rise to it

“The land of endurance is calling – rise to it.”

~Ironman 70.3 World Championship marketing

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18! 💙💛

  • I had the will to try and the belief it was possible so I got to achieve my dreams by racing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships
  • this is a two transition race
  • ALL gear (bike, bike bag/gear, run bag/gear) was dropped off on Friday
  • shuttle buses shuttled all athletes and spectators out to Sand Hollow Reservoir on race morning
  • the water temp was 78.3F (non-wetsuit race…I wore my Roka swimskin)
  • the pro men, pro women, and para athletes started first, followed by all of the age group men by age group waves, and then the age group women by age group waves
  • I was in the first women’s wave and started that started at 8:58 am MT
  • the swim start was a self seeded within our age group 10 athletes sent off every 15 seconds
  • the swim was the beautiful and the calm before the storm…quite literally
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T1
  • you had to put all of your stuff in your T1 bag and give it to a volunteer so your gear would be transported to T2
  • the bike was interesting…lightening, dust storm, hail, rain, wind (gusting up to 40 mph), cloudy, torrential downpour
  • there were four water/aid stations on the bike
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T2
  • the sun came out on the run and got HOT AF…we were in the desert after all
  • there were aid stations on the run nearly every mile with water, gatorade, gels, ice, bananas, oranges, Coke, Red Bull, etc.
  • there was a buffet line with pizza or a chicken salad, chips, bananas, and a few beverage options

Longer Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18 in St. George, Utah! 💙💛

Reminders for the day!

We got on a shuttle at about 6:45 am from near the finish area to Sand Hollow Reservoir. Once we arrived at the Reservoir, I had plenty of time to go potty, get my tires aired up, and my bike bottles on Mojo. I helped a fellow Coeur Sports sister air up her tires and then consumed some extra calories while waiting for my swim wave. At about 8:10 am, I noticed our swim sign was moving toward the front of the swim line, so I put my Roka swimskin on and made my way into the starting coral with the other F40-44 athletes. I was a bit worried as I didn’t see Steena, but knew that our wave was moving, so I needed to move also. Eventually Steena made her way to me and we chatted while we waited for our swim wave to actually start the swim. We commented that it was a bit warm standing in the sun waiting…hind sight is 20/20 for what was to come! 😜

Swim: (42:36 for 1.2 miles at 2:12/100 m average pace…146/225 F40-44, 789/1254 F, 2434/3441 overall)

I entered the water on the far left, instead of along the buoy line. As I dived into the water, I immediately thought, “WOW! This water is clear and cool!” It wasn’t actually as cool as I prefer, but it felt cool after standing in the sun waiting to start the swim. I found my rhythm and made my way toward the line of buoys by the 5th buoy. There wasn’t much contact (if any) as I swam past slower swimmers in front of me. When I turned to breathe, I soaked in the absolutely gorgeous views. When I rounded the first turn buoy, I started passing slower athletes in different colored swim caps from the waves before me. I made my way through the swim arch (timing device), rounded turn buoy #2, and headed for the shore. With about 500 meters to go, I started getting passed by faster athletes in swim waves behind me. I tried to jump on the feet of a few of them to get as much free speed as possible, but they were much faster and I was unable to stick with them. I felt strong + solid during the swim giving my best on this day! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

T1: (5:38)

As I exited the water, I noticed the black sky off in the distance and said, “Oh shit!” I got my swimskin off just below my hips, removed my goggles + swim cap, and ran to my gear bag. I quickly stripped off my swimskin, put on my socks + bike shoes, stuffed all my swim gear in my bag, grabbed my helmet and sunnies and started running to meet Mojo at her spot. I dropped my gear bag off to some wonderful volunteers and donned my helmet and sunnies as I ran to get Mojo. I quickly grabbed Mojo, and ran a REALLY long way to the bike exit. Once at the mount line, we were off!

I may have drank too much water during the swim. 🤪
📸 John Cirves

Bike: (3:39:25 for 56 miles at 15.3 mph average speed…200/225 F40-44, 1142/1254 F, 3290/3441 overall)

I was excited to get on the bike and rise to the challenge that the Ironman 70.3 St. George terrain would provide. It is notoriously hilly including a 4 mile climb up Snow Canyon National Park at mile 40ish of the 56 mile bike course, but I was excited for the challenge! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

At about mile 6, I noticed lightening off in the distance + those black skies getting closer and closer to me. I thought, “Oh no! That’s not good! What is going to happen to those poor ladies in the water swimming right now?!” I put my head down and pushed on reminding myself that I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! At about mile 8, the winds picked up out of no where blowing tumble weeds across the road and creating a big dust storm. The next thing I knew, ladies in front of me were getting blown right off the road on their bikes into the ditch. I held on to Mojo for dear life and continued to move forward. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

