Thank you 2012! You’ve Been Good To Me!!

Thank you 2012! You’ve Been Good To Me!!

by Cathy O.

You’re probably wondering why I’m thanking the year already when the year isn’t even over yet, right?  While some of my colleagues are continuing on their racing season with the Naperville Triathlon in August or even the HyVee Triathlon in September, I, on the other hand, am done with my racing season.  I’ve had a full load this year and I topped it off with the Racine Half Ironman on July 15th.  I wanted to take this time to reflect on my year and thank all the people who made my season a complete success!

My training year began last October when I began training for the Disney Marathon in January.  This was a very fun race and I learned something new about myself that day.  I learned that I’m very focused when I run.  I’m so focused that I guess I don’t pay any attention to my surroundings.  My buddy, Jim Riga, who also ran the race, kept asking me afterwards how I liked going through a tunnel where you could see people making clothes.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  I never recalled going through any tunnel other than the Cinderella Castle.  Thanks for making me laugh, Jim, every time you tell me that story!

Next on my race list was participating at the Ft. Worth, TX Cowtown Challenge with my brother and his work colleagues.   We raced a half marathon and ran through the Stockyards and other parts of Ft Worth.  This race had some of the best post race foods:  hot chicken noodle soup and soft serve ice cream.  YUM!!!  The soup hit the spot since it was cold that day and the ice cream is a given.  I’ll eat ice cream anytime of the day.  I had so much fun racing with my brother.  We ran together for the first 9 miles until I decided the let the legs fly. But I will always remember those 9 miles with my bro!

The month of March brought the St Paddy’s Day 5k race in Naperville.  I was able to test my limits with my speed that day.  I was fortunate to be able to race with my friends, Steve M. and Stephanie L.  They also had good runs.

Then came the month of May.  The Mini Marathon in Indianapolis was scheduled two weeks prior to the Galena Triathlon.  Oh boy!  That was a busy month for me since I really try not to book races too close together, but I couldn’t resist signing up for the Mini Marathon since my sister was participating as well.  She did the 5K walk and I ran the half marathon.  Another fun race!  All participants ran one lap of the Indy 500 Speedway.  Awesome!  The entire speedway was blaring with loud, upbeat music so I couldn’t resist running fast.

Galena was hot!  Holy cow!  The run was brutal but knowing that there were a large number of Experience Triathlon folks representing made it all worth the pain and sweat.  And how about those hills?   That’s what makes Galena so special and challenging!

Next up:  Pleasant Prairie.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  The water was great and the weather was fabulous.  I was a little disappointed that the Olympic distance bike portion was shortened a few miles, but my attitude quickly changed as I realized I could just power it out on the bike and see what was left for the run.  It all came together and I had a good race.

Then there was Racine!  This is one of my favorite race venues and it’s not just because 5 time world champion, Craig Alexander races here. 🙂  The swim in Lake Michigan, at least in the past two years, has been perfect conditions for racing.  Smooth as glass and 69 degrees!  Woot!  My fear of swimming in choppy waters was alleviated that day.  The bike portion is fun and fast.  I still vividly remember seeing Crowie cycling towards home and as he passed me, I yelled, “GO CROWIE!” as loud as I could.  I hope he heard me!  I wish I could stop here but I have to mention the darn run portion.  I mentioned that Galena was hot earlier, but there is just no comparison at Racine.  My run portion began around 11am or so, at which the temperature was already near the mid 80’s, and after a 56-mile bike ride, I was hot!  But I have to remember that it’s all about finishing.  As a team, we all accomplished getting to that finish line.  So I must say, “Congratulations to all the ET Racine finishers!!”  It was tough but worth every second!

Here’s a fun fact:  All my races were PR’s!  It pays tribute to my coach, Joe LoPresto.  Without him, I would not be where I am today.  He inspired me from the very beginning.  I still remember our run together, Joe, where I was struggling with work and exercise and you popped me right out of it.  You inspire me everyday to improve and to challenge myself and for that I’m grateful.  I can’t believe the improvements I’ve made mentally and physically just within the past year of racing. How many times have we heard people say they don’t think they could ever race or participate in a triathlon?  But here I am racing in Half Ironman races like it’s part of my routine.  I love it!!!  It just proves how good you are!  Thanks Joe!

