We arrived in Madison mid afternoon, checked into Ironman, went to the athlete meeting, checked into our condo guest suite, and unloaded All. The. Gear. Once we were settled in our condo and our girlfriends arrived, we went out to dinner at Salvatore’s Tomato Pies and had the most AMAZING pizza ever…Fig and Bacon with balsamic red wine reduction, Vegetarian with beet pesto, and El Mapache Loco…Delish!! We stopped by the grocery store on our way back to the condo.
We woke up and swam with our girlfriends in Lake Monona. The water was a little warmer than I’d hoped for, but was still wetsuit legal. We did a short 10 minute shake out run before meeting our friend Kristen to help her with Ironman registration…Sunday is her first full Ironman…Go Kristen GO!! We got lunch at Ian’s pizza, cleaned up, loaded our gear bags and spent the afternoon relaxing. We made an amazing dinner with our girlfriends…fresh Alaskan fish, green beans from our CSA, salad from our CSA, and quinoa. It was the perfect relaxing evening!
We woke up and took the bikes for a quick spin to make sure everything was in working order before the rain started to fall. We did a short swim (in the rain) and then relaxed for the rest of the morning before taking our bikes and gear to transition at 11 am. We followed this up with some lunch from Ian’s Pizza and then took a short nap before I was blessed to meet some of my Coeur Sports teammies who were in Madison to race and spectate. After dinner, it was time to put the feet up, and let the head hit the pillow.
I’ve done the work! I’m ready! It’s time to rock Ironman Wisconsin!
The theme this week was focus…It took all I had to remain focused every day at work so that I wasn’t thinking about Ironman Wisconsin! This race is definitely occupying most of my mental energy 😉
We woke up early to ride and decided we would benefit from 2 extra hours of sleep, so we went back to bed. After the extra sleep, we got ready for our day and set off for a full day of work. After work was 30 minutes of core and an easy hour ride.
We woke up, got ready for work, and headed out the door. After a full day of work, we went to the pool for an easy swim. It was a beautiful evening for a swim!
We woke up early to do a short (30 minute) run before work. It was a great morning for a run! After a full day of work, we hopped on the trainer for a 90 minute trainer ride with 2×20 minutes in zone 3 to test ourselves for race day. I was also super pumped to have my new Coeur Sports gear show up in the mail…WAHOO!!
Today was a rest day due to a crazy schedule. After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client before quickly eating dinner and heading back to school for “back to school night.” By the time I got home, I caught up with the Iron Hippie…we have big changes coming our way that we needed to discuss (more on this to come).
Today was another rest day. This one wasn’t planned. I had an EXHAUSTING day at school. It was picture day, and all students get their pictures taken during science class, so I walked every class (6 of them) down to the auditorium for their pictures. I probably easily walked 2 miles within the building, but the management of students (most of which was 6th graders) was mentally taxing. I was supposed to swim after work, but my body said “eat and sleep,” so that is exactly what I did.
We woke up to swim for the last time on the 50 meter long course this summer. What a sad day! After our swim, we hopped on the trainer for an easy hour ride and followed this up with 30 minutes of core work. Basil thought I needed some “coaching” while I did my core work!! After eating lunch, we did dishes, laundry, grocery shopping (I really miss doing this during the week like I do all summer long), vacuumed the house, and then relaxed while watching the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!
WOW!! Race day is only 1 week away!! How did it get here so quick?!?!?! We woke up to do our last brick before race day. After cleaning up and eating, it was time to get our bikes cleaned and race tires on. Unfortunately while cleaning Mojo, the wind blew my bike and the stand over. This caused my derailleur to shift into my wheel, so we had to make an unexpected trip to Kyle’s Bikes. Kyle was out of the shop today, but I am grateful that Anthony was able to fix my bike up and send us on our way! After finishing with both bikes, it was time to eat dinner, clean up the garage, and get ready for bed.
Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 25 minutes
Swim: 4577 yards Bike: 70.6 miles Run: 10.3 miles Strength Training: 1 hour
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.
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!
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…
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 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
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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!!”
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
I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.
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
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!!
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.
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:
Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face 🙂
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.
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 🙂
Race Week…WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Well, time moves forward even when we wish it would slow down. I have LOVED my trication in Colorado and would have loved for time to stand still during these last 2 weeks so I could enjoy more of Colorado. BUT…I am SUPER excited for race day and am looking forward to pushing myself to new limits!!
This last week involved a lot of training at an altitude higher than Boulder, which hopefully means we have been acclimating well and are race ready!!
Swim: 4.44 miles
Most of our swimming this week was done at the Boulder Rez. The water temperature has been hovering in the low 70s. We have been doing some rain dances in hopes that it cools the water off in the Boulder Rez just a bit before Sunday. I had two really good swims in the Boulder Rez and am confident this will transfer to a great race!!
