As proud of her as I was during the race, the real source of delight came from watching her transform herself on this journey into a dedicated Ironman athlete. No matter what happened on race day, I was thrilled to have been part of the journey and the process. Weekly I was shown how to work hard and push through physical and mental barriers to reach higher levels. No matter how hideous of workouts her coach threw at her she got 'er done, and I gave her some doozies. For example, the day after crewing for me at the Leadville Trail 100, she got to run in a 10km race. At 10,000ft. After being on the go looking after her diva coach the whole day before. How is that for dedication?!
Alison finishing the Leadville Trail 10km
She also got to go for a 2 hour bike ride the day before crewing and a swim workout the day before. All at over 10,000 ft after coming from sea level. Did she complain or whine, NO! Well, maybe just a little whining but she did it. Once we were down to 8,000 ft she did a four hour ride that was all climbing, on her mountain bike on the road. Being that I am a considerate coach, I met her at the halfway point with some food and beverage. I also didn't talk too much about the nap I had while waiting, that would have been vicious, and I am just mean.
Midpoint of the ride, she's still smiling!
The day that I wrestled with the Thirsty Beaver she was out on her tri bike for a 6 hour ride alone in the gusting winds and torrential downpours. When she got back to the car she headed out for her transition run, despite being encouraged by friends to blow it off. That dedication is what got her to the finish line on Sunday at Ironman Arizona. Alison showed that it isn't about what you do on race day, it is about what you do to prepare for race day that determines success. As I watched her execute perfectly the plan that we had laid out, I was overwhelmed with happiness that she allowed me to share in her journey. I can't wait to continue working towards her future goals but for now I have given her some much deserved time off. It may be a prejudice on my part, but she is the greatest athlete anyone has ever coached and I am so proud of her!
About to Cross the finish line