Author’s note: I was hoping to write this post before Wildflower so it could be it’s own thing, but life got in the way. So, there will be some unavoidable foreshadowing happening, but I will try to stay true to the original post I was planning to write. Good news, it’s going to be crazy long, but at least it will also be chockfull of pictures…
Wildflower training has been as full of ups and downs as it’s race profile. It’s been a long time since my last half-ironman and I’m not only going into this one without the fitness base of my previous ones, but it’s early May as opposed to the summer/early-fall races I typically train for. So, I’m super nervous about it. But something that is hugely different from my previous training is joining a tri club and having access to a community of like-minded crazy people.
A while back on a club ride, I got to talking with Catherine, a fellow Wildflower long-course trainee, and we were commiserating about the hilly bike course and how we were nervous about it. We both had plans to do a crazy epic ride that combined two shorter hilly club routes, so we made plans to tackle it together.
Here’s a little graphic comparing the elevations of the race and our training ride:
It was definitely a tough day, but I was really happy about how it went. I was definitely slow, but I felt steady. Plus, riding a harder course really bolstered my confidence.
Then the following weekend, I did an all-women’s metric century with some of my OTC ladies. We had a great day of snacks, tutus and 64 miles of saddle time:
Then, the following weekend, I hopped on a plane to head to the awesome trail running camp that I went to back in 2015. I was super excited to go back to an awesome area, hang out with my friend Jenn and meet some fantastic ladies. (I was also hoping to be in bad-ass trail-running shape, but hey, three out of four isn’t bad.) Plus, I was looking forward to a good confidence boost with my running like I’ve been feeling with my riding.
Sadly, my run fitness is not coming along as well as my bike fitness, so I can’t really say I felt great about it. Initially, I was really struggling with this and beating myself up about it. When you’re chasing a big goal, it’s easy to get swept up in negative self-talk and doubt. But then I decided to use this opportunity to train my mental strength as well as my physical. And from everything I’ve heard about the course at Wildflower, I’d need all the help I could get.
So, I decided to work on being gracious with myself and roll with where I am right now. I figured this would come in handy if things got tough at Wildflower. Plus, it allowed me to really enjoy the experience of being surrounded by amazing women in a spectacular setting. There was a much bigger group at camp than the last time I went. Initially I was dubious but, somehow, everyone I talked to was so rad.
It’s always so nice to spend time in this area. I mean, look at this scenery!
Plus, one of my awesome book group ladies also came up. She’s pregnant with her first baby, (which meant that I could actually keep up with her). Here she is, posing on this weird frozen white stuff that kept showing up on the trails:
And one with me photo-bombing in the background…
And then one with Jenn and I, enjoying artisanal post-run chocolate milk:
Let me repeat that, ARTISANAL CHOCOLATE MILK:
Plus, I got to meet Jenn’s new co-owned pony Strawberry:
And there was outdoor yoga in a beautiful place:
And as a special bonus: cans of wine by a roaring fire, laughing so hard it hurt and coming away with a bunch of new friends. In short, the training over the last few weeks has been tough, but it’s been made much easier by finding my way into this awesome new tribe of bad-asses.