Can I just say that I am SO EXCITED for 2016?!?!
First off, some hugely exciting news—I’ll be racing with Team Wattie Ink. in 2016! There are 100 athletes nationwide who make up the team. This year, there were 800+ applicants, and only 36 new members who were not part of the team previous years. I don’t say that to brag, but mostly to express my excitement and star-struck-ness about it all!
I wavered a lot about even applying. Am I good enough? Do they if I’m “good” enough? What about social media? Do I want to be “stuck” with one brand? What if I don’t like the color of the kit (I have to admit that was a legit concern of mine)? What about the people? I like doing my own thing, staying off the radar, and not feel any obligation—doing it all for myself and no one else. But if there was any team I wanted to join—it was Wattie.
I knew about the brand, but wasn’t until the IM CDA expo that I really saw any of their stuff in person. It seemed good quality, but mostly, it was the people that stood out. We started chatting with the girls working the tent, and eventually met Wattie… I don’t think I even realized it was him until later, because everyone was so unpretentious. I was totally shocked at how many times everyone wished me good luck, when I said I was racing! I mean, it’s an ironman expo, of course half the people there are racing—and yet it never seemed tired, and it was all a very genuine “that’s so awesome, and it’s your first Ironman?! Have a great race!!”
Needless to say, when Heather Jackson won the next day, I was even more impressed—these guys had their own pro to follow and care about (and a super legit pro at that), and yet they still were just as enthusiastic about wishing me a good race, and about being so friendly and caring!
That stuck with me. I started following more of the Wattie folks on social media. I got a sense of their camaraderie, their loyalty and their passion for the sport. They give off a certain personality and vibe, and I think a lot of people identify with it. Work hard, race hard, do work, have fun.
And then Mac and Kyle worked with Wattie to get the Ironheart kits, and I was even more blown away—we got a custom kit designed, then manufactured and shipped out in under two weeks. That is absolutely unheard of! Not that that’s always going to happen, but to see a company put in the extra effort to make that come together definitely stood out.
But of course, the real test was the product itself. I kept eyeing various kits, but never really pulled the trigger. No reason not to, I just didn’t really “need” anything new either, so just kept putting it off. But receiving the Ironheart kit and doing a quick test brick in it, I knew I would be racing with it in the Los Cabos 70.3!
Race day came and went, which you can read all about (and then some) in the previous post. Verdict: Wattie puts out a quality product. Yes, I did have a couple minor comments about my kit on race-day (minor as in, “the collar flapped when I unzipped it and annoyed me momentarily”), but overall I was the most comfortable and happiest than in any other race…nothing serious, and definitely no huge cuts on my legs, like a certain other pair of shorts did in CDA…! I absolutely love the feel of the fabric, and best of all, the top didn’t ride up when running! Totally a win in my book.
So with all that, I pulled the trigger and applied—and I am so glad I did! Cannot WAIT to see what this amazing group of people will do next year!
Aside from that...what is 2016 looking like? Well, it’s shaping up to be an amazing year.
Coach has instructed me to race 10Ks this winter. Basically he told me to quit being so slow (not his words; my own interpretation) but 5Ks are too short so now it's time to bring on the pain in the 10Ks. So I’ll spend the winter/spring looking for local things to race just for training purposes. He also mentioned some TTs, and there are a couple in the area in February (??) so I’ll probably go freeze myself while the local guys make me look like a fool out there and halve my time.
There’s a Wattie contingent going to Wildflower, so I am crossing my fingers and seeing if I can work that into the schedule. Timing-wise, it’s perfect. It’s the logistics and yet another travelling thing that need some planning. But, we will see.
There’s also Troika, which I may do (end of May).
Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene is basically a sure thing—Allen is racing it (his first 70.3!) and I need to race soooo, I mean, it only makes sense for me to do it. :) It seems incredibly odd to go race a 70.3 there after a slow, methodical 140.6 there just one year before… I associate that course with the ironman mentality, and I’m a little worried about trying to race a half on the same course, but..we’ll see. Should be fine. I love Coeur d’Alene, and that also means probably a training weekend (or two) there so…I’ll do it.
After that, I’m not entirely sure. There’s Seafair, so I might do that, but the longest course they have is an Olympic. And it might only be 2 weeks after CDA, again, which is fine but not as ideal. I need to find a late July/early August race. This is still a bit open…
…because after that, it is AUSTRALIA! 70.3 world championships is September 4th, and will probably travel a week before (and after..or more). The entire year will of course focus on getting to Mooloolaba beach as strong, fast and healthy as I can!! I’m still totally in shock about this. I don’t totally feel like I deserve it. Yes, I won my age group..but I just feel there are so many other faster people, that it was a fluke! Oh well. Just means I get to take the next 9 months proving I belong there!
Spectating-wise (which is JUST as important), I’ll be at IM Canada to Sherpa for Mac. She’s also doing Victoria, so may try to get to that one as well. The only probably with this big Australia trip is I’m using up sooo much PTO, I have to really plan things ahead and be a bit stingy on taking extra days off work! But, that would be nice. Mac is also doing Monterrey, and Galveston (AND CDA!) but I think it’ll be less likely I can make those. Too much travelling, not enough time! Fingers crossed she can punch that WC ticket in Monterrey, and we can go rock Australia together :)
All that said, I’m greatful for this off-season. I feel fat and lazy but I know it’ll all come back, and I know I’m not really loosing much. Shawn keeps reminding me it’s ok to not go as hard as I can and kill myself in workouts, and the goal is to just stay fit this winter. It’s been good, and I am really learning to embrace it. The off-season has its own purpose and goals, and in order to work on this massive, exciting goals or 2016, I need to make sure my mind and body are ready to go. Patience, Rosanne!