Racing Ironman Mont Tremblant with Coeur

“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 Plummer, US Olympian

Grab your favorite beverage, kick up your feet, and enjoy what is a really long race report! 🙂


The alarm went off at 3 am, but I was already laying awake. I didn’t sleep well at all, which was a first for me, but thankfully it didn’t seem to impact my day. After eating my pre-race breakfast of muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder + frozen mixed berries with a Karma Kombucha, I donned my Coeur Sports race kit and prepared for the day by reading my pre-race quote from Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox before heading to the race start.

My pre-race ritual…read Swimming to Antarctica while drinking my Karma Kombucha!

We arrived at parking lot #2 by 4:30 am, which made it easy to find a place to park that would be convenient for after the race to get all of our gear loaded up. We walked to the transition area, dropped off our bike and run special needs bags, and waited until 5 am for body marking and the transition area to open. After body marking, I had bike support fill my tires, lubed up the chain (it had rained on Saturday after Mojo was racked for the night and I wanted to make sure my chain was greased back up), filled my water bottle, put my bike bottles on my bike, got my Garmin on my bike and started, saw Erika and gave her a pre-race hug, put my salty balls in my T1 bag, and hit the kybo up one more time before heading to the swim start.

Ready to race!

At the swim start, I got into my Roka wetsuit, ate part of a granola bar and two Pure Clean Beet’ums, drank down some water, dropped off my morning clothes bag, got another hug from Erika, and made my way to the water for the swim warm-up. As I was exiting the water from the swim warm-up, a lady came up to me and gave me a hug and we shared good luck wishes to each other. I have no idea who this lady was because we were both wearing wetsuits, swim caps, and goggles, but I am grateful for the pre-race hug, so thank you to whomever you were! It was this point that I decided it didn’t matter what the day brought me, I was going to race with Coeur (French for heart) for the entire day! I am going to share my coeur, but also fill my coeur up throughout the entire day!

The Iron Hippie and I making our way to the water.

After the Canada National Anthem and fly over, the fireworks went off and the male pros were off, followed by the female pros and then the age group athletes.

Lined up and ready to start!

Swim: 1:24:16 (average pace of 2:11/100 meters)

We lined up by the 1:15-1:20 pace sign for the swim and were soon moving into separate corrals waiting for the beep every 5 seconds to send the next group of swimmers into the water. This was the cleanest swim start I’ve ever experienced! As I entered the water, a calm came over me like I’ve never experienced before and I set out at comfortable pace. I felt solid and strong. The water temperature of 66*F was perfect…I much prefer the colder water! I had very little contact with other swimmers until buoy #6 when I swam up on a guy who couldn’t hold a straight line for nothing. He was definitely a faster swimmer than I was, but because he was zig-zagging back and forth all over the course, he swam a lot farther than he needed to. Every time I tried to pass him, I would get cut off by him again. This continued for about 3 more buoys before I finally passed him. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful as I had very little contact with other swimmers. I had a slower swim than I’d hoped for, but also didn’t leave everything in the water. I was trying to pace myself well for the long bike + run ahead. So much coeur during the swim!

Let’s get this party started! #swimlove

T1: 10:09

There is a rather long run (300 meters) from the swim exit to transition. When I got to the transition area, I grabbed my T1 bag and quickly made my way into the women’s change tent. I was shocked at the lack of volunteers in the change tent to help the athletes. I am very self sufficient and don’t change, but for those ladies who do a full change and need help getting a dry sports bra on a wet body, they would have had to get help from other female athletes. I quickly put on my socks, bike shoes, and helmet. I loaded my pockets and put on my arm coolers and sunglasses as I ran to my bike.

Long run on the red carpet from the swim exit to transition!

Bike: 7:05:08 (average speed of 15.81 mph)

As I left transition on my bike, I saw Dad and my Aunt Linda cheering me on! I quickly mounted Mojo after the mount line and set off on the bike. Coach Kelly instructed me to dial it back and go out conservatively for the first 56 miles. I was feeling good and really wanted to hammer, but I knew I had a long day in the saddle, so I sat back and tried to keep my watts near the 130 mark. I consumed 2 salty ball every 30 minutes on the bike and NBS hydration every 20 minutes while sipping water the rest of the ride, which is exactly what I’d done in training and it worked beautifully.

Let’s go ride!

This course is essentially 2 x 2 different out and back sections. The first out and back is from the village on Montee Ryan to 117 out to Labelle, back on 117 to St. Jovite, from St. Jovite back on 117 to Montee Ryan and back to the village. There is a “no passing zone” on Montee Ryan in each direction (away from the village and toward the village). The second out and back is 10K out and 10K back on Chemin Duplessis. There is another “no passing zone” on one of the big descents on this section as we return to the village. If an athlete passes another athlete in any of these “zones,” the athlete doing the passing is automatically disqualified and removed from the course. There is plenty of climbing on this course, but in my opinion, this is much easier than Ironman Wisconsin’s bike course.

Loving this course and enjoying the beautiful views!

I felt great during the first 56 miles as I consumed my nutrition according to plan and held back my power so I could open it up during the next 56 miles (or so I thought). My only two goals were to keep my power at 130 watts or less and not get lapped by the professional triathletes racing. I had to remind another athlete of the “no passing zone” leaving the village on Montee Ryan as we were headed to 117, since he attempted to start passing me, but backed off when I reminding him of the no passing zone. I also wanted to go faster in this section, but there was an athlete in front of me that I had to stay behind on the descent to avoid a DQ. As I made my way out to Labelle, I was in awe of the beautiful scenery around me. Sure there were hills to climb,  but there were also some amazing descents to enjoy. As I made my way to St. Jovite, I just soaked it all in…the beauty, the spectators out cheering, and the feelings of pure joy that I was getting to ride my bicycle! I was also super pumped to have achieved both of my goals for the first 56 miles!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

Each of these out and back sections is done twice. So during the second 56 miles I was ready to cruise, but Mother Nature had increased the winds a bit. I stopped at the first aid station to refill my NBS hydration bottles before fighting some headwinds on the way out to Labelle. Thankfully it was only about 12 miles of fighting the headwind while climbing to Labelle…riding in Iowa means a LOT of windy training rides, so I was ready for this! Mentally I got into a bit of a negative funk as I was struggling physically…not just with the headwinds while climbing, but I felt a bit depleted nutritionally despite nailing my nutrition plan to this point. Once I turned around in Labelle, the tail wind was a blessing and I stopped at the aid station just outside of Labelle to eat a banana and use the kybo…I just can’t make myself pee on the bike while riding. I felt good and strong as I made my way to St. Jovite and was rejuvenated by the crowds and the fact that I was heading back to the village for the final push on the bike course. The 10K out on Chemin Duplessis was tough, but I settled into my easiest gear and steadily climbed my way to the turn around. I was so happy to have ridden the whole course (there were some people who walked their bikes up some of the steeper hills) while staying in my saddle (I never climbed out of the saddle…wahoo). I kept my power and heart rate in check, which would hopefully benefit me on the run! Lots of coeur on the bike!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

T2: 5:47

I quickly handed Mojo over to an amazing volunteer who returned her to her spot and removed my helmet on my way to the change tent. I also unzipped my speed top as I knew I wanted to run in the tri top I was wearing under my speed top. I grabbed my T2 bag, stripped my top, changed my socks and shoes, grabbed my nutrition visor, and race belt. I put my race belt and visor on while exiting T2. I made my way to the kybo to pee one more time before starting the run.

Run: 4:51:26 (average pace of 11:07 min/mile)

I felt so strong at the beginning of my run, but having run countless stand alone marathons and 4 marathons at the end of Ironman races, I knew it may not last, so I decided to ride this wave for as long as I could while keeping my pace in check. I broke the marathon into ~8 x 5K segments. I started off easy as I made my way through the first 5K of the run, which is rolling hills. I was so pumped to see one of my Coeur Sports teammates, cheering me on during this section of the run! Thanks for the love Ericka!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo! #runlove

Once I hit the bike path, I knew I had just over a 5K to the turn around. We had done some training runs on this section of the course, so I knew it would be flat and very quiet with few spectators…mostly other athletes + the sounds of our own footfalls. I was still feeling good, so I just kept ticking away the kilometers (everything is in kilometers in Canada). I was taking in water at every aid station, bananas and oranges at nearly every aid station, and my Motts fruit chews every 30 minutes. At mile 4, I HAD to visit the kybo…well, this was a first! I’ve never had this problem during a race before! After a quick stop, I was back to running and spreading all the coeur I could on the course…I hope this lifted others up as much as it lifts me up to spread the love! On my way to the turn around, I saw another Coeur Sports Teammate, Erika, and the Iron Hippie, both running strong! I made it to the turn around, knocking out just over another 5K and was still feeling strong, which I was super stoked about. The only walking I had done to this point was through the aid stations to eat and drink and up the big hills. I decided at this point that I would continue to run (with the exceptions of the aid stations and the bigger hills) at least through the half marathon and re-evaluate how I was feeling. I had never had an IM marathon feel this good, so I just rode the wave and went with it! At about mile 8, I needed to visit the kybo again…ugh! Feeling much lighter, I was still running strong! 😉 Onward…to the end of the bike path and through the rolling hills back to the village! It was so much fun to see Dad and Aunt Linda in the village (as well as all of the other spectators) and know that I was still feeling strong and ready to rock the second half of the marathon!

