Saturday, December 5, 2015

Norseman 2016: I'm Going Back!

As soon as I crossed the finish line at Norseman in 2014, I knew that I'd want to come back one day to try to finish on the mountaintop and earn a black T-shirt. What I didn't know was that "one day" would come so quickly!

Norseman has two finish lines. One of them is at the top of a mountain. The first 160 people to pass a checkpoint at mile 20 of the marathon can continue to this finish line. They earn a black finisher's T-shirt. Everyone else finishes at a secondary finish line about halfway up, and earns a white shirt. While I am incredibly proud of the white T-shirt that I got in 2014, I'm also completely disappointed that I didn't get to climb to the top of Gaustatoppen. I want that black shirt.

You can only get into Norseman through a lottery (or through a contest put on by one of the sponsors, like I did the first time). This year's lottery worked differently than it has in the past. This year, if you didn't get selected, you'd get two chances at winning a slot next year, and so on. I signed up for the lottery expecting to be improving my chances for next year, and the year after that.

When the drawing came and went on November 9, I received my rejection email with a caveat, "We do not operate a waiting-list, but we will in this way invite 50 people to our runners up list in case some of the draw winners declines their slot over the next couple of days. If so happens we will offer the slot to the runners up." The email said that I'd know by December 1 if I had been selected.

Reading that email, I realized exactly how badly I wanted the chance to go back to race in Norway. I was filled with disappointment. I didn't let myself hope to be selected as a runner-up.

A week later, on a business trip, sitting on a plane that had just landed in Charlotte, I casually checked my email on my phone. Imagine my surprise when I saw the email: "We are excited to confirm that we have reserved a slot for you in the 2016 edition of Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon." WHAT?! I couldn't believe it. I spent the rest of that layover texting my friends and coach, and calling Mom and Dad to tell them the news. I think the best way to describe my reaction would be "over the moon."

Dad always said that with the knowledge we have from the first time we raced Norseman, we'd have a much better shot at the black T-shirt a second time around. Emily said that the experience I'll have from the two more years of training and racing will be invaluable, too. I know they're both right, and I know what I have to do.

I have another reason to be motivated for 2016 - I applied and was accepted to the Big Sexy Racing team. BSR is a team of amateur athletes led by 7x Ironman champion Chris "Big Sexy" McDonald. It's an honor to be a part of this team of incredibly talented, motivated athletes, and I'm looking forward to learning a lot from them. I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be a big (sexy) year! Looking forward to putting the work in to make it so.

My 2016, in a nutshell. Big Sexy Racing and Norseman!
Catching Up
Since I haven't blogged much in the last couple of months, I'll provide my excuses in the photos below:

I traveled for work. A lot. First to our office in Indianapolis where we got to see Real Fall Colors...
Then to our office in Virginia Beach. Next stop, California.
I didn't just travel for business - this view from a trail run in Colorado was pretty awesome.
After two months of traveling for work, being distracted by life, and Not Training, this is the only photo I'll post of Austin 70.3, because riding around the corner and seeing this was the best part of the day. Note to self: You know how you're always talking about how hard work works? Well, not working hard...doesn't work. Not a great performance at this race but a lot of fun with friends. Orissa and Linda rocking the donuts as the best cheer squad ever!

On a rainy Saturday last week, it was super fun to be back at it with Dawn. This photo taken post-Norseman drawing, when motivation has kicked back in.
I'm told that an alternative to indoor riding on rainy days is to ride a cyclocross bike, because they're "meant to get dirty." The only problem is, I can't seem to stay upright on mine. (I'm in love with it anyway!)