Racing with #heartandcourage to become #trackcatstrong in 2018

I have been so blessed + honored to be a part of the Coeur Sports ambassador team for the last 3 years! I am humbled + honored to have this AMAZING company and these empowering ladies by my side for 2018! This sisterhood of women are so strong, supportive, inspirational, #hardcoeur, uplifting, encouraging, kind, and are full of #heartandcourage!

With my 2017 racing season in the rearview mirror, I am looking forward to my 2018 racing season! I have a few races that I’ve already signed up for, a few more I’m planning to sign up for, and then there’s my late season schedule…I’m still debating on that, so that will just have to be a surprise! 😉 I am really excited to continue working with Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness to help me get stronger + faster in 2018! #trackcatstrong here I come!

My tentative race plan for 2018 includes:

Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 22, 2018 (already registered for)

Hickory Grove Triathlon – May 20, 2018

Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 – June 10, 2018 (already registered for)

Okoboji Triathlon – July 14, 2018

Ironman Ohio 70.3 – July 29, 2018 (already registered for)

Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim – August 4, 2018

I have some BIG dreams that I am chasing, so I am hopeful that these races (with a few others scattered throughout the year) set me up for an even more amazing 2019 racing season! Look out 2018…I’m comin’ for ya!

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Okoboji Triathlon 2017 Race Report

This is just a few weeks late, but better late than never! I raced the Okoboji Triathlon on July 15 and it was so much fun to go short, fast, hard, and have my family cheering for me on bike and run course! This race has a special place in my heart as I get to go home, home to race! It is unique, because it is between the sprint and Olympic distance.

Who’s ready to race?! We are!

Swim: 960 yards in 17:37 (1:50/100 yards average pace)

The women 40+ were in the last swim wave, so I had lots of people to pass during the entire event. Once I settled into my swim pace, I started pacing many people in the previous waves. This swim was about 1 minute faster than last year without a wetsuit this year.

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Roka Viper Elite swim skin, Roka X1 Light Vermilion goggles, SBR tri slide

T1: 2:57

After exiting the swim, there is about a 200 yard run up to transition. I thought I was being super speedy in transition, but apparently I wasn’t as fast as I thought I was! My transition time was a bit slower than last year.

Bike: 18 miles in 54:10 (19.9 mph average speed)

I quickly settled in on the bike and began to climb right away. I was very aware of surrounding athletes and was SUPER pumped that not one athlete passed me on the bike! The last 6 miles of the bike is full of short, punchy hill climbs, and I was ready to punch back! With about 1.5 miles left to ride, I saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad on the course cheering me on!

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Specialized Transition bike, Specialized Evade bike helmet, Specialized bike shoes

Nutrition: Breakthrough Nutrition – NBS Hydration

T2: 1:11

I quickly racked my bike, changed my shoes, and took off on the run!

Run: 4.5 miles in 38:48 (8:37 min/mile average pace)

I’ve run this course many times and knew there were many rolling hills, so I didn’t push as hard out of T2 as I probably should have and could have. About 1 mile into the run I was passed by the only female who passed me for the entire run (this cost me 1st in my age group and 10th overall female). I should have hung onto her to see what my body was capable of, but I let her go. With about 1.5 miles to the finish line, I again saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad. I was revived with their high-5s and cheers! I allowed that to carry me all the way to the finish line!

Gear:Coeur Sports tri kit, Newton Kismets

Nutrition: Motts fruit snacks

Overall: 1:54:40 2nd age group (F40-49) and 11th overall female finish

2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!

I am super grateful to my amazing family and husband, to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for helping be come #trackcatstrong this year, to my sponsors Coeur Sports, Roka Sports, Sound Probiotics, Breakthrough Nutrition, and Kyle’s Bikes, and to Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy! It takes a village and I’m incredibly grateful for mine!

5 weeks ’til #IMMT: Recovery + Racing

Last week flew by in the blink of an eye! So much fun, lots of recovery time, family time, and a race to cap off the week!

Swim: 1574 yards

I love swimming at home home! So awesome with the New Wave Swim Buoy in Lake Okoboji!
#swimlove with my fave at home home!