Yep…Still running strong!

With 4 of my 5Ks behind me, it was time to buckle down! The new goal…make it through the next 2 x 5K distances while still running and feeling strong and then re-evaluate. I continued to knock of the kilometers, spread coeur, see Erika and the Iron Hippie on the run, and made my way to the 19 mile point before needing to visit the kybo again…this time I had to wait a bit for an open one, but I knew I COULD NOT make it to the next one without a mess down my legs, so I waited just a few minutes. After lots of relief, I was back to running strong! I was starting to feel the fatigue, but with just over 6 miles this is where I knew I needed to kick in the mental game, stay focused, continue to run as long as I could, spread more coeur, and enjoy the ride to the finish line! As I made my way to mile 24, I could hear Mike Reilly bringing people home to the Ironman Mont Tremblant finish line and I was so excited to hear him call me across that finish line!

Thanks to Beth, my Track Cat teammate, for capturing this finish line photo from the live feed!

Overall: 13:36:44 = 43 of 86 F40-44, 237 of 461 Females, and 1169 of 1816 Overall

It was a beautiful day for racing in Mont Tremblant! The weather was near perfect…a high of 77*F on race day with winds picking up later in the day. This is the first Ironman race that I feel like I executed it the way it should be executed! I finally nailed my nutrition (despite the kybo visits), I was mentally and physically strong, and I had a PR on the distance by almost 30 minutes! I set myself up for a run that I was FINALLY able to actually run and It. Felt. Amazing! Moving up 514 places on the run was a dream! I left some of my coeur on that course, but I took so much more with me! For this, I am very grateful!


I am SO grateful to my tribe for helping me get to the finish line! My parents, Aunt Linda, my sisters and their families, my friends and family, Jeff & Deb, Nick with Vitality Massage (my massage therapist), Melanie with Massotherapie Sportive (my massage therapist in Mont Tremblant), Chris with Team Chiropractic (my ART Chiropractor), Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes, Coeur Sports + my Coeur teammates, Sound Probiotics, Roka Sports, and Newton Running. A special thanks to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for setting me up for success, making me #trackcatstrong, and helping me achieve a new PR. To my fave, my #1…the Iron Hippie…you are my rock and I’m so grateful that we are on this crazy journey together! Thank you!

Liberty Triathlon “70.3” Race Report: Adversity Adventure

Hmmm…I have so many thoughts about this race, but I should probably start at the beginning. Be prepared for a LONG report about the sh*t show…errrr…adversity adventure that was the Liberty Triathlon “70.3” race! Grab your favorite beverage and dessert to enjoy while you get a feel for my experience.

When the Iron Hippie and I decided to sign up for the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 race, we were waffling back and forth between the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 and Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. We raced Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 last year (when it was non-branded) and knew it was a GREAT race, but had heard good things about Liberty Triathlon as well. We opted for the cheaper race…Liberty Triathlon 70.3 (remember this for later…you get what you pay for).


We finally received an email from the race director Thursday (our race was Saturday). This was rather late correspondence in my opinion, but at least I knew I was actually registered!

Liberty Triathlon – It’s getting hot in here!
Race day is coming up and it’s looking to be a hot one! Due to the expected temp on Saturday, we are allowing participants to transfer from the Long course to the Olympic course free of charge. Please email us at info@finalstretch to transfer your distance.

We will also have ice water and towels at the waters stops for participants to cool off.”

I had no intentions of transferring to the Olympic distance event, so I ignored it, packed my bags and was ready to leave Friday morning. I checked my email Friday morning before packing up All. The. Gear. for two athletes into the vehicle. We had an updated message from the race director:

Liberty Triathlon – Note from the Race Director
Changes due to Weather for Liberty Triathlon

Do to the 103 plus extreme heat index for Saturday there is going to be changes to the timetable for the Long Course participants. This change is not only for the athletes but all the volunteers that will be out on the course helping direct runners and manning the water stops.

Olympic will stay the same.

Long Course

1. Swim will be the same
2. Bike will be the same
3. You must be in from the bike no later than 12:30 pm to continue on the run
4. If you get in from the bike from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, you will be required to run the 6.2 mile (10K) run course. This is so that all runners are in from the run by no later than 2:00 pm when the heat index gets very high.

Thank you everyone for your understanding with this difficult weather situation.

Questions: email

What?! NOOOO!! With wave starts, this did not offer an equal opportunity for ALL athletes! Since my swim wave was not scheduled to go off until 7:45 am, I would have to finish the 1.2 mile swim + 56 mile bike in 3:45…doable, but with the extreme heat we should be conserving energy to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. I immediately emailed the race director and asked them to consider starting the race earlier (even 7 am would give us an additional 30 minutes) to allow more time for all athletes to have a fair shake at meeting this 11:30 am cut off. Here was their response:

“We’ve considered it. Due to other factors including permits, set up, police, volunteers, medical staff, and out of town athletes, we are not able to start the race any earlier.”

In actuality, they could have applied for an emergency change in the permits, but they didn’t want to mess with it. I get it (not really)…so I emailed them again and asked them if they would consider combining swim waves since they were encouraging people to switch from the long course to the Olympic course. Nope…not happening:

“We will not be combining swim waves. If enough people switch to the Olympic course, we will shorten the time between waves from 3 minutes to 2 or 2.5 minutes between waves to get people in the water sooner.”

Ok, so they are not willing to make accommodations for athletes to make this a fair experience for ALL athletes. Now the question is do I stick to my race plan knowing I will likely miss this time cut-off, or do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off?! I decided to wait to talk to Coach Kelly about this until after I had checked in at packet pick-up to make sure there weren’t any more changes being made (good thing I waited…more changes to come).

The 3+ hour commute to the race site was uneventful. After checking out the lake and checking into our hotel, it was time to go to packet pick-up (which was at our hotel). While waiting in line, the first lady said there was another change to the 11:30 time cut-off. We now had to finish the 1.2 mile swim, the 56 mile bike, and get to 3.1 miles on the run by 11:30 in order to be able to continue for the full 13.1 miles. I IMMEDIATELY spoke up! “This is not what the email said and they have NOT communicated this with the athletes in any email. This is not acceptable!” The lady at the 2nd table knew many of the athletes in the line were frustrated. She called the race director for clarification and relayed his new decision to us:

We actually had until 3.1 miles on the run to catch the sag bike that would leave transition with the last cyclist to arrive into T2 at 11:30. If you are a strong runner, this will give you an opportunity to continue even if you get into T2 after the 11:30 time. This also meant if you were not a strong runner, you may get passed by the sag bike even if you made the 11:30 time cut into T2…HELLO SH*T SHOW!!!

Grrr…now it is time to call Coach Kelly! After eating Mexican food at El Azteca in Plymouth, MN, I relayed all of this information to Coach Kelly and said, “What do I do? Do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off, or do I stick to my race plan?” Coach was LIVID with the decisions the race director had made. This was not only unfair to all athletes, it encouraged athletes to push harder and risk dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke on a day when we should be conserving a bit more than normal. Since this was not my “A” race for 2017, I was told to stick to the race plan and if I didn’t make the 11:30 time cut-off or catch the bike, it would still be a good training day…hello 97F heat index and 20-25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 35 mph from the SSW.

Ok…I have a plan and know what I need to do.

I received the BEST email from my Coeur Sports tribe:

Rumor has it you have a race coming up.
Well, the Coeur Cowbell Team is ringing their bell (virtually, because otherwise the neighbors get annoyed) for you!
We hope your race is all that you wished for and more.
Heart and Courage my friend!
Let us know how it went!”

I told you this would be a long post, but I’m finally to race day! 🙂

Race Day:

The alarm went off at 3:45 am. After eating my typical pre-race breakfast (muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder and Karma Kombucha), donning my beautiful Coeur Sports race kit, and loading the car with all the gear, it was time to travel the 30 minutes to Lake Rebecca.

The sh*t show continued when we got to the race site…we could set up our transition area where ever we wanted, no one was making announcements, (What was the water temperature? Was the water wetsuit legal?), and no one seemed to know where body marking was. There was no one working the entrances to the transition area, so anyone could enter (including spectators). I’ve experienced this at smaller local races, but NEVER at a 70.3 event!

Mojo is ready for a fun day on a new playground!

After setting up our transition area and relaxing at the car for a bit, it was time to put on the wetsuit (I had found the one and only USAT referee earlier who said the water was wetsuit legal) and head to the lake for a short pre-race swim and the pre-race informational meeting on the shore at 7:15 am. Thankfully I saw my Coeur sister, Megan, before the race and she gave me a quick hug. This is just what I needed to calm the climbing nerves. We were reminded of the changes to the time cut-offs, told there would be ice, wet rags, water, and heed at every aid station on the run. We were also informed that there would be 2 minutes between wave starts instead of the original 3 minutes. After the National Anthem, it was time to line up on the beach for the race start. One more quick hug on the beach from Megan and we were ready for the swim!

These waters look much calmer than they actually were when we got into them!

