As triathletes, we all have bucket list races. Some are races we want to do simply just because they are fun and some we want to do to see how much we can challenge ourselves. For me, 2015 is going to be a year to start checking off some of those “bucket list” races.
It began kind of early with the Chicago Marathon. The Chicago Marathon has been a race I’ve been down to watch multiple times as well as had many many friends run it. The timing just never worked out with the other races I was doing. This year was different, my triathlon season ended a month prior to it and we would be anxiously awaiting the IPC decision regarding Rio so what did I do? Sign up to race! It was probably one of my favorite races, the energy throughout the course was unbelievable. Although it was a pretty windy day, I ended up running much faster than I was expecting. For how little time we had to devote to marathon training, the training was executed perfectly (GOOD JOB MARK). I crossed the finish line with a giant smile…. and went right to looking for another marathon. So I’ll be heading to Orlando January 8 to run with Mickey and Minnie at the Disney Marathon. This is the first race my Dad wont be at with me, but my mom and Grandma will be heading down there with me… GIRL POWER! Dont worry Dad, everything will be under control. 🙂
But I’m even more excited to say that …. I’m going to be an Ironman! The biggest race on the 2015 calendar. Yep, I spent the last two years watching these athletes swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles. Something about watching them push their bodies and minds through that long day and watching their emotions fly out as they crossed the finish line made me want to do that race eventually….I told myself I had to put it on the back burner until we knew how Rio would pan out for my classification. When the news came out about our classification being cut you can bet your bottom dollar where my mind headed next….
I’m a goal setter, I need something to be working towards. Yes, Ironman is the ultimate triathlon and some people may question why I want to do it at such a young age? Well the best answer I can give is that I love challenges, I love swimming, I love biking and I love running. I’m lucky to be surrounded my many people who have tackled Ironman already so I was able to question all of them about their experiences (if you know me, you know I love questions). After talking to all of them, I knew this is what I wanted to do. SO with that being said…After watching and volunteering at the race this year, the following day I waited in line from 5:15-8am to secure my spot on the start line. I will admit, when I finally reached the registration tent, I felt like I was signing my life away but at least I’m really excited about it!! So here’s to lots & lots of miles these next 11 months!
What does the rest of 2015 look like as far as racing goes? After kicking off the New Year at the Disney Marathon, I’ll be flying back to Colorado Springs to the Olympic Training Center for a training camp. I’ll be doing a few races with the TriCats leading up to collegiate nationals (yes, I’m allowed to race at nationals this year). I’ll be racing in 1-2 70.3 (half ironmans) leading up to the big one. Although we are no longer in the running for Rio, I do still want to keep my foot in the door and stay involved in ITU racing.
- Because the short distance stuff is always fun
- I spent last summer racing with some pretty great people and I couldn’t imagine not racing with them at all this summer.
Although my focus is long distance this year, I will try to get on the start list for 1-2 ITU races. ITU World Championships are in Chicago this year, how cool is that?? The goal is to try to accumulate enough points to get me on that start line in Chicago come September.
Being home for break has again made me realize how much I love my friends and family. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be the Mary Kate I am today without them. My friends keep me balanced and my family keeps me going. I’ve had so much fun with them this week and I know I’m so proud of all of them. I get to be surrounded by these people and I don’t think there is much more you need. Yes, the finish lines, the traveling, the training are all fun but when it comes down to it…none of this would be possible without them.
You will never influence the world by trying to be like it