Bike: 45.7 miles

Pure joy comes when you learn new skills! Congratulations to Maggie! She stared fear in the face and won! So proud of you Maggie!
“Mama, you say recovery ride. We say recovery is sleeping!” ~Basil and Mya

Run: 7.71 miles

Sweaty, nasty race prep miles.

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core almost daily (I did miss a couple of days)

Getting some help with my core work…holding plank with 3 of my nieces on my back!

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 44 minutes

Weekly Positives:

So grateful to CEP Compression for my Tour prize! I will recover like a champ! THANK YOU!
Tubing is part of the pre-race training plan, right?!
4 of my favorite girls swimming in the lake off the boat!
Family + Lake Okoboji = #happyheart
Cheering on the participants at the start of the Okoboji Marathon.
2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon! I’ll have a race report on the blog later this week!
Enjoying Indian cuisine with our friends + being blessed with these gifts from India = #happyheart

Quote of the Week:

“Rest. It’s part of the plan. Muscles are torn in training, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed.”

I’m mentally and physically ready for this last big push to Ironman Mont Tremblant! Only 5 more weeks?! CRAZY!!

2017 Racing Season

Mother Nature (errr…Global Warming) has blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather this “winter”…weather we typically see in April and May here in Central Iowa. This beautiful weather + back rehabilitation got me thinking about my 2017 racing season. I have had WAY MORE downtime than is typical for me during this rehab process, so…I had plenty of time to plan for my 2017 racing season and register for some races. Thanks to this downtime, my 2017 racing season is taking shape! I have registered for the following races:

  1. Drake 1/2 Marathon (4/29/17)
  2. Hickory Grove Sprint Triathlon (5/21/17)
  3. Liberty Tri 70.3 (6/10/17)
  4. Okoboji Triathlon (7/15/17)
  5. Ironman Mont Tremblant (8/20/17)

I am super pumped about these races! This schedule will provide me with some opportunities to test my race day plan for long distances, but also give me some opportunities to go hard, fast, and have fun at some shorter distances!

I have also registered for a 3 day training camp in Vermont on July 27-30 with Track Cat Fitness! This training camp is 3 weeks before Ironman Mont Tremblant, so we will be extending our vacation to 4 weeks! We will be heading to the New England States before going to Mont Tremblant, Canada…visiting new places, training in new places, and having even more fun!

How is your 2017 season shaping up?

My 2016 Year in Review via Photos

January:

My first ever MRI
My first ever MRI…thankfully it was nothing serious!
Basil loves to help me foam roller after a sweaty workout!
Basil is a good helper after a sweaty workout!
I can finally reach my toes...yoga is working :)
Spending lots of time with my boyfriend…mat 🙂

February:

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa...see the snow on the ground ;)
Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa…see the snow on the ground 😉
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More #yogalove this month
Who's ready to race?!
Who’s ready to race?! I’m so excited to be on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2016!!

March:

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Family run off the bike!
Family run off the bike!
"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride in the courage cave with the boys!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

April:

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Lots of swim analyses done this month!
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Outdoor #runlove in shorts!
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First century ride in 2016!!
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#runlove with friends is the best!
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

May:

LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
Thanks Coach Hansen for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
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Market to Market Relay fun!
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Market to Market Relay Fun!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
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Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.
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Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!
Yoga in the park!
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
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DC trip with about 20 eighth graders
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
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Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!
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Our first women’s only ride…SO MUCH FUN and amazing courage in these women!!

July:

4th of July Century ride
4th of July Century ride
#bikelove with amazing people!
#bikelove with amazing people!
Outdoor #swimlove
Outdoor #swimlove
Women's only ride #2 for the year!
Women’s only ride #2 for the year!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The Iron Hippie's Birthday Century Ride
The Iron Hippie’s Birthday Century Ride
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
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128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!
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2.4 mile open water swim event in Madison
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

August:

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Outdoor pool swimming is coming to an end.
Outdoor 50 meter pool swimming is coming to an end.
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Running with friends is always best!
Outdoor #bikelove
Outdoor #bikelove
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
#runlove with my faves!
#runlove with my faves!
Date night!
Date night!