Swim: 51:10 for 1.2 miles at 2:26/100 yard pace

The first wave (Elites/Athenas/Clydesdales) was supposed to start at 7:30 am, but it was delayed because of other athletes swimming back to shore from their warm-up. So…my swim wave (women 40+) started at 7:42 am (3 minutes before the originally scheduled time). With the winds already at 20 mph, the lake was very choppy, and we were swimming straight into the chop on the way to the turn around buoys. It was rough! Hello first open water swim of the year…yep…on race day! I started out trying to swim with bilateral breathing, but that was short lived. I couldn’t get in a rhythm that allowed me to breathe and not consume 1/2 of the lake water because of the waves crashing back into my face. Like all of the other swimmers, I fought my way to the turn around buoys, and then got a free ride on the waves back to transition. Throughout the entire swim, I just kept telling myself to enjoy the adversity adventure that was just beginning! Learn from it, grow from it, and keep moving forward! This was officially my slowest swim time on a 1.2 mile distance EVER!

T1: 2:27

After quickly making my way to my bike, getting a random stranger out of the way of my bike (he was just hanging out in the transition right in front of my transition area…not sure what he was doing in there), stripping out of my wetsuit, throwing on my helmet, socks, and bike shoes, I was out of the transition area and on the bike!

Bike: 3:16:09 for 56 miles at 17.1 mph average speed

The first 10-12 miles were straight SSW into the headwind that had picked up since the swim start. The winds were now closer to 22-25 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 35 mph and boy could we feel it! Let the adversity adventure continue! Mojo and I just buckled down, found our groove, and sang our way to the turn. Once we turned, the cross wind was SO strong that I got blown off the road twice! I screamed out loud that I wish I weighed about 100 pounds more so I would stay on the road (but later found out from the Iron Hippie that the extra weight didn’t help him either…). Only a few short miles to the turn and a tailwind! Hello 25+ mph speeds climbing up a hill in my most challenging gear…you are a VERY welcome sight! Unfortunately we had to do the loop again, so back into the headwind we went! Let the singing commence…

  • “I feel good”
  • “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
  • “Full throttle, wide open, you get tired and you don’t show it, dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more, that’s the only way I know”
  • “Vanilla ice ice baby”…I was dreaming of ice and cold temperatures at this point as the outdoor temps were really climbing
  • “I saw the sign”…HELLO HWY 10 sign + tailwind all the way back to transition! What a welcome sign!

I also may have startled other athletes by screaming “Wahoo! St. Bonifacius you are a welcome sight! No more headwind!” Hee!! Hee!! Let the adversity adventure continue!

T2: 1:41

After cruising into transition and learning that I was between 1 and 2 miles behind the sag bike (it was after 11:50 am), I decided to leave my hydration bottle in transition and run hard for the 10K that I was going to be forced to run.

Run: 1:01:17 for a 10K at an average pace of 9:53/mile

As I exited transition, I ran into my Coeur sister Megan! She stopped at the loo, and I continued on my way! I was pushing a bit harder than I should have been. My heart rate was high…too high! I periodically walked to get my HR back to a respectable beat. I took in Base Salt and water at every aid station, but there was NO ice or rags at any of the aid stations on the run like the race director said there would be. Let the adversity adventure continue! Then at mile 2, I caught the sag bike. What?! How did I catch him? I decided to walk for a minute and ask the athlete how I had caught up with him. In briefly chatting with him, I learned that he had decided to walk the entire first 5K to give as many of the women an opportunity to make the decision to run the 1/2 marathon if they wanted to since our swim waves started so late. I thanked him for allowing me to make this decision and ran on. Shortly after this, I saw the Iron Hippie heading back and quickly learned he was only doing the 10K by choice. As I ran to the 5K mark, I did some thinking and data analysis…could I run the full 1/2 marathon? Yes, but I had no hydration with me (I left it in transition remember?!), there was no ice or rags at the aid stations, it was HOT and only getting hotter, and this was not my “A” race. Coach Kelly told me to not end up dehydrated, with heat stroke, with heat exhaustion, or hyponatremic…it would prolong my recovery. Based on all of the data I had in my arsenal, I opted to turn around and only do the 10K run. As I crossed the finish line, I was happy with my decision to turn around, but was immediately disappointed because there was no water at the finish line for the athletes. SERIOUSLY?! What an adversity adventure…or is it a sh*t show?!

Since it doesn’t say “70.3” on it, I guess I can keep it.

Overall: 5:12:43 for 63.4 miles

I set a PR on a new distance (since I didn’t do the official 70.3)…63.4 miles. I got to meet some amazing new athletes and ladies decked out in Coeur tri kits. I overcame a lot of adversity that was mostly out of my control. I learned that you get what you pay for! I’m disappointed that the race director did not make the time cut-offs equal for all participants and I’m very disappointed in the lack of care for the athletes at this race. Many athletes were in the med tent at the end of the race…likely because they pushed too hard in the heat and wind to make time cut-offs, but not having ice and rags/sponges at the aid stations on the run definitely didn’t help. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. The timing company was separate from the racing company. They were very angry with how things were handled as well. All athletes who ran the 10K were disqualified…whether they were forced to only run the 10K (because of the rule the race director implemented) or because they chose to. I ended up spending about 30 minutes helping the timing company figure out who had actually run the full 1/2 marathon in all of the age groups before the award ceremony, because the man in charge of the timing was VERY frustrated! If someone were to pay for my entry into this race in the future, I would turn it down. I want to support smaller, local races, but not at the expense of the athletes and their safety!

The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…

Well, that’s a wrap! My adversity adventure or sh*t show…

Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon: Race Report

Last Sunday was the inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon in Madison. This was my “B” race for the year, where I was hoping to PR and get a good feel for where my training has taken me so far this year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans…


Saturday morning we had a great swim practice!! We chatted it up with friends and I was lucky to meet one of my Coeur Sports Teammates, Jenn, in person!! She is so inspiring and on an amazing journey!!


After swimming, the Iron Hippie and I grabbed breakfast at one of our favorite spots in Madison, Marigold’s Kitchen, before driving the bike course for our event to check out the road surfaces and terrain.


Goat cheese and zucchini omelette…YUMMY!!

After driving the course, we showered at our host home (HUGE shout out to my wonderful friend Chris for hosting us!!), got our bikes and gear ready for Sunday, and then it was time to put Mojo in transition for the evening.


We grilled food at Chris’s house and watched movies with our feet up all afternoon and early evening. An early morning wake-up call means lights out by 7:30 pm.


We woke at 3:30 am, showered (yes, I know I’m going to get into a lake and then get all sweaty, but it’s my thang…wash away the negative and be ready for a great day!), inhaled breakfast (cream of rice with blueberries and Pure Clean beet powder, and Osmo hydration), gathered our gear, drove to the Alliant Energy Center, and took the shuttle bus to the race start. After getting my transition area set up, I found Jenn and another Coeur Sports teammate, Mandy. We chatted, wished each other a great day, and made our way down to the swim start.

Jenn, myself, and Mandy representing Coeur Sports and ready to race!
Jenn, myself, and Mandy representing Coeur Sports and ready to race!


The first swim wave started at 7:00 am, but my wave didn’t start until 7:32 am. With only 4 waves after me, I was toward the back of the pack. When the horn sounded, I walked quite a ways out (the water was REALLY shallow in this area) before starting to swim). Once I started swimming, I only hit the bottom with my hand a few times before finding my groove. It was a pretty uneventful swim for me…I was relaxed and kept a pretty straight swim line for the duration of my swim. I definitely felt like I could have easily doubled this pace…maybe that means I should have swam a bit harder!



Swim Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports arm coolers, Roka Maverick Pro wetsuit, Roka X1 Goggles in light vermillion

Nutrition: Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar and 2 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks about 30 minutes before my swim

Swim Time: 41:00 for 1.2 miles (1:56/100 yards)


Yay for wetsuit peelers!! Hello LONG run to transition…when I got to my spot, I quickly put on my cycling jersey, helmet, shoes, grabbed my bike, and was off.

T1 Time: 5:29


The first few miles were on a trail and were rather crowded, but opened up more by mile 5 when we got to the roads. I was lucky to get to see the Iron Hippie and good friend Kathy during those first few miles!! Yay for biking with friends…even if it was short lived!! Most of the road surfaces were rough, but there were lots of terrain changes to make up for it…I LOVE hills!! After going through Oregon and Paoli (south of Madison), we climbed a big hill with spectacular views from the top…Observatory Hill Road. The temps were definitely climbing, so I decided to slow my pace just a bit to make this race about survival instead of putting myself in the medical tent (which I’ve been known to do more often than one should). This course was very rolling in nature and simulated the Ironman Wisconsin bike course beautifully!



Bike Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports cycling jersey, Coeur Sports arm coolers, Mojo (Specialized Transition Bike), Specialized Ember road shoes, Specialized Evade helmet, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt

Nutrition: Chex Mix (2 single serve packages), 2 bottles of Osmo hydration, and water

Bike Time: 3:25:14 for 56 miles (16.4 mph)


As I rolled into transition, it was HOT! I quickly transitioned into my run shoes, drank more liquids, and headed out on the run.

