Ironman Texas 2016: The Race that Didn’t Want to Happen. But we, as humans, triathletes, and Ironpeople…we were determined to make it happen. First it was the bike course that we didn’t have finalized, but then two weeks out, we did! Next it was the water in the lake; high E. Coli levels forced a change of course only 2 days before the event. No worries. Lake Woodlands was the perfect size for an out and back swim course, and nixing the poop canal was no problem. The gun sounded on a beautiful race morning, and all went off without a hitch. Despite some fog on the swim, the adjusted course was great. We had to make some turns on the bike, but I along with many others quite enjoyed the new route. And the run. What can go wrong there? Ah yes, Mother Nature…she can always strike! And that she did; throwing an unbelievable storm complete with hail, lightening and torrential rains on the final hours of the race.
Derick and I took a Wilderness Survival Course a week after Hawaii. It was a great change of pace to our Saturday; almost ‘like a normal couple’, doing something cool, unique and together. We drove 1 hour north of the Austin sprawl into the quiet countryside of Bertram, Texas. We spent 7 hours in a rustic little cabin with 10 others learning the basics of wilderness survival; how to be prepared for an emergency scenario, immediate human needs in case one is stranded and alone, how to make fire, how to find water. It made us both want to go camping again. It made me want to go camping and impress my friends with 6 different ways to start a fire. We finished our course with a quick lesson on compass reading, and we were taught about how ‘magnetic north’ varies from ‘true north’. Our instructor left us with the simple yet resonating message. “Go and find your own true north.”
One thing I have realized over many years of competing as a professional triathlete is that while the sport may be fairly straight-forward and for the most part rewards pure fitness over ‘skill’, there is a need for occasional change to one’s program. Sure most of us follow a typical weekly routine, but I’ve found that what may have produced a result a few years back may not work now. What could have worked 8 months ago may not be as effective today. As our bodies are constantly changing, so must our training.