At about mile 10, the rain + hail started and the winds weren’t letting up. I laughed a bit, as I remembered the slogan for this race was “rise to it” and Mother Nature was giving us a bit more to rise to. I was a bit nervous about the speed with which other athletes were flying past me in aero on these slick roads with the wind blowing us sideways, but I kept focusing on myself and what I could control as I pushed on. My biceps, triceps, and forearms were SO tired and sore from the death grip I was giving Mojo. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

Eventually Mother Nature adjusted her attitude a bit to give us a temporary break before I started climbing Snow Canyon. While climbing the 4 miles up Snow Canyon, I just kept soaking up the views! It was so gorgeous! I anticipated the climb up Snow Canyon to be more challenging than it actually was. The whole climb, I just kept repeating… “Rise to it! I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!” When I crested the top of Snow Canyon, I knew I could have pushed a little harder up that climb, so I decided to really hammer on the 8% descent back into town and to transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

With about 2 miles to go, Mother Nature threw another challenge our way. She turned the faucet on full speed creating a torrential downpour. I couldn’t see much of anything, so all I could do was laugh out loud and ask, “What is next?!” as I wheeled into transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

T2: (3:22)

I was SOOOOO glad to be on two feet! Just getting through that bike in one piece was a HUGE WIN! I handed Mojo off to an amazing volunteer who put her in her new spot in T2. I grabbed my gear bag + took off my helmet on my way to the changing area. During this time, the torrential downpour quit and a nice steady rain persisted. I quickly took off my shoes and socks…I was SO grateful I put a dry pair of socks in my run bag. I pulled my visor, race belt, and handheld water bottle out of my gear bag, then shoved my helmet bike shoes, and soaked socks in the bag. I handed my gear bag off to a wonderful volunteer who took it to be with Mojo and put my race belt + visor on while running out of T2.

📸 The Iron Hippie

Run: (2:19:54 for 13.1 miles at 10:50/mile average pace…179/225 F40-44, 955/1254 F, 3010/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

As I exited T2, the Iron Hippie told me I was 6 minutes down from Laura (a friend of mine from back home that I often see at the races). After looking at the run profile, I knew the first 4 miles of the run would be a continuous climb, so I settled in…hello glutes and hammies! By about mile 2 the skies opened up and the sun came out in full force and got HOT AF…welcome to the desert! This is what I had trained for…full sun + heat! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

I focused on monitoring my HR for the duration of the run. When it jumped above 160 bpm, I would take a short walk break until it fell back below 140 bpm. When I got to mile 4, I was feeling strong and ready for the descent back into town. I had no idea just how steep of a descent it would be…hello quad burner! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

As I made my way to the roundabout for lap two, the Iron Hippie updated me that I was now 3 minutes behind Laura and that I could totally catch her. I felt so strong heading into that second lap, so I knew I could catch her. I continued monitoring my HR following my run/walk strategy, which worked beautifully because at about mile 9, I finally caught up with Laura. I walked with her for a minute so we could chat. I told her to finish strong and continued on. At about mile 10.5 I quit monitoring my HR and left it all out there pushing myself to the limit all the way to the finish line.

📸 Finisher Pix

Overall: (6:50:54…192/225 F40-44, 1051/1254 F, 3148/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

This race was a celebration! I was so grateful to be racing on the Ironman 70.3 World stage with some of the best athletes in the world. This race challenged me in SO many ways forcing me to “rise to it!” I am beginning to learn that I am strongest when given the most challenging circumstances…hello IMLou 2018 AND I preform my best when I remove internal pressure + expectations while focusing on the present moment. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I am beyond grateful that my body + mind showed up to play at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! Oh…and when can we do this again (with the EXACT same conditions)?! 😜

📸 Finisher Pix

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports sports bra, Coeur Sports aero top, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Viper x2 Short Sleeve Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle

sprinting to the overall female win

“An overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport.”

~Lindsey Vonn

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race the Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, August 14, 2021! 💙💛

  • this is a small local race
  • the air temp was in the mid 50s by race start, sunny, very low humidity, and very little wind
  • the water temp was ~77F so I wore my Roka swimskin
  • the swim was a 750 m swim distance
  • the swim start was numerical entry based on bib number with 1 athlete entering the water approximately every 3-4 seconds
  • the swim was a triangle-ish shape with buoys on the left
  • the bike was FLAT
  • there were no water/aid stations on the bike, which is typical for a 12.4 mile bike course
  • there were aid stations on the run with water only
  • there was a buffet line with sandwiches, fruit, and a few beverage options at the finish
  • the finish line is on the opposite side of the lake from transition, so you take the shuttle back to the transition area (a truck pulls a big open air cart for people to ride on)

Longer Version: I GOT to push myself to the overall female win on Saturday!

