need after a long run. Thank you for doing so much around the house - it's pretty much every girl's dream to be on the trainer at 7am on a Saturday and have her husband come downstairs and say I've already vacuumed the upstairs, downstairs, and basement, I've cleaned the kitchen, and I've started the laundry - you won't have much to do after your ride. And you pretty much make that dream a reality every weekend (without you, our house would be a hovel). Post-Ironman, I will bake you whatever dessert you want and you can have the car anytime to play golf to your heart's content. I love you.