The Journey is the Reward
By Christina DeRonde
From the 12th floor of my hotel room I could see over a small slice of the Woodlands, Texas, the site of the first TEXAS Ironman as the Texans like to refer to the event. The meandering canal and cute apartments and condo complexes surrounded a curvy walking path. In view, down and to my right, was a small seating area. A sign above the benches read THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD...
I was coming into this event with a business mindset. I had some time goals and was on pace to complete my 5th Ironman in under 12 hours. Confident I could do the job, I laid out a race plan that focused on ensuring I nailed my nutrition so I could run strong. We drove the bike course, rode the run course, did the practice swim-that would not include a wetsuit-and I was never more prepared for any Ironman than this one. I was nervous and respectful. Any full iron distance event is tough regardless of how many or how frequently you tackle them. I knew the day could deliver just about anything. I planned for strong winds, high heat and humidity. I was staying relaxed even when I knew a non-wetsuit legal swim would slow me down. I was okay. I had experience and perspective.