We had a 90 minute drive from home on Saturday morning to the race site. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning with temps in the low 50s…drastically different from Wednesday where the heat index topped out at 106F. When we arrived at the Twin Lakes State Park, we used the restrooms, picked up our packet, got everything set in transition, and hung around transition waiting until the athlete meeting (which happened at transition…not the beach).

Look at this gorgeous sunrise that greeted us on Saturday morning.

I put on my Roka swimskin before the athlete meeting, listened to the National Anthem and prayer, then made my way down to the beach for the swim start. Once at the beach, we were given some brief instructions for the swim course before lining up.

Swim: (17:35 for 750 meters at 2:20/100 m average pace)

We lined up on the beach in numerical order based on our bib number. When it was my turn, I dove into the water. I felt so strong and confident as I swam past many of the people in front of me. The water felt really warm, so I was grateful to have the swim skin on and not a wetsuit. As I made my way around the last turn buoy to head into the shore, it was difficult to site as there was no swim arch to look for. Thankfully the volunteers were all donning bright neon yellow shirts, which stood out well against the natural backdrop.

***Side note…the timing mat for the swim exit was actually up at transition, so my slower time/pace is reflective of my swim + a decent run to get to the timing mat.

SOOOO ready! LFG ⚡️

T1: (1:17)

As I exited the water, I got my swimskin off just below my hips, removed my goggles + swim cap, and ran all the way through transition since my bike was right next to bike exit. When I arrived at my transition spot, I stripped off my swimskin, put on my socks + bike shoes, donned my helmet and sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Bike: (34:58 for 12.4 miles at 21.3 mph average speed)

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of Twin Lakes State Park. This course is SUPER flat! We rode completely around the lake twice before returning to the transition area at Twin Lakes State Park. This was a small race field, so I didn’t get to play chase like I normally would, but I did pick off the only female athlete to beat me out of the water. This course was SO MUCH FUN! I was smiling and giddy the whole time!

T2: (0:41)

As I came into T2, I quickly racked my bike, dropped my helmet, changed into my Newton running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt, and ran out of T2. I suspected I was in first place and wanted to make my lead even bigger!

Run: (25:55 for 3.16 miles at 8:13/mile average pace)

As we exited T2, I put on my visor + race belt. We were directed to run on the paved trail that goes around the lake. This was such a nice running route. It had areas of sun and areas of shade, but the surface was top notch! I had a little bit of stomach cramps on the run, so I felt like I was holding back effort wise just a little bit, but I kept my pace solid and strong. I passed a couple of men back on the run (who had passed me toward the end of the bike) as I made my way to the finish line.

GETTING to break the tape as I take 1st overall female! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Overall: (1:20:29…1/13 Female, 6/47 overall)

I am SOOOO incredibly grateful for a strong body and mind! I never would have dreamed that I would ever stand on the top step of the podium by taking the overall female win, but here I am…and it feels AMAZING!

This was my first time stepping up on the top step of a podium to take the overall female win! Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports tank top with built in shelf bra, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Viper x2 Sleeveless Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies

#LFG

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”

~PattiSue Plumer

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race the Pigman Olympic distance triathlon IN REAL LIFE Sunday, June 6! 💙💛

  • it was hot…the air temp by the end of the race was in the upper 80s with mostly sunny skies and pretty gusty winds
  • the swim start was a self seeded rolling start
  • transition was spaced out normally (pre-Covid)
  • there was no water/aid station on the bike (as is pretty typical for shorter distance triathlons)
  • there were two self-serve aid stations on the run (volunteers were filling cups, but not handing them out)
  • we were given disposable timing chips
  • there was a buffet line with pasta, bread, chips, bananas, and lots of beverage options
  • there was an award ceremony with people getting to stand on “podiums” again
  • there were lots of door prizes that were given away

Longer Version: I GOT to race two weekends in a row! Since racing from a place of fun + gratitude served me so well last week, I opted to race with this same focus for this Oly.

We were able to park right next to the transition area, which was super convenient. I went to packet pick-up (by transition), saw my Coeur sister Sarah, got checked-in, then walked back to the car to get all of the stickers on the bikes, helmets, etc. The Iron Hippie wasn’t racing this event, but instead volunteering as kayak support in the water, so I was on my own to get everything all ready to race.

I got to set up a transition area again! Oh…and how lucky am I that I was right on the end of our transition row?!

