THOUGHTS FROM AMERICAN PRO HEATHER JACKSON
Currently, Wattie and I are on the plane on our way over to Kona for the Ironman World Championships!!! Yayyyyy!!!! I’m so excited and yet I’m trying to remain calm. I keep having to catch myself: Don’t expend any extra energy on excitement and nerves! There’s still 11 days to go. As I knew it would, this time of year came so quickly and I’m just trying to take in every little second of this journey. I know that within a blink of an eye, race day will come and be over for another year.
To be perfectly honest, I’m actually looking forward to the next week and a half. I have some books to finish and quite a few movies and shows in my Netflix queue. It’s been a long, hard three weeks in Tucson, AZ and I know it’s time to let it all sink in. I’m ready to let it sink in. I like to think of my taper as “caging the beast.” I’ve got eleven more days to cage up my energy before letting loose on race day.
Right now, I’m just trying to control what I can control. As I type, it is actually a bit of a comical situation. Yes, I’m sitting here on the plane with my compression socks on and my MarcPro beside me to take to the bathroom when the seatbelt sign goes off so I can try and attach the little pads underneath my jeans discreetly for some muscle activation. I’m sitting on my trigger point balls and I’ve got 2 tubes of Herbalife Best Defense (basically the same thing as Airborne) in the seat pocket in front of me. Beside the Herbalife Best Defense, I’ve got zinc and Vitamin C lozenges and 2 bottles of hand sanitizers. The only thing I forgot to get before we left Tucson this morning was one of those face masks. Yes, had I remembered to scoot over to CVS, I would be wearing that right now. Instead, actually, I just pulled my sweatshirt hood up over my mouth… I’m pretty sure the guy coughing across the aisle is laughing at me. It’s cool. I can’t control the sick people on this flight but I can do all of those things above to try and get over to Kona cold/germ free.
Once we get to Kona, the same will hold true- controlling what I can control to have the best race possible in 11 days. I will get my training in each day and straight back to the condo with my feet up. Straight to race meetings and sponsor engagements and then straight back to the condo. Sorry to all my family, friends, and fans, but I will limit the number of people I come in contact with pre-race to avoid catching a cold…Constant hand washing, lots of vitamin C, and healthy, nutritious meals cooked at home to avoid possible germs from chefs, servers, or other people dining out at a restaurant. It might come off as a bit extreme but it’s these little things that can make or break having the best possible race you can have.
I absolutely love this time of year: Championship season…the biggest races of the year. The best athletes in the world toe the line together in the best shape of their lives. We had the pleasure of watching the 70.3 World Championships online a few weeks ago, as well as the ITU Grand Final event just a week ago. While I absolutely love spectating such high-level championship events, I wished I was out there in both of those races. Even the ITU race! Which would have been completely hysterical given I would have been out of the swim five or more minutes behind whoever got out of the water last. hehe. But as I watched the race, I still pictured myself out there as hysterical as it would have been. I was still picturing myself getting out of the water and doing anything I could to chase on- attacking the corners, trying to bridge up on the bike, or running in a pack with the front runners. The same held true watching the 70.3 World Championships, which I passed on this year. I still watched, glued to the screen, wondering if I could have ridden anywhere close to 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf, or ran down a deficit on the run? That’s why sport is so inspirational for me: the “I wonders”. I wonder if that’s possible? I wonder if I could do that?
I wonder what I can do a week from Saturday against the best long distance triathletes in the world? Anything can happen on race day, and that’s why it’s so exciting. The only thing I know is that I am fit and ready to give everything I have. I wonder where that will bring me across the line?
About Heather Jackson -
Since turning pro in 2009, Heather has become known as a dominant force in the 70.3 scene, capturing wins at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in 2013 & 2015. In 2015 her focus has been on the full distance and she will be making her professional Ironman World Championship debut in Kona, Hawaii on October 10th. For more information on Heather visit her website at: heatherjacksonracing.com