T2 Time: 4:06


HOLY HOTNESS!! Within the first mile, I decided this would be a run/walk adventure. It was a suffer fest for most of the athletes around me…some even decided they would walk the entire 13.1 miles. Thankfully there was some shade on the run course (although there were long stretches of sun as well) and lots of people who lived on the course were out with garden hoses, squirt guns, and sprinklers. At every aid station, I drank two glasses of water, licked my Base Salt, and dumped a 1/2 cup of ice in my bra top, and 1/2 cup of ice in the front of my shorts as I continued to slog my way to the finish line. I chatted with people when I could, ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t. Thankfully with about 3 miles to go, I saw one of my former students on the run course cheering me on. He randomly appeared throughout the last 3 miles encouraging me. Thanks Zach for the shout outs on such a hot day!!



Run Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports race belt, Brooks Pure Flow running shoes, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt

Nutrition: 6 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks, Base Salt, and water

Run Time: 2:45:36 for 13.1 miles (12:38/mile)


It was an uphill run to the finish shoot, where I finished with a time of 7:01:23…an hour slower than I had hoped, but on a day when the temperature was in the mid 90s with no cloud cover, I’m happy to say that I finished what I started and didn’t end up in the med tent.




This was a great inaugural race!! There isn’t much that could be done about the weather, but the race organizers were prepared for it. They had plenty of water, ice, volunteers, and medical support. The swim was shallow at the start and there were a lot of weeds in the water, but the water was relatively clear farther out from the shore. The road surfaces were a bit rough on the bike course, but there wasn’t much traffic on them and the intersections were controlled well. The run was a relatively shady route (as shady as you can get in that area), with plenty of aid stations. Definitely a race I will be doing again sometime in the future; hopefully on a much cooler day!


**Thanks to Focal Flame Photography and Race Day Events, LLC for free race photos!! SO AWESOME!!

Sole Sisters Rock the Du

Sunday morning I was blessed and lucky to get to race our first ever duathlon along side my sole sister! She inspires me, believes in me, and encourages me to be the best version of myself everyday! I am forever grateful that our paths crossed and can’t imagine my life without her in it!

A 4 am wake up allowed me plenty of time to make the breakfast of champions (cream of rice with raspberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder and a Karma Kombucha), pack up the last of my race day essentials, load up the car, and be ready to leave by 5 am. The Iron Hippie was volunteering, so he rode with us to the race venue.

Breakfast of Champions!

Once we arrived to the race, I could tell Tonja’s nerves were really starting to kick in. While she has participated in every running distance from 5K to Marathon, she has never participated in a duathlon or triathlon and had no idea what to expect. Heck, she has only been on her bike once this year, and it was last Wednesday morning before our race. I kept reminding her that there was nothing to be nervous about…we were there to have fun! We unloaded the car, got her race packet, set up transition and then relaxed in the car to warm our toes until race start.

Matching tats and socks...T must be my #solesista
Matching tats and socks…Tonja must be my #solesista
Bikes are racked and we are ready to race!

At about 7:30, we decided to check our transition one more time, hit the kybos, and ventured to the start for the pre-race announcements. Tonja was REALLY nervous by this point, but I knew once we got going the nerves would subside. We decided we were going to run the first 0.9 miles together and exit transition together. My role was to prevent her from going out too fast on the first run. She was going to try to keep me in view on the bike, but we both decided to race our own race once out on the bike. As we lined up at the start, we gave each other a hug, a few encouraging words, and we were off.

Lined up and ready to start! Thanks to the Iron Hippie for all of the photos throughout the day!
Lined up and ready to start! Thanks to the Iron Hippie for all of the photos throughout the day!

The first 0.9 miles were on cinder trail, grass, and dirt. Not ideal footing, but we ran side by side and I occasionally reminded T to hold back on this run to set ourselves up for a solid bike and another run. We ran out about 0.45 miles, ran around a cone, and then ran back to transition. Run time = 7:47 (8:39/mile average pace)

T1 time = 1:42

The bike course is 15.5 miles that consists of 3 loops of just over 5 miles each. Once we passed the mount line, we took off! Tonja and I separated pretty quickly, but that is only because I have a LOT more experience on the bike. During the first loop, I went hard, but my main focus was to figure out the bike loop. I learned where the hills were, where the Iron Hippie was cheering/volunteering, where the out and back was (cheering Tonja on as we passed each other…she was doing great!), where we go onto the 2nd/3rd loops or return to transition, where I could drink, where I had to be careful on a turn, etc. On lap 1 at the out and back section, I counted the ladies doing the duathlon that were in front of me (there was also a triathlon and aqua/bike race going on at the same time)…there were only 2 ladies in front of me! #courageovercomfort The 2nd and 3rd loops were so much more fun and I pushed myself even harder on these loops. Now that I knew what to expect, it was time to put the hammer down. #courageovercomfort #courageovercomfort #courageovercomfort was repeated over and over and over in my head while I raced. By lap 2, I could see the 2nd place lady in front of me. #courageovercomfort As we started the 3rd lap, I passed the 2nd place lady and made my way comfortably into 2nd place. Thankfully there wasn’t much wind on the ride, but I knew that wouldn’t be good on the run since the sun was out and the day was heating up rather nicely. Bike time = 50:19 (18.5 mph average speed)

Thanks to the Iron Hippie for taking pics while I was riding!!

T2 time = 54 seconds

As I exited T2, the 3rd place lady (the one that I had just passed) had just come into transition. I told that she had a nice bike leg and thanked her for pushing me to work really hard on the bike. The last run was a 5K run (3.1 miles) and I was right…it had heated up quite nicely. The first mile was mostly on cinder trail, grass and dirt and went the same direction as the first run that we started the duathlon with. There was an aid station at mile 1, which is where we exited the grassy area and started running on the roads…straight up hill. It was at this point that I was passed by another lady participating in the duathlon. I told her she was doing awesome and to keep working hard as she passed. I knew I was now in 3rd place, but this only made me work harder. #courageovercomfort I could see the first place duathlon lady and knew that I could catch her. My goal was to catch her by mile 2, which is where the Iron Hippie was volunteering. I ended up catching her at about mile 1.5. I told her she was doing great and that it was super hard to catch her! I encouraged her to keep going hard and finish strong! When I saw the Iron Hippie just past the 2 mile mark, he told me I was 40 seconds behind the 1st place female and to give it all I had. Little did he know I was already pushing as hard as I could. At this point, we were back in a grassy area with some cinder trails all the way to the finish line. There was VERY LITTLE shade, it was hot, and I was giving it EVERYTHING I had. #courageovercomfort I was so happy to finally see the finish line!! Run time = 26:48 (8:39/mile average pace)…I guess you can say that I was consistent 😉

Overall Finish: 1:27:29
1st Place Age Group
2nd Place Female Overall
11th Place Overall

These lovely ladies made me work for this AG win!!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
Tonja got 2nd place in her age group at her first ever duathlon!! So proud of her!!

This race challenged me in many ways, but was also very fun!! I consider anytime I get to run and bike while racing and encouraging others a win!!

19 Weeks ’til #IMWI: Recovery + Race Time

How are we all of a sudden only 19 weeks away from Ironman Wisconsin?!?! This was not a typical week for us. We had 2 full rest days, lots of recovery, and a 1/2 marathon race to cap off the week.


After waking up with an upset stomach, I decided to stay home from work. I think it might have been the yummy, yet excessive roasted garlic on the amazing pizza from last night. I knew I had a lot of work that could be done from home, so I did that for most of the morning. Around lunch time, I started to feel much better, so I took my strength training outside to sweat out the remaining garlic. It was a beautiful afternoon and I should have been working outside, but I stayed indoors for my afternoon work session. When the Iron Hippie got home, we rode our bikes outside in the sun for an easy recovery ride. It was a great snail mail day! I received goodies from both Coeur Sports and Sound Probiotics today…WAHOO!!

Strength training in the sun!
Strength training in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!! #noangrykitty #stylishspeed #soundathlete


Since it was a recovery week, we opted to have Tuesday be a rest day. We slept in, had a full day of work, I had a personal training client, and then went out for an amazing sushi dinner. Why didn’t I take a picture of the amazing sushi?! We ran a few errands after dinner and were ready for bed by 7 pm.


We slept in Wednesday morning, so we got a LOT of sleep, which felt really good! After a full day of work, I hopped on the trainer for some sweaty, #bikelove intervals. It was definitely a #workforitwednesday with that workout! In looking at my normalized power from various rides lately, I think I’ve lost some bike fitness over the last month. Although I haven’t done an FTP test in a while, so I don’t know if it really has dropped or not…I think it might be time to test this and see where I’m at.

Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.
Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.


We always sleep in on Thursday mornings, but we actually had planned to get up and swim this morning. I decided against this when I woke up, since I had been up 3 times throughout the night with cramps in the arch of my left foot. Boy do those hurt!! This is not typical for me, so what was causing them?! I even had them a couple of times throughout the work day. After work, I met a personal training client, completed a 60 minute cadence ladder ride, and then went to teach TRX…guess what?! MORE CRAMPS in the left foot. UGH! 😦

Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!
Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!


