I turn 50 in September 2013. Most people think of turning 30, 40, 50, 60 as major milestones in their life. They think they are now really “old.” If you are in the racing world, it gets easier and easier to qualify for races as you get older. For someone like me who is always on the outside of world-class qualifying times, it is nice to reach such a milestone. My qualifying time for the Boston Marathon currently is 3:25; a tall order for me. On Sunday, depending on how things go, I expect to finish anywhere between 3:20 and 3:45. I’ll be ecstatic with any time under 3:25 but the chances of that happening are pretty slim (maybe 15%). Next year, because I turn 50, I have 5 extra minutes to qualify. Crucial 5 minutes! For now, I can dream about Boston. We’ll see if this far-out dream becomes a reality or I come crashing down with a thud.
I emailed Chrissie last night wishing her well on her “new beginning.” She emailed me back right back wishing me all the best for Tucson.
There is something special about Chrissie. Not only has she has inspired countless people with her life-story; but her heart is in the right place. Hers is a story of an accidental Ironman; an undefeated accidental Ironman; a 4-time world champion accidental Ironman. Hers is a story how an ordinary girl from the UK went on to win the greatest race on earth. 4 times.
When I was in Hawaii biking with her, I asked her, “Doesn’t it get old? Making all the guest appearances, signing all the autographs, answering all the same questions?” She looked at me and said with a slight smile and a twinkle in her eye, “This is all still surreal to me. I’m just an ordinary girl from Britain with an extraordinary tolerance for pain. All this comes with the territory and I love every moment of it.”
I can go on and on about Chrissie. Meeting her earlier this year was easily the highlight of my 2012; even of the 21st century. She has inspired me to test my physical and mental limits. My Ironman journey begins in my 50th year. We’ll see if it has legs…
I swam at MMR this evening. This is taper week; hence easy does it. Tomorrow and Thursday I will bike and run (not sure which day will be which activity yet).