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I just finished cleaning the set with Rebecca and returning all of the chairs from our Crush shoot yesterday! It has been a long, but amazingly awesome, weekend. Of course I had my typical anxiety & worry about the shoot itself, but once it started it just felt like everything was going to work out great… and that’s exactly what happened. Rebecca and I got there around 6 a.m. and picked up where we had left off the night before to prepare for everyone’s arrival. The skeleton crew showed up around 7 a.m., then wardrobe & talent came at 9:30. Since we didn’t have a massive crew, we set-up until about 1 or so then immediately started filming. The pace at first was very relaxed until we realized around dinnertime that if we continued moving that slowly we would never finish. So everyone brought their A-game and we made it move pretty quickly after that. Sometimes you just need a little while to get your groove. I haven’t directed a film since 2006, so I was definitely rusty… but it came back like riding a bike after an hour or two. This was Rebecca’s first time as a director, and she did a fantastic job. It is really hard to co-direct a film, but we got through it with flying colors. I feel like it brought me back into the filmmaking world, while it gave her a running start. The footage we captured is better than we could have ever imagined due to the talents folks we had around us. I can’t wait to see what it looks like all put together!
Another really cool thing happened this weekend… my sister Christy completed her first Half Ironman in Augusta, Georgia! I am so proud that I could pop! She really battled with whether or not to do it, as she just got back from a long vacation that was hard for her to train on. But she finished, and I know she has to be floating in the clouds right now with happiness. Looks like we both accomplished big dreams this weekend!
Best news ever: I just found out this morning that my sister Christy got in the Augusta Half Ironman on September 24! This is her first year to do triathlon, and so far she’s knocked out a sprint and olympic distance over the summer. Augusta actually sold out a few days ago, and when she decided that she wanted to give it a try it appeared to be too late. I haven’t heard all of the details yet, but I know between her writing the race managers and her super friend/coach Joanne, somehow she got in as of this morning. I am so happy I could do a dance all by myself!
Christy and her husband Mike are also interested in having another baby, so I wonder if I will ever get to do a race with her. My next triathlon will be the New Orleans Half Ironman in April, which I’m already getting really excited about. I am also going to go for the Mercedes Marathon again in February, hoping that this time around my knee holds out. I have a strange confidence that it will, and that I will be able to cross the finish line with flying colors this year. I know what I did wrong last time so I will not be repeating past mistakes.
I’ve said it before a thousand times, but there is something amazing that happens when you push yourself to the limits… in any area of life. Reaching your full potential is a high like no other. It’s not about being faster or better than anyone else, it’s about competing with yourself. It’s getting better and better every time you do something. And if you don’t, you fix the problem and jump back on the horse. I’ve consistently become a better athlete over the past 5 years of my life despite a few set backs. I can only imagine what I can accomplish in the next 5 years if I really try.
A really fun fantasy popped in my head while writing this post today – wouldn’t it be amazing to cross the finish line with someone you love in a full Ironman distance (a distance I have yet to attempt). Maybe my sister will be that person. That makes me smile. :)
If you are interested, you can read last year’s experience at the New Orleans Half Ironman by clicking here.
Yesterday was such an important day for me. From the second I woke up that morning, I had no clue how it would all play out. When my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., I could hear the wind howling outside the RV. My first thoughts were of the swim, and they weren’t pleasant. I pushed those fears aside and got ready with Girl Talk blasting over my iPhone. I was pumped, excited, and nervous. My mom eventually got up and took me over to the transition area around 6 a.m. There’s nothing more exciting than a race morning. I live for it.
As I was organizing my transition area in my own little world, a voice came over the speakers to make a few announcements. I don’t even remember what he said until… he announced that the swim was canceled. I remember popping my head up, looking around to see if anyone else was shocked, then asking my neighbor if I had heard correctly. It was confirmed – the swim wasn’t going to happen due to dangerous currents in the water. They couldn’t get the rescue teams out there in place to help us if we got into trouble. While I was extremely relieved, I surprisingly a little sad b/c I had worked so hard to be able to finish that portion this year. But honestly, if you had seen the conditions of the water that morning, I’m not sure even the best swimmers would have faired very well… much less me. The life they saved could have very well been my own. So, I took it all in stride and started to focus on the bike. Now the Half Ironman had officially turned into a duathlon.
I ended up having to wait around until 8:20 (race time was supposed to be 7 a.m.) to start my bike leg. I must have visited the port-o-potty a thousand times in anticipation. Once I got started though, I felt strong & confident. We fought strong headwinds and a slow incline for the first 30 miles or so, but the last 26 miles were fast & fun. I had so much more energy compared to last year’s experience… not sure if it had something to do with my weight-loss or the fact that it was about 10 degrees cooler than last year. Either way, when I got off of the bike after 56 miles I felt really good about the 13 mile run ahead, while last year I didn’t even know how I would take the first step. The first 2.7 miles were fabulous and I felt like I could do all 13 without having to stop. Then, I started to get pain in the outside of my injured knee. By mile 3, it was very obvious that I wasn’t going to be able to run the whole thing… and if I could walk it I would be very lucky. I got very upset really fast, and called my future brother-in-law David, a PT, for advice. He told me that I should just listen to my body and walk if I had to. He said walking wouldn’t reinjure my knee, but pushing through pain could set me back again. At that point I still had about 10 miles to go… a very daunting amount to have to walk. I would have much rather suffered through it with speed. I played with a little run-walk for a mile or two and I quickly realized that running was out of the question for me. If I was going to finish, then I was going to have to swallow my pride & my ego and just walk the whole damn thing. So, I did. I walked and walked and walked. And then, I finished! I did jog the last quarter mile through the French Quarter just for joy’s sake. My mom and dad were there to see me cross the finish line, and it was a very happy moment.
There is even better news behind all of this – my knee will continue to get better, and I can add about a mile a week from here on out to my run training program. I WILL build back up and be better than I’ve ever been before. Also- I’ve decided that I have unfinished business with the Half Ironman (70.3), so instead of pursuing a full Ironman later in the year I’m going to do another half. I have yet to have the opportunity or ability to finish all three events with success and I know it’s close within reach if I focus & try hard enough. I’m going to sign up for the Augusta 70.3 on September 25, so that gives me plenty of time to finish healing my leg and build up to an ideal physical strength. I could visualize so clearly on the bike yesterday my capabilities of doing this distance in a very success way… even on a competitive level. Nothing brings me more joy than racing!!!