Last week, Dimity’s triathlon coach, Briana Boehmer, emailed me on the sly, asking if she could write a blog post for Dimity. “Just talking about all she has done…. I imagine the corresponding support from the AMR community would be such a great boost for her. She has been so quiet about all her hard work. I just thought it might give her a big HUG and lots of love for race day. AND just give her a full understanding of how far she has come....” With happy tears in my eyes, I heartily agreed. Here is what Bri wrote:
I’ve started this post a dozen different ways…
First, with the ever-popular (and admittedly cheesy) motivational quote. Next I tried an anecdotal story. But let’s face it, I’m not a super-witty writer like your pioneers of badass mother run-ness, so accept my apologies now for a very matter-of-fact post about your very own Dimity “Humble as Pie” McDowell.
I have had the true honor of coaching Little Miss Dim for her “first” Ironman (yes, Dimity, I put that in quotes: You say this is your first and last Ironman, but I’ve heard that waaaay too many times to believe it anymore, so there!). Suffice it to say, Dimity has been downright coy when it comes to revealing all she has done to prepare for Ironman Coeur d’Alene. You see, Dimity has been diligently training for this event with me since November 1. And when I say diligent, I mean it in every sense of the word.
There are many things I can do as a coach to prepare an athlete for an event. Yet no matter how great the workouts are, and well thought out the roadmap is, the athlete still has to show up. “Showing up” is my term for not just doing the work, but fully committing to the process. It is doing all the little “extras” and doing the workouts as planned, as crazy as they may sound. Dimity knows how to show up, and she does it in a way that cannot be taught, it is truly who she is. Dimity, you are a coach’s dream with your dedicated, no-nonsense work ethic. You are a phenomenal example to your mother runners that, when you show up, there’s nothing you can’t do.
While Dimity has hinted to doing “lots of training” and hitting “rough patches,” her humble nature has not revealed all that she had done to reach the starting line on June 23 ready to take on 140.6 miles in one day. There’s no sugar-coating it: Ironman training is hard if you want to do the race right.
While Dimity has always said the goal is to accomplish the feat, she and I both know you don’t do this thing halfway. Hence, with both feet forward, Dimity dived into training knowing that her body has been unfortunately plagued by nagging, annoying injuries. You’ve read about the “left side”--not her “strong side.” This time around, that was the least of Dimity’s worries. She had to deal with a painful neck/shoulder flare up that kept us from swimming for literally 2.5 months of our training and hindered her ability to bike on her triathlon bike (yikes, right?). Then there was the unfortunate slip (we all fall down, D, don’t worry) that fractured her foot and had us leave our running in the thick of training. A marathon requires its fair share of consistent miles, but tag it at the end of a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike, and you can sense that, well, missed run training isn’t ideal.
The foot injury was a tough one. I still remember the phone call: Dimity wondering if she really could do this thing, thinking maybe she just wasn’t cut out for all this event takes. Just like you can’t sugarcoat Ironman, I never sugarcoat what I tell an athlete they can do. On that call, I told Dimity what I can’t tell most athletes--because most athletes aren’t like Dimity. I told her that not only was she strong enough to do this, but she IS a very talented and gifted athlete.
Yes, Dimity, you are. What Dimity has been so quiet about is that not only has she racked up more 330 hours of training in 7.5 months (yep, she made up for all the lost time with her injuries!), but she has done most of them FAST. Yes Dimity, FAST! She has pushed her body to new heights, always seeing what more she could do. She didn’t just get past each injury and roadblock, she rose to the occasion they presented. To train as Dimity has takes guts and showing up, no way around it. And, Dimity, this is why, no matter what happens June 23, you are already a badass Ironmother.
Each time I visit the AMR page, I notice the very first line reads, “a virtual aid station.” It is such an uplifting metaphor for what Sarah and Dimity have created, a 24/7 support network. That network is fueled by a lot of love, and I am now asking the community of mother runners to shift that aid station back to where it started by lending your support for Dimity as she embarks on one heck of a grueling day. If you give her a shoutout nearly any hour on June 23 she will be racing. Yes, Ironman is an all-day, non-stop kind of deal.
Even better, you can follow Dimity live on the Ironman site via the athlete tracker. (Note: The tracker is slow to load updates so don’t fret if you haven’t seen a change in her status in awhile). And, if you want to see the BEST part, stick around for the live camera at the finish: You can see Dimity finish in real time, which I get teary just thinking about. Then you can hear the special set of words that signal the long hours were for something: “Dimity, you are an Ironman.” I’ll be tweeting updates throughout the day via @TheMotherRunner on Twitter, and I’ll be sure to tweet an ETA of Dimity’s arrival at the finish line.
Dimity, enjoy every minute. You’ve earned it. Soak it up, because as long as Ironman is, the day will fly by. Like a wedding, it will all be over in the blink of an eye, and you will wonder where the day went. Revel in all you have done to make it to the line and know that there is a community of mother runners you have supported through the years that will be supporting you on your journey. As you’ve said after every hard workout: onward!