There's this girl, woman really, who's been on the periphery of my training circle for many years. In more recent times we have become better friends with quite a lot in common as it so happens. Our families have grown closer, and during the course of the last several months we have become fairly dedicated training partners. (Another friend of mine would call us "Accountabili-buddies") Having been an early morning - read before dawn - runner for many, many years prior to the silliness of triathlon, I find it easiest to kick start my day by getting my work out "in the books." She has NOT been an early morning person, and frequently reminds me of that at 5:20 a.m. as we stand on the pool deck me having already had my first LARGE cup of coffee and Facebook fix and her ... well, not so much. However, by the end of the workout she is, in her coach's words, "down right chipper."
We often seek our respective coach's approval to modify or reschedule a workout so that we can do them together either literally or virtually. Just ask her about the "Crazy Brick" day. Wow! That is one virtual workout neither of us is likely to soon forget. ;-) We have planned races and training camps together so as to maximize our efforts towards a common goal: Ironman Chattanooga 2016. Both of us being experienced IronWomen know that solo 140.6 training can be lonely, isolating, and sometimes downright depressing. We have put some spark in our training by adding in fun when we can. Sometimes it is a race that falls in the middle of a long training run. Other times it's a not so exciting Friday Night Pizza gathering. We have begun calling ourselves the #ChooCrew and have given ourselves matching swimsuits complete with #ChooCrew2016 monogramming.
There is a regular stream of text messages that are more often than not training related. However, there are the conversations that discuss the ups and downs of our careers, what's for dinner, the new movie that was just released, and what our Boys are doing. While we do not train side-by-side every workout, or even every day, we do keep each other up-to-date in that text stream with what we did and what we maybe were SUPPOSED to have done. The give and take is very even, and I believe that both of us will have a one of a kind race season that can only lead to even greater and fabulous things beyond 2016. Accountability breeds transparency which, in our unique partnership, means that we can push each other knowing fully that in our two different age groups (and 10 year gap in age) we are setting the stage for success.