Me: “trying to decide if I should race this weekend”
Hubby: “yes, of course you should. easy answer. sign up”
Me: “weather is supposed to be cold, might rain, and lake is in the 50s”
Hubby: “suck it up”.
And that’s when I signed up. 4 days before a Half Ironman called HITS in Palm Springs. It wasn’t that I wasn’t trained to race, I was originally signed up to race the Challenge Baja this same weekend. But it was cancelled several weeks ago due to road construction not being complete. So disappointed!! I slowed back my training and debated just calling it the end of the season for several days, but my heart wasn’t there. Yet. I needed one more. I wanted to “earn” my off-season. I injured my shoulder back in July and was doing some sporadic biking/running while waiting for it to be healed, and waiting to race the minute it healed. But 2 weeks became 5 weeks became 3 months quickly until finally – alas! I could swim again! Whoop Whoop!
Which then meant…”what to I do now!?” It was Fall, most races were sold out… and traveling far was out of the question.
So, a group of us signed up for Challenge Baja. Then it got cancelled. Then I went back and forth and back and forth debating the HITS Palm Springs race. I am such a poor decision maker!! After hubby told me to do it, my son asked if he could come along. Now we’re talking. Got hubby’s approval and I get the company of my 14 year old? Brilliant! Win/Win before I even go! I also found myself listing to a podcast where they started talking about HITS. I thought it was going to go into something like “it’s a rubbish race” (historically it doesn’t get the most amazing reviews), but, instead, it said “sign up. support local.” And so I did. There is so much to say for the local “Ma and Pa” races……. they feel like family. they are super chill. you don’t have to worry about draft packs. parking is easy. they are cheaper. they have good giveaways. they are modest. they are there for you.
Why is it the Ironman brand has that “spell” over us? And I am guilty too! I really enjoy racing Ironman events, but I also really enjoy doing “local”. Supporting the smaller “shops”. While this race wasn’t the 2,000 people that is at an IM event, it was the same distance. Same weather. Same time of year. While there wasn’t a load of people around me the entire day, I still had to put up a mental battle to stick with it, arguably even more so. And the people!! Kudos to HITS, they cheered you on, they kept you laughing, and they took care of you in the end.
It was a pretty incredible race and one I will remember for some time. And not just the win. Having my son alongside me throughout the entire 24 hour experience was unparalleled. He was my sherpa and (chatty!) supportive companion for the time when I really needed it the most. And this local vibe feel was perfect for our Mother/Son weekend. He even got a good dose of volunteer work in – directing athletes, handing out water, even moving porta-potties. Lucky kid, eh? Lucky mom.
While I couldn’t be happier to “break the tape” at the finish line (sooo fun!) – I know I’ve got some work to do to reach my 2019 goals…… and it was the perfect kick in the pants I needed. But, for now. And the next few weeks, it’s rest.
Officially ready for off-season (sorry athletes who have to wait another week).😂