As we were setting up our transition area, they made the announcement that the water temp was 70*F so it would be a wetsuit legal swim. After hugging friends I haven’t seen in person since before the pandemic, setting up my transition area, doing the neoprene shimmy in my Roka wetsuit, and taking in a gel, I was ready for a practice swim. The water in this lake was much warmer than last week. It was nice to get a little warm up swim done. While we were at the practice swim, Sarah and I met a new friend…Natasha.

Meeting new friends is THE BEST!! Photo credit: Dave Mable

Swim: (33:34 for 1500 m at 2:14/100 m average pace…3/10 F40-44, 18/53 F, 62/157 overall)

After the National Anthem, I lined up toward the front of the rolling start as I knew that’s where I belonged and wanted to get going to beat as much heat as possible. I entered the water confident and immediately started bilateral breathing (so I didn’t have a panic attack like last week). Making our way to the first turn buoy was DIRECTLY into the sun, so sighting was a real challenge. When I got to the first turn buoy, I saw the Iron Hippie in his kayak, so without altering my swim stroke, I waved as I swam around the buoy. The swim was pretty uneventful for me until I got back toward the swim exit where the sprint triathlon swimmers were REALLY congested, but I just fought my way through all the way to the swim exit.

Swim exit focus! Photo credit: Dave Mable

T1: (2:47…5/10 F40-44, 30/53 F, 83/157 overall)

As I exited the swim, and ran up the beach, I saw our friend Nancy who came out to cheer me on. It was SO nice to see her! I got my wetsuit off just below my hips and removed my goggles + swim cap as I was running to my transition spot so that when I arrived to my bike, I could quickly get my legs out of my wetsuit. I put on my socks + bike shoes, donned my helmet and Roka sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Bike: (1:16:47 for 24.8 miles at 19.4 mph average speed…2/10 F40-44, 8/53 F, 63/157 overall)

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area. This course was the opposite of last week with lots of rolling hills, which I LOVE! It was an out and back course that was done twice, so we got to see a lot of other athletes. It was great to cheer on friends who were also racing. I didn’t look at my power output/speed/cadence at all during this ride. I was so grateful to be racing that I only focused on playing and having fun. As I played chase trying to catch different people in front of me, I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder in that moment.

There was a bit of headwind as we headed back toward Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, but thankfully the bluff blocked a fair amount of it and it was early enough in the morning that the winds weren’t too strong…yet.

T2: (1:19…2/10 F40-44, 6/53 F, 26/157 overall)

I quickly racked my bike, changed into my Newton running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt + hand-held water bottle, and exited T2.

Run: (54:40 for 6.2 miles at 8:49/mile average pace…3/10 F40-44, 15/53 F, 73/157 overall)

As I exited T2, I knew this run would be a bit different from last week’s race as it was HOT. Thankfully those winds that the bluff blocked on the bike were out in full force on the run, so we had a built in air conditioning of sorts.

Running is a gift. A gift that has gotten me through many lows and brought me many highs. A gift I will continue to give myself for as long as I physically can. A gift that gives way more than it takes. 💙💛 Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

This run was a 3 loop course. It was fun to see other athletes and cheer them on. During the run, I continued to race from a place of fun + gratitude even as the temps climbed. I kept reminding myself to take it easy for the first loop, build in the second loop, and finish strong in the third loop. I took in water at the aid station and sipped from my water bottle throughout the run to stay hydrated. I also consumed one gel at about mile 2 to give me the energy to stay strong to the end.

Home stretch…right after my spill. Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

As I was running into the finish, I tripped over a cone about 100 m from the finish line. Why?! Well…I was looking backward and talking to a friend who was spectating…basically not looking where I was going. I went down hard, but popped right back up and ran into the finish shoot. Thankfully I only ended up with some minor scrapes and bruising, but that little blunder cost me. While I set another new bike split PR for the Oly distance, I missed an overall Oly distance PR by 4 seconds. That spill…yep…more than a 4 second blunder. Oh…and I missed 1st place by 24 seconds. I have been trying to catch Laura (who got 1st place) for years. I am getting much closer and it won’t be long before I’m on that top step. Laura, I’m coming for ya!

SO MUCH JOY for racing again, finish lines, and pushing my limits! Photo credit: Dave Mable

Overall: (2:49:07…2/10 F40-44, 12/53 F, 60/157 overall)

I raced with a focus on fun + gratitude at the Pigman Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday and as a result I got to kiss a pig (my 2nd place AG award was a piggy bank). Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

After the awards ceremony, Sarah and I went out to find Natasha who was struggling to support her to the finish line, which was by far one major highlight to my day!

The best parts of race day were hugging Sarah + meeting Natasha and helping her cross the finish line when the day gave her many challenges. She was the true winner of this race! I love this sport! ⚡️💙💛 Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Women’s Maverick X Wetsuit, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle