Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship Lottery Slot

What matters is how quickly you do what your soul directs. Rumi
Silverman started this.

Not only for me, but for its creators.

I don't know details about the behind the scenes work, but I know that Silverman helped establish southern Nevada as a premier multi-sport racing space.

I know because I watched it unfold. 

  • A small group of athletes showing up for the inaugural Silverman in 2005 -- it was strictly a full iron distance race then
  •  The addition of the half distance in 2007 -- and me sidelined filled with regret because I just couldn't make it happen.
  • Meeting Chris McCorrmack during the delayed swim start in 2008 -- the year I did make it happen.
  •  The heated debates over which course was harder, the full distance Silverman or Kona.

I watched it unfold . . .

Then it came.

The announcement that southern Nevada would be home to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships for the next five years.

The creators of Silverman brought something huge to our community.

Starting September 11, 2011.

And the lottery.

25 slots given to Clark County residents. A chance of a life time for an age grouper like me to race on the world stage.

I wasn't ready in 2011.

I hung back.

The World Championship race, plus a verifying 70.3 race, plus my fears about my business not being able to sustain us fully yet, or whether it ever would. . . . .there was No.Freaking.Way.

I went to the lottery drawing in January 2011 and was thrilled for my Las Vegas Triathlon Club team mates who got slots.

Since I wasn't training, and facing a year where I would have no choice but to make my business work or get a job, I easily "forgot" about the lottery . . .

Then we went to a wedding in Tuscon in May. We had so much fun -- having not been on a real vacation in years, those three days away watching close friends get married were just the best.

Two significant things happened that weekend.

  • We went to a farmers market and saw a man live roasting coffee beans and selling them. The idea for Frankly Good Coffee took hold as we were able to actually "see" it. Glenn picked the guy's brain, came home and took action.
  • The other thing happened on the drive home. I was listening to my iPod staring at the gorgeous desert when my head became flooded with images. Full technicolor images of Silverman -- and other races. Instantly I knew: I had to go for a World Championship slot in 2012. I was enthralled and annoyed. Sure it was inspiring to daydream about but felt like such a stretch in the practical world.

Money was tight.

I was stressed out of my mind with the business. And Glenn was starting a new business.

I waited a few days and the feeling wouldn't go away. The technicolor images were relentless.

So, in June, after a lot of agonizing and mental gymnastics, I emailed Liz to ask if she had space in her roster. She didn't have space right then but put me on a waiting list and asked what my goals were.

I was terrified to tell her -- afraid she might tell me this was way out of my reach -- after all I'd taken a long time off training. But I knew I had to be honest
In a nutshell ultimate goal: get a lottery slot to the 2012 70.3 Worlds . . . .

You know what a pull Silverman had over me and what it took for me to complete that race. With worlds here on the same course and the fact that slots were made available this year . . .  I know it's a huge stretch but it's who I am to want something like this. Silverman STILL has pull over me now. It inspires a lot of what I do now. I would not have my business without it.

I know this sounds insane, but part of me hoped she'd tell me this was too big of a reach. That I could be let off the hook. Of course she didn't say that. She said:

This is so neat!  I think it's also a great idea.  If chosen, I like the idea of you doing Boise to verify the slot.  . . . .  I like Boise because it's somewhat hilly too . . . .

Not long after that, I learned through Facebook that Ironman was offering early registration for Boise at the unheard of low price (for an Ironman branded race) of $199. Even though it was not convenient, I moved money to pay for it. Signed up for Boise a full year early.

And started training.

Earlier this month when the 70.3 Worlds application was made available, I completed it and sent in the $350.00 entry fee well before the deadline (didn't have to move money this time).

I did absolutely everything within my power to get this slot!
  • Got back with my coach over a year before the race

  • Selected Boise as the race that will verify the slot, knowing that even if I didn't get the slot I was still excited to race there
  • Told a small group of trusted friends and family about my plan, and received support and encouragement
  • Selected a couple of back up fall race possibilities if I didn't get a slot (and was excited about them)
Because I had done everything in my power to get the slot, when Tony and I went to the Las Vegas Triathlon Club Kickoff Party last Friday I was relaxed and ready to accept whatever happened there.

But I knew . . . . . I just knew . . . .

There wasn't even time to get nervous. 

Of 25 names mine was in the top 5 or 6 drawn. I was so in the moment that I don't remember exactly how many names were called before mine but I know mine was called in the top ten, and possibly the top five.

Frank unfolded the paper, looked up and said, "Stef! Congratulations!"

The beauty is that nothing in my practical daily life will change. Liz will continue to meticulously plan my workouts, I will continue to execute them consistently. Tony will continue to train with me.

More than anything else I'm deeply grateful. I do not take this slot for granted. The fact that an opportunity like this is even out there floors me and is part of what makes triathlon dear to my heart.  I recognize what an honor and privilege this is and am grateful to the creators of Silverman and to the "powers that be" at Ironman who made this possible for me and 24 other members of our great Tri Club.

My fall 70.3 is "TBD" no more!!!

Ironman 70.3 World Championship. September 9, 2012.

[thanks for reading].


Danielle said...

I am so excited and proud!

Debra said...

Woo-hoo!!!! What a beautiful, vivid example of "See it. Believe it. Achieve it.". You continue to inspire me, my friend!

Wes said...

A lifetime Coup de Gras! Well done, Stef!! I'm looking forward to following your training this year!

paulag said...

I am SO thrilled for you! True example of consistency of belief and willing to do what it takes. I had no doubt about it (as you know even when you doubt yourself, I still trust you with my life in a ring of loose horses!)... Can't wait to support you as the journey unfolds.


Calyx Meredith said...

OH FANTASTIC!!! What a marvelous manifestation! I am soooo excited for you. I love hearing about all the ways Silverman has expanded magically into your life. I can't wait to tell Donna! Go Stef!!!

Alili said...

I am so excited for you!!

Molly said...

I am so excited to read the story of how this went down. What a big year for you!!!!

Jennifer said...

Wow, what a great story... so exciting! Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello... so fun to meet Liz's other athletes and cheer each other on :-)

Amanda Maynard said...

So HAPPY for you Stef!