Today was another rest day. After work I had a massage, which was poor planning on my part since I am racing a 1/2 marathon tomorrow. We’ll test this tomorrow and see how it impacts me! After my massage, we made a trip to Des Moines to pick up our race packets for the Drake 1/2 Marathon in the morning. In looking at the weather for the race, I couldn’t decide what to wear. What do you wear when it is going to be 46F, 22 mph winds, and 90% chance of rain?! I knew I’d need a lot of warm clothes for after the race, so I started by picking those out first. I decided to wait until morning to decide what to wear. After picking up our packets, we had Mexican food for dinner and were in bed by 9 pm.

Massage...the day before a 1/2 marathon. We'll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!
Massage…the day before a 1/2 marathon. We’ll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!


4 am wake-up followed by cream of rice with Pure Clean Beet Powder and frozen blueberries + Karma Kombucha prepped my engine for what was looking to be a cold, wet, windy race. Now to decide what to wear…I decided to wear my Coeur Sports racing tri kit with arm warmers. I was hoping this would be a good decision. We arrived in Des Moines about 90 minutes before the race. We figured we wouldn’t have problems finding a place to park since the weather was so crappy and we were right. We had our pick of parking spots! At about 7:00 am, we started getting ready for our race and headed to the race start at 7:15. When they started the race at 7:30 am, it was 44F, 17 mph winds, and raining on us. I decided to run with my trash bag on until I warmed up a bit, which really only lasted about 1 mile. I met a friend that I’ve known through social media at about mile 1 and ran with her for a few miles. Kristen was pushing her 13 year old cousin with Rett Syndrome in a running bob for the first time ever during the 1/2 marathon. Can you say #heartandcourage?! She is so inspiring and motivated to do what she can to help find a cure for Rett Syndrome. Eventually we got separated on the hills, but Mother Nature continued to challenge us with the weather she threw our way. I quickly realized that a massage the day before a 1/2 marathon was not my best decision, but pushed as hard as I could for the whole race. My official finish time was 1:54:23, which was an 8:44/mile average pace. I was pretty pleased with this considering my legs did NOT want to move after about mile 5 + I was freezing + I was soaked like a drowned rat! Post run, we quickly changed and ate delicious post race food at the Drake Diner before heading back home. It was time for a REALLY HOT shower and a nap, followed by chili and cornbread with friends for dinner and an early to bed.

Who's ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Who’s ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Are we really going to do this?!
Are we really going to do this?!
Unofficial stats...I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles ;)
Unofficial stats…I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles since I was only supposed to have run 13.1 miles 😉
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


I woke up with VERY stiff and sore legs, so I hopped on the bike for an easy hour to spin out the legs a bit, followed by breakfast, and an epsom salt bath. I did a few house chores to get ready for the coming week and then met Coach Hansen at the pool for more swim analyzing and coaching. I have A LOT to work on this week in the pool!! Later in the day, we went to Ankeny to visit the bike shop and meet an amazing friend for dinner. He came into town for the Drake 1/2 marathon from the Gulf Coast. I don’t think he was quite prepared for the cold, wet, windy weather we experienced. Since he and his wife retired down south, I’ve really missed having them around, so it was super fun to catch up with him!

Basil says, "Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?"
Basil says, “Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?”
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!

Weekly Totals: 8 hours & 44 minutes

Swim: 550 yards
Bike: 65.8 miles
Run: 13.1 miles
Strength Training: 1:45:00

Quote of the Week:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

How we make it work

When you and your spouse are both juggling full time jobs (40+ hour work weeks), Ironman athletes (who train 15-24 hours each week, depending on the time of year), enjoy spending time with family and friends, and still have a home life to balance and maintain, life can get hard…if you let it. Triathlete Magazine recently posted a great article on couples that train and race “together,” how it impacts their lives, and how they make it work. The irony is that the week before this article was published, the Iron Hippie and I were generating our own list of things we do each week to make our lives run more smoothly. Every couple has to find their own way and what works best for them, but these are some of the ways we make it work:

  1. Communication is key…We review our schedule daily for the next day, even though every Monday looks nearly the same as every other Monday, we take time to communicate what it will look like this week. What time will we be home? Are we working out together or separate? Who will be home at feeding time to feed the dogs? What leftovers are we having for dinner?
  2. Food preparation happens on the weekends…After our long workouts on Saturday and Sunday, we take the time to prepare food for the coming week, making sure to have plenty of leftovers so we don’t have to worry about preparing a meal after a long day of work and a tiring workout. We often freeze a lot of our meals and pull them out as we need them. Salads are one of our summertime favorites and super easy to make after an evening workout.
  3. Laundry, laundry and more laundry…With each of us producing mountains of laundry each week, it is critical that we stay on top of this. The best time saving hack we’ve found for laundry…drum roll…wash and dry laundry while we are on the trainer riding. During recovery sections of a workout, we can put the clothes in the drier and start a new load…now if we could just find a magic fairy to fold all of it and put it away…

    All the Coeur gear!!
  4. Post workout smoothie…The Vitamix is one of the BEST inventions and time savers that we have experienced!! In the morning we throw all the fruits and veggies into the Vitamix with some Pure Clean Beet Powder and Osmo Recovery Powder. This is the perfect way to refuel post workout and it is quick and easy to prepare and clean!
  5. Prepare for the coming day the night before…The Iron Hippie and I both set out our work clothes and workout clothes for the next day the night before. We also pack our lunches and all the bags that we will need the next day. Some days I get referred to as the “bag lady” as I’m walking into or out of school by students and colleagues. It is part of what comes with this lifestyle 😉
  6. Piggy backing workouts…When time permits, it is great to complete workouts one after the other. This often occurs for us more on the weekends than during the weekdays, but it allows us to take fewer showers, saves us time, and often produces less laundry…BONUS!!
  7. Shop once a week for groceries and goods…Typically after our long brick on Saturdays, we run errands around town purchasing groceries and any additional supplies we will need for the coming week(s). If we go to the grocery store during the week, it is usually immediately after a workout when our stomachs are ravenous. This is NEVER good for our pocket book or diet! This isn't even all of it!!
  8. Riding the trainer…Living in central Iowa, we spend all winter on the trainer, but even in the summer, we choose to ride on the trainer at least twice a week. It is safer since we are not on the roads with vehicles during prime times of work commuters. We don’t have to wait at stop lights, which saves time. We are in a controlled environment so we can compare our results from one workout to another. I personally love a good trainer workout! It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength, and fortitude.
  9. Take workout gear to work with us…Sometimes we go straight from work to the gym for a workout, or ride our bikes from the school when the weather is nice. By packing up all of the gear we will need before work, we can experience a smooth transition to our workout without having to make the extra trip home for workout gear.
  10. Extra food is stashed everywhere…We keep extra food all over the place! We typically have Barnana bites, goldfish crackers, or Honey Stinger Chews in our swim bag, gym bag, desk drawer, car, yoga bag, on the table next to our trainers…you name it, we have probably stashed food there. Since we both workout between 15 and 24 hours a week (depending on how close race day is), we both burn through A LOT of calories! When I get hungry, there is a VERY short window before it turns hangry. Keeping food everywhere helps me prevent the hangry feeling as best as possible.
  11. We both share responsibilities…I am SUPER lucky to have a husband who can do it all (and is willing to)!! We both cook our meals, wash dishes, clean the house, do laundry, mow the lawn, shovel snow, tend to the dogs, take out the trash…there isn’t one task I can think of that we both don’t do. I’m truly blessed!!

How do you balance life and training/racing? What tricks or time saving hacks do you have to help keep you sane and on track?

My 10 Bests

This post was inspired by Korrie over at Korrie’s Triathlon Diary. If you haven’t checked her out yet, you should!

There have been MANY ups and down during my career in endurance sport. Setting goals, crushing them and having many achievements along the way. There have also been many disappointments and setbacks along the way, but every up and down has made me a stronger athlete…both mentally and physically. The roller coaster of life is what makes our journey so much more rewarding.

  • Best Inspiring Movie – “Rudy”

I just love this movie! On top of being an inspirational movie, it makes me feel good 🙂

  • Best Courage Cave Soundtrack – “Brave” by Sara Bareillis

These words inspire me to work hard and push toward achieving my dreams:

  • Best Post Workout Smoothie

There is nothing better than a smoothie after a good, hard workout. My favorite combination is kale, Pure Clean beet powder, Osmo Recovery, frozen raspberries, cinnamon, avocado, and water. This is pure deliciousness and provides lots of nutrients to refuel me 🙂

  • Best Time of Day – Definitely before 6 am in the morning

Getting up at 4 am to complete an early morning workout sets me up for a great day. Once my feet are on the floor it is go time and there is nothing better than starting my day with endorphins to get me physically and mentally ready to conquer my day.

  • Best Day of the Week for Training – Sunday

#SundayFunday is the best day of the week! Lately we have been going on a long ride, just because we can and enjoying every minute of it!

Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!
  • Best Road Cycling Route – Ames, Elkhart, High Trestel Trail, Slater, and back to Ames

I have many routes that I love more than this one, but unfortunately they are not in central Iowa where we live. This is a simple 50 mile route on roads that aren’t heavily trafficked or have a bike lane and about 10 miles of this route is on a paved trail, which gets us off the roads.

  • Best Workout Partner – The Iron Hippie

I am so lucky and thankful to have my husband join me on my crazy adventures! He has been by my side through the ups and downs and supports me, encourages me and challenges me to be the best version of myself and the best athlete that I can be.