September:

Countless laps next to my fave!
Countless laps next to my fave!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong at Ironman Wisconsin! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

October:

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Love this little family of mine!
Love this little family of mine!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
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I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant for 2017!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
So happy to cheer on my Coeur Sports Teammates as they take on Ironman World Championships in Kona. These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ❤

November:

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
I'm excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
I’m excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!! #yogalove
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month. #swimlove
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE! #runlove
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place! #runlove
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
Proud Aunt!
Proud Aunt!
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

December:

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#chlorinetherapy + #swimlove with the Iron Hippie!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I’m not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!!
Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy
When you wask up to negative wind chills and want to stay in bed with your dreams, but get up and work hard during your swim time trial to turn those dreams into a reality instead! #swimlove #chlorinetherapy
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
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When it is FREEZING cold outside, it is time to run on the mill and dream of the tropics in my Coeur Sports Tropical Punch kit!
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
Climbing to new heights is VERY scary for someone who is afraid of heights…but I did! #fearless
Tree pose on a tree trunk...this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!
Tree pose on a tree trunk…this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

What’s Up?! – July 2016

I realize it is now August and I am a bit late with my July update, but life has been crazy, fun, and fast! So here is what I’ve been up to in July…

Crazy:

We did a lot of BIG training in July! We did three rides that were over 100 miles each (one was 125 miles with 6847 feet of climbing on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course), we swam a 2.4 mile open water race, and we spent the last weekend of July in Madison training on the Ironman Wisconsin course (more on this amazing weekend soon)…so much crazy to be had!

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Fun:

We had a lot of fun celebrating our anniversary by racing the Okoboji Triathlon and spending time with our twin nieces, while teaching them to ride their bikes without training wheels! We also had a blast celebrating the Iron Hippie’s birthday with a century ride and pool party with friends! So much fun was also had with neighbors and friends throughout the month!

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my twin nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The twins got new helmets and baskets for their bikes (although Isabella's wasn't installed here) for learning to ride their bikes!
The twins got new helmets and baskets for their bikes (although Isabella’s wasn’t installed here) for learning to ride their bikes!

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Fast:

Summer has flown by! I can’t believe there are only 17 days before school starts back up and only 40 days until #IMWI! Where has time gone?! Isn’t there a button I can push to slow down time?!

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How was your month of July? What were your July highlights?!

Race Report: Okoboji Triathlon

Saturday the Iron Hippie and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary like we did on our wedding weekend…racing the Okoboji Triathlon!! We love this event for many reasons…small town fun, short and fast, not regulated by USAT, and we get to go home and stay with my parents (unfortunately they were gone this trip).

Pre-Race:

We woke up at 4:30 am, ate some breakfast (though not my typical pre-race meal since I forgot the cream of rice cereal and beet powder back in Ames…UGH!!), put on my tri kit, finished loading the car, and drove the 2 miles to the race start. It is so nice to sleep at “home” and be so close to the race site! We arrived to the transition area at about 5:30 am…just in time to quickly pick our transition spot by the bike in/out, set up our transition area, and make our way to the Okoboji Marathon start at 6 am to cheer on the marathon runners. The Okoboji events include the marathon starting at 6 am, the triathlon starting at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starting at 8 am, and the 10K starting at 9 am. The triathlon and marathon both start at Arnolds Park Amusement Park, but the 1/2 marathon and 10K start at other locations around West Okoboji Lake so the athletes can all finish at the Amusement Park at about the same time (though the super fast people throw the timing off a bit). After cheering on the marathon runners as they started their day, we went back to the transition area, checked over our set up, donned our wetsuits, and made our way down to the swim start for a pre-race swim. The weather was perfect!! It was cool, low humidity, low winds, and the complete opposite of most years for these events. Because of low winds, the water was like glass…super flat!! The Okoboji Triathlon is what I refer to as an “Olynt” distance tri because each distance is between that of a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon.

