[#IMIWLQ703] End of the 2018 Season
The 2018 season has officially ended, and boy did it end on a fabulous note!!! While my official race season ended at Kona it had not ended with a few of the athletes on the Where Your Feet Take You Team which means that it was not over, and I got to live vicariously through each of these athletes as they went on their way towards reaching their goals. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spectate and support my athletes at both Ironman Arizona and most recently at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta.
It was such a beautiful time of year to be in Palm Springs. Exiting the airplane and stepping out into the open air facility of the Palm Springs airport was like a breath of fresh, or rather warm, air for me. Instantly my mood changed, and my energy increased - I am someone who is very affected by weather in case you didn’t know. After checking into my hotel I went out for a job and found the nearest swimming pool, the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. If you are a swimmer, or triathlete you need to go swim at this center. For someone who is not the most motivated swimmer I actually wanted to go swimming every single day just so that I could do so at this pool!!! The open air, somewhere around 20 some lanes, and inviting entry of welcoming palm trees it is a swimmer’s paradise.
But I am not here to tell you all about my adventures of running, swimming, and honestly a whole bunch of sleeping that made up my weekend in Palm Springs, rather the joy I received from being able to spectate and coach my athletes at Indian Wells La Quinta 70.3.
Being on the other side of the fence on race day was very rewarding but also hard, as I could feel the pull of racing and through that pull the desire to be out there. I have a huge love of racing, its one of the reasons I do triathlon, I love to race. Yes, I love the journey as well because you get to see yourself change physically, mentally, and emotionally right before your eyes but there is something really strengthening about taking all that you’ve learned bottling it up and allowing it to release on race day. The desire for that race day feeling really helped to jump start my own motivation which had been severely lacking throughout the month of November.
As someone who almost always races, rarely spectates because I am usually the one racing I feel like I learned a lot, and gained a lot of respect for my husband and family who are always out there supporting me as I was exhausted and my feet hurt so badly after spectating. Honestly, I was probably a terrible coach out there because I brought my camera and was having so much fun taking photos that I found myself not giving great feedback to my athletes as they were running by me.
Here are few things I learned about spectating a long distance triathlon event:
Bring your own food.
I made the rookie mistake of assuming that there would be restaurants close by to the course that I could easily walk to to grab a quick lunch…. there was not!!! That meant that I spent the entire 6-7 hours that I was at the venue the only thing I had to eat were the two Perfect Bar that I had in my fanny pack. This was not enough food for me, and even though I was very into the race and was paying more attention to that then I was my lack of nutrition I greatly paid of it later in the day and the next. So either bring your own food or scout out the food options the day before so that you know.
Having just spent the last couple months not seeing the sunshine in Spokane, ok that’s a little bit overkill but you get my drift, I didn’t even think about sunscreen. After having been standing out in the sun for 5 hours straight my skin was yelling at me to cover up. Bring sunscreen, you are going to be out in the elements for anywhere from 5-8 hours depending and your skin needs to be protected.
Bring a Fanny Pack
Seriously you guys the fanny pack is life!!! I purchased a fanny pack that had a water bottle holder for Brandon in preparation for his Kona spectating and it was so amazing!!! I had to bring a back pack as well because I was doing some giveaways for Infinite Nutrition and needed the space but if not the fanny pack would have been a perfect size. I was able to hold my snacks, wallet, keys, water, etc all in one little space and still have the use of my hands!!
Scout Out Road Closures and Where to Park Ahead of Time
This!!! So important! I spent over an hour trying to maneuver through road closures and figuring out where to go, how to get there, and where to park so I wouldn’t have to walk what seemed like three thousand miles. It ended up working out just fine however let me tell you there was some serious language dropped in the car, thank goodness I was by myself and no one else could hear me. Race day can be stressful enough for both spectators and racers do what you can to make it less stressful.
Cheer for Everyone and Soak Up the Atmosphere
The atmosphere at these races is unbeatable, allow yourself to get swept up in it. It is amazing to watch each athlete out there grow with every step that they take and to see a smile spread across their face as you tell them they are doing amazing, or to keep it up, or whatever form of motivation you provide. Breath it in, soak it up, and relish in the fact that you are supporting someone who is pushing themselves outside of their limits.
Being Indian Wells La Quinta 70.3 really was the perfect way to close out the 2018 season and motivate me to begin looking towards 2019. I took full advantage of the atmosphere and the strength you get from spectating an event like this and am striving to use it in my own training moving forward. I am also really hoping that in 2019 I get the opportunity to provide more support for my athletes as I did this weekend, while I wish I could travel to every race that my athletes are in (anyone want to bank roll that for me :) I am just honored to be able to do it when I can.
Thank you to everyone who came and said hello at Indian Wells, and for the all the amazing athletes I got a chance to put a face to the instagram name for the first time I am so glad to have met you. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2019 as well!