Last long run before Ironman Boulder

  • Best 4 legged running partner – Basil

Basil LOVES to run and is so happy when she gets to chase rabbits and squirrels 😉 Even if we don’t feel like running, she is ALWAYS up for a run!!

That is a happy smile and a happy dog!
That is a happy smile and a happy dog!

This was, without a doubt, my favorite Ironman ever!! It was an Ironman, so there were obstacles to overcome, but it is a race I will definitely be doing again…love, Love, LOVE it!!

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!

Coeur Sports as the absolute best triathlon kit on the market…no chafing, seamless chamois, perfect fit, fun colors, #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty…simply AMAZING!! I love what Coeur Sports stands for, that they encourage, inspire, and promote women in sport and they represent #heartandcourage.  ALL women who SBR (swim, bike, run) and/or do triathlon should wear Coeur Sports apparel…it is da BOMB!!

As we move into the winter doldrums, I thought this is a perfect time to focus on the good things that surround us.

What are your BESTs? What things boost your mood and training during the winter doldrums?

Ironman Boulder Race Report: I did it again!

Sunday was an epic day!! I absolutely LOVE race day!! It doesn’t matter if I’m racing or spectating…the energy in the air is AMAZING and unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else!!

I’ll try to keep this post relatively short, although it is a race report 😉 I had great hopes of breaking 14 hours for my overall finish time, but knew that my ultimate goals were to smile, have fun, embrace the entire day and push my limits for this race on this day. Here is how the day went down:


Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 2:30 am for the start of a long and glorious day!! I quickly jumped in the shower (yes, I know I was going to race and get all stinky, but a shower wakes me up and helps get me ready for racing), ate my cream of rice cereal (with fresh blueberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder), drank my Karma Kombucha and read my pre-race visualization/mantras/quotes before heading out the door to the Boulder High School where I would drop my special needs bags and board a bus to the Boulder Rez with all other athletes and spectators.

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox

We were on the first bus to the Boulder Rez, which gave us plenty of time for body marking, filling water bottles on the bike, adding to my T1 bag and hitting the loo before getting ready for the swim. We did find out that the water temperature was 78.1F, so it was not a wetsuit legal swim, but it was wetsuit optional. This meant it was time to make decisions…Should I wear my wetsuit knowing the water temp was a bit warm for it, that I would have to start at the back of the pack and that I wouldn’t be eligible for Age Group Awards or Kona Qualification? Should I go without the wetsuit knowing that there would be a lot of people wearing wetsuits that would probably catch and pass me on the swim and I would probably be more comfortable temperature wise? Hmmm…No wetsuit it is!

Body marking complete...time to race!!
Body marking complete…time to race!!
We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.
We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Eventually Dad, my aunt Linda, my cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Lora, Sam and Sara (Allen’s wife and 2 daughters) showed up at the Boulder Rez. This was a good distraction from what was to come…

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim
My aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim
Dad and I race morning.
Dad and I race morning.

Eventually, I lined up in the middle of the people hoping to swim between 1:16:00 and 1:30:00. I knew that if I were wearing my wetsuit I could easily swim 1:20:00 (which was my swim goal), but wasn’t sure how not wearing my wetsuit would impact my swim.

After the Star Spangled Banner was played, the cannon went off and we all rolled into the water and the swim began.


HOLY PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! This swim had the most physical contact I’ve ever had in a swim before. It resembled a washing machine full of clothes, where the people were the clothes. I was hoping that after the first turn buoy the physical contact would dissipate, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I just kept reminding myself to “just keep swimming” and to stay “straight, fluid and relax” throughout the swim. This worked in my favor…I never had a moment of panic during the swim and when someone would grab my leg, I would just kick really hard and get away from them and then find my groove again. Eventually I was on my return to dry land and it was a very welcome sight 🙂

Swim exit...I am the one in the red swimsuit.
Swim exit…I am the one in the red swimsuit under the arch.

Swim Time: 1:32:21 (2:23/100 m)…This 12 minutes slower than my goal swim time and was my slowest Ironman swim. I am certain my swim time would have been faster with a wetsuit

Division Rank: 83/142

Gender Rank: 361/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1479/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: TYR swimsuit, Roka X1 Goggles (Dark Amber/Gold Mirror)

Nutrition: Goldfish crackers, Osmo Nutrition Preload and 6 Chocolate covered Barnanas before the swim


I was able to run past the wetsuit strippers, grab my gear bag and run into the women’s change tent, where Melissa (who also happened to have the Coeur Sports Courage design tri kit) helped me change and get on my way. It was quite a long run from the women’s change tent to our bikes and then to the mount line.

Time to go ride my bicycle!
Time to go ride my bicycle!

T1 Time: 9:02…this was almost 6 minutes faster than my goal T1 time


I decided to start my ride nice and easy since the first 7 miles are a gradual uphill climb. Lots of people passed me in this section, but I just let them go. I knew that if they went out too hard, I would catch them. This bike course is two loops with the first loop being done twice before going onto the second loop. I found my groove and just rode my heart out, but kept my watts in check so that I would have energy left for the next 2 loops. I backed off the power just a bit on Nelson Road, since it is a gradual climb. Anytime we went west (toward the mountains), we were climbing…even when it didn’t look like it. As I entered Hygiene, I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew because my Dad, aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy as well as Lora, Sam and Sara had waited until we exited the water out at the Boulder Rez before boarding a bus and heading back to town. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Justin, his wife Jennifer, their son Jacob and Neal and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth in Hygiene waiting for us. I zipped right past them because I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew on this loop. I continued on and saw Mike and Stacey, friends of ours, on Nelson Road before eventually starting the second loop.

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!


I took it nice and easy the first few miles of the second loop…again that gradual climb. I also took it easy on Nelson Road and stopped at the bike special needs station on Nelson to restock my stores before moving my way into Hygiene. This time I knew I was going to stop and chat with my family, since they should all be there. And they were!!

“Hey” How’s your day?!?!?!?!
Stopping to say "Hi" in Hygiened :)
Stopping to say “Hi” in Hygiened 🙂
Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene
Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene
Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.
Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.
Smiles for all...even at mile 70 on the bike.
Smiles for all…even at mile 70 on the bike.
Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures :)
Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures 🙂
I'm still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I'm off!!
I’m still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I’m off!!
Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!
Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!
Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.
Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.
Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene
Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

I continued on my way, saw Mike and Stacey on Nelson Road again and then made my way to the third and final loop on the bike course. I knew there were a few longer and steeper climbs on this loop, which I took nice and easy before making my way back into Boulder. I knew my family would be on the side of the road at about mile 110, so I decided to stop again. They informed me that I was leading the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!” They told me to beat them and sent me on my way. It was all downhill into T2!

Riding away from the family at mile 110...time to get on to the run!
Riding away from the family at mile 110…time to get on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110
Riding away from the family at mile 110

Bike Time: 6:46:12 (16.54 mph)…I was almost 15 minutes faster than my goal pace.

Division Rank: 77/142

Gender Rank: 326/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1514/2010 (total finishers)

Stops on the bike: I stopped twice on the bike to chat with my family, I stopped at every aid station to refill my bike bottles and spray down my arm coolers and I stopped once to pee at mile 100.

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports SuperNova Cycling Jersey, Coeur Sports Arm Coolers, Specialized bike shoes, Specialized Transition Bike, Bell Helmet, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: 3.5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration, lots of goldfish crackers, 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews


It was a really long run from bike dismount until when the volunteers took my bike and I got my bag to change. As soon as I entered the change tent, Erin, my Coeur Sports teammate, grabbed me and helped me change. It was so amazing to get to meet her in person!! She is an amazing woman and I truly wish we lived closer…I know we would become such great friends!! She filled my water bottle with water and ice (which was the best. thing. ever.) and sent me out on the run.

T2 Time: 8:57


The run starts with a gradual descent, which made it easy to start out a little faster, but what goes down, must go up. Just like the bike course, anytime we were running west (toward the mountains), we had a gradual uphill climb and anytime we were going east we had a gradual descent. When you look at my run splits, you can see where these transitions occur. I had a run goal in mind, but decided to throw it out the window and just have fun, but push myself a little bit so that it wasn’t a walk. I decided I’d only walk the aid stations and the uphills (not the false flats, but the short, steeper climbs that were a part of the course). I took in nutrition at every aid station…sometimes it was grapes, sometimes oranges…sometimes coke, sometimes no coke, but ALWAYS water. I was so lucky to have family and many friends out there to check in with. Every time I stopped near my family, they would tell me I was still in front of the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!!” of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
You want me to pose with my peeps :)
You want me to pose with my peeps 🙂
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run :)
Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run 🙂
Run focus!!
Run focus!!
Having fun on the run!!
Having fun on the run!!

I stopped at the run special needs at the half way point so I could change my socks and shoes to keep my feet happy. I knew I could make a daylight finish if I just kept moving forward…it would be close, but I could do it!