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Swim: 960 yard swim in 18:22 (1:55/100 yards)

The women ages 39 and under were all in the same swim wave, which started at 7:06 am. I lined up at the front, but a bit farther to the right from the line of buoys black rubber floating tires that we would swim out and around. As the gun went off, I ran a few steps before diving into the water…HOLY ROCKY BEACH!! OUCH!! I think I seriously bruised the bottom of my left foot, but I wouldn’t know this until later. I immediately found traffic free water, got in my groove, and just swam. Swimming out to the turn buoy  (which was orange) was pretty uneventful, but as I rounded that turn buoy, things changed a bit. We now had to look into the sun to see the black rubber floating tires to sight off of, which was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully during my pre-race swim, I found a building at the finish with a big yellow sign to sight off of. This worked much better than the black tires. About 300 yards from the finish, I started to throw-up burp my breakfast oatmeal…GROSS!! Note to self…don’t forget your cream of rice for future races!! I continued to have a contact free swim all the way to the swim exit. Knowing the beach was rocky, I swam as far as I could (even shortening my stroke to that of a T-Rex) before standing up to run out of the water. It was a rather lengthy run to transition, but I worked my wetsuit down below my hips during this time, and removed my swim cap and goggles so I was ready for a fairly quick transition…or so I thought.

Swim Gear: Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Roka Sports Maverick Elite Wetsuit, Roka Sports X1 goggle in Light Vermillion

TI: 2:20

After removing my wetsuit, putting on my socks, cycling shoes, sunglasses, and helmet, I was ready to ride. How did this take me 2:20?!?!?!

Bike: 18 miles in 54:30 (average speed = 19.8 mph)

As I left the Amusement Park, I quickly learned that my bike was in the WRONG gear…hello hardest gear I own! How did I miss that this morning?! After some quick shifting to find my “happy gear,” I was off and flying…well, for me I was flying! This bike course has some small rolling hills, but I was determined to ride the whole thing in my big ring and hammer as hard as I could on the bike. Since it is not USAT sanctioned, I saw a few packs of people drafting on the bike, I tried to hold on to each of them as long as I could, but they were much faster than I was. That’s ok, this meant I got to spend a lot of solo time with my main girl…Mojo!! Thankfully the beautiful weather with little wind made for an easy bike ride that was very uneventful!

Bike Gear: Specialized Transition bike (Mojo), Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Specialized Women’s Ember Road Shoes, Specialized Evade Helmet, Tifosi sunnies, Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Bike Nutrition: 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle of Osmo Hydration (4 scoops)

T2: 1:07

I quickly racked Mojo, swapped my cycling shoes for running shoes, dropped my helmet, and grabbed my visor and race belt. As I ran toward run out, I put on my visor and race belt trying to save as much time as possible.

Run: 4.5 miles in 38:27 (8:33/mile)

Since there is no body marking at this event (yes, you read this correctly…what triathlon doesn’t have body marking?!), you don’t know the ages of the people around you. I decided early on that I was going to give this my best effort…go hard and have fun! At about mile 1, I was nearly hit by a car when the volunteer at the intersection was unable to get the truck to stop and wait for us. There are signs posted EVERYWHERE telling drivers that there is a race in progress, but apparently this guy was in a BIG hurry and just couldn’t wait for one slow super fast runner. This run course has lots of rolling hills, and at about mile 2 I started wishing I would have taken my fruit snacks on the bike. (Not taking them on the bike was a purposeful decision…I wanted to see how far I would get before I wished I had nutrition.) With just over 2 miles to go, I knew I’d be fine and could push hard to the end…that was exactly what I did! As I came back into the Amusement Park, my sister and twin nieces were there cheering me on to a PR at this event.

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Giving Laylah a low five as I neared the finish line. Photo credit: Sara Riley
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Running into the finish trying to get Isabella to give me a low five. Apparently I was “too sweaty and gross” for that one! Ha 🙂 Photo Credit: Sarah Riley

Run Gear: Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Brooks PureFlow4 running shoes, Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Run Nutrition: water at the aid stations

Overall: 1:54:44 (4th out of 21 in 30-39 age group, 11th out of 61 women, and 64th out of 158 overall)

Originally I was bummed that I missed the podium by 1 minute, but I am pleased that I pushed hard, gave it my all on this day, and managed a PR by 23 seconds. After all, a PR is a PR…even if it is by 23 seconds 😉