Thanks also to our Team Dietitian, Laurie Schubert, who always gives me the confidence I need in order to succeed on race day.  My race nutrition plans were perfect, Laurie!  Everything went as planned and I always appreciate your help and guidance.

Sarah Farsalas, ET’s massage therapist, did wonders on my legs.  Thanks for putting up with my stubborn, tight quads, Sarah!  I’m looking forward to my next appointment.

I could never write a blog story without thanking the entire coaching staff at Experience Triathlon, my many colleagues and friends, and the world famous ET cheering crew, who will argue that the racers have it harder than they do.  I beg to differ.  Remember, the racers have it easy since they only need to focus on themselves all day long.  The ET cheering crew has to focus on ALL the racers all day long.  That’s much harder!  Thanks everyone for a great 2012!

Next stop:  Ironman Wisconsin 2013… Bring it on!!!

Share this post

  • Way to rock it out Chilly Pepper!!  What an amazing season you had.  It was so much fun to support your journey this year and see you out there rippin’ it up.  Always smilin’, wavin’ and supportin’ the crew.  A true role model for the ET Way.  Enjoy a little rest and recovery time.  We’ll be starting that Ironman Wisconsin training soon! 😉

  • Alyse

    Congratulations on a wonderful, wonderful season! You have so much to be proud of. You are quite a role model for me – I see your drive and want to do so much more! I’m really honored to have you as my coach:) Cheers!

    • Cathy Obordo

      We’re a great team, Alyse!!  Thanks so much for your support….you’re a fantastic asset to our team!!!

  • Kristin

    Great Season Cathy! All PR’s! What more could you ask for.  Look forward to working hard with you in CompuTrainer this fall/winter!

    • Cathy Obordo

      Absolutely, Kristin!  I know I’ll only improve if I try to keep up with you!  🙂

  • Drew Repoza

    Congratulations on a great year, Cathy!  Keep up the good work, and keep on smiling!

  • Jeff P

    Awesome season Cathy! Loved reading about your adventures. Enjoy the recovery and maybe sneak in a few 5k’s this fall 🙂

    •  hmmmn… I like your thinking Jeff.  Maybe a 10K too! 😉

      • Cathy Obordo

        Absolutely, I’ve already got a few in mind.  🙂

  • Sarah Farsalas

    Yo, girl– WAY TO ROCK IT OUT!!! You never cease to inspire everyone around you…both with your contagious enthusiasm, & and your eternal positive outlook on things!! You are such an amazing athlete and coach, and your friendship and laughter are forever appreciated!! Congrats on a well-deserved awesome finish to your 2012 season! (maybe you stop & milk some cows to make your own ice cream during 2013’s Ironman Madison?)

    • Cathy Obordo

      Thanks so much, Sarah!  I really appreciate your kind compliments!  You’re the best!!  And you’ve got me thinking about the ice cream….hmmmmm???

    •  Did somebody say Ice Cream?!?! 🙂

  • Wrinkled_pei

    I love your story Cathy, I am so happy I have gotten a chance to meet you.

  • Ms. Chill:
    What is your secret?  I want some of what you are having.  From my short time knowing you I have observed that you are unselfish, funny, a caring wife, a loving-life kind of gal.  In addition, I am always admiring your athletic prowess.  On an ET ride once, someone mentioned that I blew right by them without even trying.  But I WAS trying.  Just like i try to keep up with you.  That is not luck or physiology, that is carefully coached TRAINING.  You do that training and you reap the rewards and you are a class act while doing it.  I have participated in other sports where the level of competion, especially between women, is totally unhealthy.  I love to compete with you and admire your calves from the  back row!!  You rock Ms. Chili Pepper.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings to you and yours!

    • Cathy Obordo

      Thanks so much, Wendy!  You are one special lady….you brought a tear to my eye while reading your post.  I really appreciate the kind comments.  Now it’s your turn with IM Louisville…..GO ROCK IT OUT!!  WOOT!!

  • Kelli Z

    Coach Chilly, you are awesome!!! You are so positive and focused, it is hard to imagine you ever having a struggle with anything. Congrats on your PRs and way to take on new challenges. You inspire me to do more… keep bringing all that positive energy!!