Bike: 48.8 miles
We had 2 bike rides this week. The first was on the Peak to Peak Highway from Nederland to Ward to celebrate the Iron Hippie’s birthday and back and the second ride was the “blue loop” of the Ironman Boulder bike course. Both of these rides were AMAZING and filled me with LOTS of #bikelove
Run: 10.6 miles
We had one short run down in Boulder, but our last longish run occurred at an elevation of 7500+ feet. It was fun to go fast on the short run in Boulder and see how much I could push myself to determine how well I’ve acclimated. I felt really good about my runs this week, which have really boosted my confidence for race day 🙂
Strength Training: 1 hour & 20 minutes of core work
Monday morning we went for a walk around Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), which was BEAUTIFUL and so peaceful!!
Wednesday morning I went stand up paddle boarding. I LOVE SUP boarding and only wish the water would have been a bit flatter…
We spent Friday morning hiking in RMNP up to Loch Vale and back (between 5 & 6 miles round trip). It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!! I can’t believe how green all of Colorado is right now…
Weekly Totals: 9 hours and 11 minutes
We made it to the single digit countdown for race day…
Free lunch at Mary’s Market thanks to Lululemon…
We enjoyed some time with the Iron Hippie’s sister in downtown Denver…
How was your week? What races do you have that are coming up?
This last week was the culmination of our training for Ironman before the taper. Not only was this our biggest week of training, but it was also my first week back to school. Needless to say, a LOT of household chores have been neglected as a result. I can’t believe it has taken me nearly 5 days into the taper to get this blog post written…crazy how time flies!!
Here is what our final BIG training week looked like:
Inservice Day – No Students
3700 yard swim at 5:45 am (ladder to 400)
One hour strength training over lunch
Inservice Day – No Students
15 mile run at endurance pace after work (starting at 4:30 pm)
Inservice Day – No Students
2700 meter swim at 6 am (300s)
Brick: 20 minute run, 3 hour ride at Half Ironman race pace, 30 minute run (starting at 3 pm)
First Day of Class with Students
One hour strength training at 5 am
Unintentional Rest Day: I was scheduled to swim for 1 hour today, but I was EXHAUSTED after completing my first week back at school and lots of training, so I decided recovery for the weekend workouts might be best and scratched this workout.
LONG Brick: 112 miles on the bike followed by a 9 mile run
This was our longest brick of the season. While I was riding, I started to hear James Brown in my head, “I Feel Good.” Eventually this started to escape my lips and I found that even when I wasn’t feeling good, if I started singing this song, my attitude changed and I started actually feeling good again. The mind is a powerful tool 🙂 The run portion of this brick was AWESOME!! I felt AH-MA-ZING and know that I could have ran 26.2 miles. I hope I feel this good on race day 🙂
One hour leisure bike ride in the am
Bike cleaning session…it was great to have a couple of little helpers with this 😉
5843 yard swim at 6 pm, including 3×1500 at race pace (3.3 miles of pool swimming is a lot of turning)
18 mile endurance run after work (starting at 4 pm)
This was the longest run I’ve had since my injury in early May. It was also the hottest run we’ve had all season. We have been very lucky this year with cool training weather, but Monday was HOT and HUMID, which made this 18 mile run much more challenging, but we accomplished it. “I Feel Good” continued to pull me through this difficult workout as well. I really hope the cool weather returns in time for race day!!
Total Time: 25 hours
Total Distance covered: 223.5 miles
New Song for Race Day: “I Feel Good” by James Brown
What song(s) do you sing to yourself while exercising to help ease the pain?
The Iron Hippie and I eat our grapefruit VERY differently, but we aren’t the only ones. We actually had a conversation with 3 of our closest friends to see how they eat their grapefruit…lo and behold…we all eat our grapefruit differently.
The Iron Hippie peels the whole grapefruit and eats each segment separately.
M peels the whole grapefruit and eats it in quarter sections.
A buys the grapefruit already peeled, segmented and stored in grapefruit juice.
K cuts the grapefruit in half and uses a grapefruit spoon to segment each piece out.
I cut the grapefruit in half, use a knife to cut around the inside of each segment and scoop each piece out with a spoon. I then squeeze all the juice out of each half of the grapefruit into my bowl and drink the juice. YUMMY!!
So, what’s my point??? That’s easy…how you eat your grapefruit is symbolic of training and racing and here are my reasons why:
The variety of gear (wetsuits, goggles, bikes, helmets, bike shoes, apparel, running shoes, etc.) available to athletes allow them to be comfortable (or as comfortable as possible) while training and racing.
There are many different training plans and coaches that individuals use to help them arrive at the start line happy and healthy.
Everyone has their own unique journey.
All athletes are at different fitness levels, so a workout that pushes one person may be very easy for another or vice versa.
Individuals have different mental capacities…some THINK they CAN’T, some THINK they CAN and others KNOW they CAN.
Methods of recovery can vary from person to person…ice baths, foam rollers, massages, stretching, yoga, naps, amino recovery tablets, protein shakes, etc.
People have different plans for race day execution…different pre-race routines, different nutrition plans, different race strategies, different mental focus, etc.
Race day goals are different for everyone…some just want to finish and others have time goals.
Since we are all unique individuals, we may eat grapefruit our grapefruit very differently, and have many different ways to cross the finish line of whatever race we choose to take part in. The ultimate outcome is hopefully the same for everyone…eat grapefruit and cross the finish line.