Run Time: 5:28:05 (12:31/mi average pace)…I missed my goal by an hour, but had fun along the way

Division Rank: 67/142

Gender Rank: 272/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1234/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports Visor, Road Runner Socks, Newton Kismets, Asics Gel-Nimbus 16s, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: grapes, oranges, coke, water

Finish Line:

I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂
Coming into the finish shoot all was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
A strong finish down the finish shoot.
A strong finish down the finish shoot.
Finished...official time was 14:04:37
Finished…official time was 14:04:37
I finished my day with #heartandcourage
I finished my day with #heartandcourage

Finish Time: 14:04:37…I missed my goal by 4:38, but I had fun and set a new PR by 1:11:19

Post Race:

I was so blessed to have Erin catch me at the finish line and escort me through everything…finisher medal, finisher hat and cap collection, timing chip removed, finisher photo, food and then to my family. She was my angel for sure!!

I didn't eat any of the food in my hands.
I didn’t eat any of the food in my hands.
I'm so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!
I’m so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

About 20 minutes after finishing, I became really light headed and dizzy. My mother told me to go to the medical tent, so I listened to her. They took my vitals and made me drink a NASTY salty liquid and a bottle of water. Shortly after that, my muscles started contracting like I had Parkinson’s Disease. They moved me to a room with beds and wrapped me in a mylar blanket. This is when my angel showed up…ERIN 🙂 My nurse showed back up and told me to eat 2 small packages of gummy bears…my taste buds DID NOT want them!! Erin told me to swallow them like pills, so I did. Eventually my muscles stopped contracting and a doctor showed up to check on me. He told me I was hyponatremic and asked if I had experience with this…HERE WE GO AGAIN!! I was hyponatremic after my Ironman Wisconsin 2011 race…I DID IT AGAIN!! He eventually released me and I laid in the grass for quite a while before Lora walked me to the car.

This is post medical tent...I didn't feel so good.
This is post medical tent…I didn’t feel so good.

Photo Credit: Cousin Neal and his wife Kathy, Cousin Justin, Lora, Finisher Pix

At this point, I REALLY had to pee, but decided I could make it back to our home stay. Thankfully the Iron Hippie was in a good state and could drive us back to our home stay.My stomach had shutdown and did not absorb any of the liquid the medical tent told me to drink, so when I got out of the car, EVERY liquid I had in my body left…I projectile vomited ALL. THE. LIQUID. Did you know that when your muscles contract to vomit they also contract and cause you to pee yourself?!?!?! Yes, you read that correctly, as I projectile vomited I also peed myself. Thankfully I was in the driveway and NOT indoors. When I was done, the Iron Hippie said, “That. Was. Awesome.” Despite the post race medical issues, this was one of the best days of my life!! I met most of my goals:

  1. Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
  2. Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face 🙂
  3. Embrace the entire day…I did a great job of this! Even when things got dark (which surprisingly didn’t happen too often) I embraced it and continued to move forward.
  4. Go sub 14 hours on the day…I missed this goal by 4:38. If I wouldn’t have stopped to chat with family and friends, go to the restroom and change my socks/shoes at run special needs, I probably would have met this goal. This small time difference wasn’t worth not having fun, so I would say it was a successful day.

Overall Thoughts on the Day:

This was a PR by 1:11:19 and I had a BLAST!! I’m already thinking about the next one, but I promised the Iron Hippie that I wouldn’t do an Ironman in 2016 😉

Oh…the Iron Hippie cut his hair…You won’t even recognize him. I may have to come up with a new name for him…

So much for keeping this race report short…


I have many thank yous, which will be in the next blog post 🙂

Trication Part 3 – Denver Metro


The Iron Hippie and I left Estes Park early in the morning to head to my cousin’s house in Parker, CO. Unfortunately my cousin and his wife are in Europe, but my aunt is house sitting for them, so we get to spend some time with her.

After arriving, we unloaded the car, ate some lunch and then went to the mall to hit up a few stores we don’t have access to (other than online) back home.

Athleta...I love your clothes!
Athleta…I love your clothes!

I spent some time in the late afternoon catching up on blog posts (I kind of slacked on posting my Estes Park blog posts, which you can find here, here and here), some last minute information from DC (the Ironman Boulder race director) and emails before dinner.

Eggplant Parmesan for dinner...yummy!!
Eggplant Parmesan for dinner…yummy!!

After dinner, we all got comfortable on the couch and watched a documentary before bed…Nicky’s Family…If you have not seen this yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. WOW!!

“Before the start of World War II, Briton Nicholas Winton masterminded the rescue of more than 600 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Prague.”

Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky's Family
Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky’s Family


I started the day with a smoothie and some relaxing with Sophie cuddling up next to me, while I worked on some writing.

Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.
Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.


We then went to the Parker Recreation Center for our last long swim (4700 yards) before lunch.

Monday Motivation...Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.
Monday Motivation…Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.
Last long swim complete...4700 yards.
Last long swim complete…4700 yards.

After cleaning up and eating lunch, we kicked our feet up while watching one of the dumbest movies ever…Jackass.

This is such a DUMB show!
This is such a DUMB show!
Characteristics of a Professional athlete
Characteristics of a Professional athlete
Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin's dog)...she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.
Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin’s dog)…she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.

At about 3:30, we went and picked my cousin up and then his parents came over after work for dinner. It was nice and relaxing and great to catch up…especially since I won’t get to spend much time with them on race day.


We woke up early on Tuesday morning, went for an easy 30 minute run, packed up the Rav4, cleaned up and headed to Louisville Cyclery to pick up Mojo. We then went to Lululemon in Boulder where we found our names in their Ironman recognition window and did a little shopping before meeting the Iron Hippie’s sister for an Indian lunch shortly after 1:30.

Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can't wait to see you on race day out on the course :)
Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can’t wait to see you on race day out on the course 🙂
I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.
I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.
Here I am!!
Here I am!!
This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.
This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.
Lululemon...thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!
Lululemon…thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!
What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!
What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!
My Indian meal...full of yummy goodness!!
My Indian meal…full of yummy goodness!!

We relocated to the Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law’s house for the next two nights (which is also a bit closer to Boulder than Parker). When we arrived to their house in Lakewood, we unloaded everything before relaxing and enjoying snacks for dinner instead of a big feast.

The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night's meal.
The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night’s meal.

It was early to bed for me. I was so tired and feeling a little sad and homesick…I REALLY miss my girls and can’t wait to see them. Seventeen days away from them has been TOO long!! I wish they were here with us and I hope they didn’t forget about us!!

This is where my heart is today...miss these two so much!!
This is where my heart is today…miss these two so much!!


We slept in, which is something my body was REALLY craving. WOW…10 hours of sleep later and I felt like a completely new person. I started the morning by relaxing in the living room while the Iron Hippie slept and everyone else was at work. When the Iron Hippie woke up, we went for a short (20 minute) bike ride to make sure all of my gears were working properly, since we picked Mojo up yesterday at the shop.

Mojo is race ready!!
Mojo is race ready!!

After our ride, it was time for a breakfast smoothie full of all the good things…

Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder
Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder

I spent the rest of the morning doing laundry, getting ready for our final relocation to Boulder and Thursday’s workouts (swim at the Boulder Rez, followed by an hour spin on the bikes). I am soooo ready to relocate for the last time this trication!!

We made a quick trip to Target for some last minute items we will need for our race and to get us through the last few days of our trication. On our way, we stopped at Panera for a tasty summer salad for lunch.

My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!
My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!

I laid down for a short afternoon nap and was ready to go for dinner…homemade Thai food is da bomb!! Thanks Greg and Sarah for a wonderful stay and yummy food to fuel us into race weekend 🙂 We capped off our evening watching some television and packing up our stuff to relocate one last time before race weekend…Boulder, here we come!!

Glass noodle salad
Glass noodle salad
Mango sticky rice
Mango sticky rice
Sarah and I using bowl pad holders...perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!
Sarah and I using bowl pad holders…perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!


It was off to Boulder early for the last part of our trication…pre-race, race day and post race 🙂

Legend 100 Race Report: Slapped, Beat Up and Torched

Legend 100 took place on Sunday in Lawrence, Kansas. It was scheduled as a tune-up for Ironman Boulder. This was way more of a “tune up” than we bargained for!

Friday: We left home shortly after noon and stopped at Kyle’s Bikes to have Kyle “bless” our bikes before the race. Thankfully we did, since he found and removed a small piece of glass from my front tire. Thank you Kyle!! Mojo held her own in Kansas!!

Kyle checking Mojo over for the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of the Iron Hippie

Saturday: After breakfast, we drove one part of the bike course that we haven’t ridden in previous Ironman Kansas 70.3 events before going to the race site to check in.

Checking in at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of Lora
Checking in at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of Lora

We also went down to the transition area to check out just how flooded it was. While there, we found the Iowa flag on the perimeter of the transition area.

Representing Coeur Sports and Iowa at the Legend 100.
Representing Coeur Sports and Iowa at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of the Iron Hippie

The afternoon was spent preparing for Sunday’s race and kicking the feet up to relax.

That is a LOT of stuff!!

After an early dinner, we put our race number tattoos on before heading to bed early.

Race #136...ready to race!
Race #136…ready to race!

Race morning: The alarm went off at 3:30 am and it was already 78F and really humid. This can only mean one thing…it is going to be a rough day at the races. I followed my wake up call with getting ready to race, preparing breakfast and heading out the door at 4:30 am to Clinton State Park. Transition was approximately a mile from where we parked, so we knew we would have to leave early if we wanted to get to transition by 5 am when they opened.

My morning breakfast consisted of cream of rice with blueberries and Pure Clean Powder, Osmo Nutrition Preload and Karma Kombucha. The perfect combination to jumpstart my gut, my energy, my endurance and my hydration!!
Thanks to Coeur Sports for #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty for the whole 100 miles 🙂

Pre Race: After rolling into transition (we didn’t have to check any gear or our bikes in on Saturday, so we rode our bikes the mile to transition), I set up my gear, hit the toilet a time or two, donned my wetsuit and headed to the swim start.

It was a beautiful morning at transition! Photo courtesy of Lora
Ready to Swim
Wetsuit is on and I’m ready to tri!! Photo courtesy of Kay
Entering the Water
Getting into the water for my swim start… Photo courtesy of Kay

Swim: Time to get slapped by the water

The Iron Hippie started at 6:30 am, Allen started at 6:33 am and my wave was to start at 6:36 am. My goal was to beat them both out of the water. When it was time to start swimming, I was thankful there weren’t a lot of people in my wave. The first loop of the swim was somewhat choppy, but it wasn’t too bad once I figured out when to breathe and not drink half the lake. After completing the first lap, we exited the water only to get back in and repeat the loop.

swim exit 1
First loop done and I’m still smiling 🙂 Photo courtesy of Kay

When I entered the water for lap two, the women’s Olympic distance swimmers were filing into the water RIGHT. IN. MY. WAY. Thankfully the race director was on the dock and was yelling at them to get on the other side of the barricade so I could have somewhat clean water. Clean is relative since the lake was flooded (it was murky and had a lot of debris), it was full of swimmers (more entering the water every 3 minutes) and the winds had picked up making that chop even worse than it was during the first lap. This loop was MESSY!! There were a LOT more people and the waves were no longer small. They had definitely grown in size. I did my best to keep my focus and not worry about all of the people I saw swimming toward boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. “Just Keep Swimming” was definitely my mantra. With about 500 yards to go, I noticed a familiar face. With every breath I took on the left, Allen was staring me in the face. I knew he would try to hold on and swim my pace, but I also knew I could beat him out of the water. Now the question would be…will I also beat the Iron Hippie?!?!?!?!

As I exited the water, Kay (our SUPER spectator) was there and told me that the Iron Hippie did in fact beat me out of the water, but only by about 30 seconds.

Stripping from the wetsuit on my way to transition after the swim.
Stripping from the wetsuit on my way to transition after the swim. Photo courtesy of Kay

Swim Time: 1:16:04 (2:22/100 yards)

I was hoping for about 1:10:00, but with the water slapping me in the face for 2 miles, I was pretty happy with this time.


As I approached my transition area and stopped moving, this is what was going through my mind, “WOAH!! Where did that dizziness come from?!?!?! Am I sea sick???? I’ve never been sea sick before!!! I don’t know what that feels like. I think I might be. I better sit down to finish getting this wetsuit off and get my bike gear on. That’s better.” When I was ready to stand back up, I was no longer dizzy and was ready to rock the bike. It just so happened that the Iron Hippie was too…

The Iron Hippie and me exiting transition for the bike together.
The Iron Hippie and me exiting transition for the bike together. Photo courtesy of Kay

T1 Time: 6:04…apparently sitting in transition cost me more time than I thought.

Bike: Time to get beat up by the hills and winds on the bike

I’ve raced the former Ironman Kansas 70.3 distance at this venue twice, so I knew most of the bike course and I knew it would be challenging. I had no idea we were going to get beat up so badly!! By this time of day, the temperatures were at 80F (with high humidity) and winds were from the south/southwest at 13 mph, which isn’t bad. But as it got closer to noon, the winds increased to 21 mph with gusts up to 28 mph and the temperatures climbed to 87F. Speaking of climbing did I mention that we had ~3000 feet of climbing with most of it into the headwind?!?!?! Well, needless to say, the Iron Hippie is a stronger cyclist than I am, so he took off. I got to see him plenty as there were 4 out and back sections on this course. At the last turn around, I knew he couldn’t be more than 2 miles in front of me.

Coming into transition and ready to feel that wind on the run!!
Rolling back into transition and ready to feel that wind on the run!! Photo courtesy of Lora

Bike Time: 5:24:27 (14.8 mph)…this was a sure sign of the hills and wind beating me up!!


As I came into transition, there was carnage everywhere. People were literally laying down in transition on the ground. Beat up from the ride, so I had to maneuver around them to get to my transition spot. I thought I quickly transitioned to the run…I guess I was slower than I thought.

T2 Time: 4:58

Run: Time for the sun to torch us

Where is that wind?!?!?! I would love to have the built in air conditioner right now!! Being back in the park meant we were surrounded by trees that blocked most of the wind. As I left transition, Kay told me that the Iron Hippie was about 7 minutes ahead of me. I was pretty sure I could catch him, but there was no guarantee. Boy was it HOT!! Anything could happen…

Running out of transition 7 minutes behind the Iron Hippie.
Running out of transition 7 minutes behind the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Kay

We had a 3 loop run course, with the first 2 loops being about 6.5 miles each and the last loop being about 5 miles. By the time we made it to the run, it was 92F and still humid!! Because we were relatively protected by the strong winds, we got TORCHED!!

I've almost caught the Iron Hippie...he is only about 200 yards in front of me.
I’ve almost caught the Iron Hippie…he is only about 200 yards in front of me. Photo courtesy of Lora

I caught the Iron Hippie at about mile 5 and I decided to put my pride on the shelf and run/walk with him to the finish. With Ironman Boulder being our “A” race and with only one more build before we leave for a long vacation in Colorado, we decided that we needed to save face and go into damage control mode. It wasn’t worth not being able to complete our last build and be properly prepared for IMBoulder. We ran when we could and walked when we had to. It was great to see Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara out on the run course multiple times cheering us on!!

The last time up this F*&^ing hill!! Photo courtesy of Kay
The last time up this F*&^ing hill!! Photo courtesy of Kay
Super Spectator Kay, the Iron Hippie and Me. Glad to be almost done with this miserable day...but we are still smiling :) Photo courtesy of Lora
Super Spectator Kay, the Iron Hippie and Me. Glad to be almost done with this miserable day…but we are still smiling 🙂 Photo courtesy of Lora
Sam and Sara being spectator troopers!! Photo courtesy of Lora
Sam and Sara being spectator troopers!! Photo courtesy of Lora

The highest temperature of the day was 94F and with very little breeze, we felt like we were running in an oven. On another note, the amount of moths that we encountered were RIDICULOUS!! They would land on us and we would carry them on our backs for a while before wiping each other off. I felt like we were monkeys grooming each other. If I never see another moth again, I would be overjoyed!! At this point, we didn’t need to carry any extra weight…even if it was minimal 😉

Run Time: (or should I say walk time) 4:22:49…We were definitely torched and cooked on the run!!


We crossed the finish line together, hand in hand, hands held high and smiles on our faces, despite being slapped, beat up and torched throughout the day.

Time to finish this thing!! Entering the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Lora
Time to finish this thing!! Entering the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Lora
This isn't the biggest medal I've earned, but it is close :)
This isn’t the biggest medal I’ve earned, but it is close 🙂

Finish Time: 11:14:19…Far from the goal time of 9-10 hours, but done. Persevering required a lot of #heartandcourage on a day like today.

Post Race:

I felt good for quite a while…I was hungry…I ate two hamburgers (without buns) and a bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, drank a Gatorade and plenty of water. I had peed twice on the run course, so I knew I was properly hydrated. A special thanks to Osmo Nutrition for the Active Hydration that replaced all the salt I sweat out and helped me prevent cramping!! Afterall, #womenarenotsmallmen and the hydration worked perfectly for me!! The Iron Hippie and I went back down to transition to get all of our stuff, since Allen went to the medical tent after he finished. At this point, I noticed I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.

Hello heat stroke…I could have done without you today!! I packed up my stuff in transition and Allen’s. I grabbed all of our (the Iron Hippie, Allen and mine) transition bags, gear and my bike, hopped on a gator and got a ride back to the car. At the car, I decided I needed to lay down in the back of my vehicle. I was lightheaded, dizzy, my lips were numb and my muscles were starting to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t cold and I wasn’t dehydrated (I had peed at the start and finish of the run). Allen decided to join me and Sam wiped faces with wet wipes…

Allen, Sam and I in the back of my vehicle. Photo courtesy of Lora
Allen, Sam and I in the back of my vehicle. Photo courtesy of Lora

Once the Iron Hippie arrived with his bike and Allen’s (thanks to another gator), we had a group photo taken at the car…

Kay, Iron Hippie, Sam, Allen, Me, Lora and Sara. Photo courtesy of Kay
Kay, Iron Hippie, Sam, Allen, Me, Lora and Sara. Photo courtesy of Kay

I’ve raced in the cold, rain and high temperatures before, but this was the worst race conditions I’ve ever raced in. Hopefully this means that Ironman Boulder will be mild in comparison.

Thank you to Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara for enduring a very long, hot and miserable day as you cheered us all on to #belegend finishers!!

What are the toughest conditions you’ve ever raced in? Have you ever had to change your race plans while racing to go into “damage control” mode?