Last week was a wild ride. The week started with me crashing my bike while commuting home from work on Monday and ended with me standing on the podium at the Clear Lake Olympic Distance Triathlon. During my commute home on Monday, I was in a construction zone that used caution tape to connect barricades to block off one lane of traffic. The wind blew just right to where the caution tape got caught on my handle bars and took me down. Thankfully I had just started moving from a stopped position at a stop light, so I wasn’t going more than 2 mph and when I fell. I am incredibly grateful I wasn’t run over by vehicles from behind. The pavement gave me some hard kisses, which caused me to endure some road rash, bruising, and a swollen left hand, but I’m grateful as it definitely could have been much worse! After listening to the signs from the universe to rest, I was ready to end the week with my first triathlon in 21 months! Yay for IRL triathlon racing, hugs, friends, high-fives, PRs, and podium finishes!
Quote of the week:
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.”
Swim: 3547 yards
Thursday I finally got up the courage to get back in the water to test my left hand and shoulder. I wanted to make sure they were ready to race on Saturday. Since this wasn’t an A (or even a B) race, I was 100% content with pulling the plug on racing if anything felt injured or on the fringe of injury after my bike crash. Thankfully everything felt GREAT and I was ready to race!
300 swim with fins
300 kick with fins
100 HARD (15 sec rest)
200 steady (10 sec rest)
300 HARD (15 sec rest)
200 steady (10 sec rest)
100 HARD (15 sec rest)
Bike: 55.4 miles
Giving the legs a little “pop” with some power intervals to test the body before race day. I felt strong and ready to race!
Run: 12.0 miles
After testing the body on the run, it was official…I felt healed enough to toe the start line at the Clear Lake Triathlon on Saturday!
Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 51 minutes
Attitude of Gratitude:
What were your highlights from week 21 of 2021?! Are IRL triathlon races happening in your area?!
“Racing teaches us that we are capable of so much more than we ever imagined.”
Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race IN REAL LIFE Saturday and it was SPICY HOT! 💙💛
The race directors at the Des Moines Women’s 1/2 marathon put on a very safe race with the following Covid guidelines in place:
any athlete with Covid symptoms was asked to stay home
athletes were not allowed into the starting corral until 5 minutes before the 2:00 pm start time (which actually got delayed 15 minutes because of the wind blowing everything over on course…35 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50 mph made it interesting)
athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral” (each athlete had to stand on one of the pink stickers on the ground to be spread apart)
3 athletes started every 10 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
I carried my own additional water for this race because it was SO spicy hot (87*F) that I knew I would need extra fluids
There were dixie cups with water and sports drink available for athletes to grab off of tables at the water stations
volunteers were not serving athletes at the aid stations, only filling water/sports drink cups
all volunteers were masked
when athletes crossed the finish line they were directed to pick up their own finisher medal from metal stands
there was no food distribution at the finish line (each athlete was given post race food, but I didn’t go to the table to see what was available or how it was distributed…I was ready to be in the air conditioned car)
Longer Version: With the temps at 87*F, full sun, and winds gusting up to 50 mph at the 2 pm start time, many athletes waited around in the shade before the start of the race. At 1:55 pm, we were told that athletes could start making their way into the starting corral, but then shortly after we were told there was a delay due to the strong winds blowing things over on the race course.
We were given the all clear to race at about 2:15 pm. I made my way toward the front of the corral and started in the 3rd wave of athletes (the sooner I started, the less time I had to stand around and wait in the heat + sun). I knew with this heat, sun, and wind that I really needed to control my pacing and hydrate well, so I intentionally started out slower than I did a few weeks ago at the Drake 1/2 marathon. My goals for this race were to pace well, hydrate well, stay on top of my nutrition, only walk through the aid stations to drink water they provided, and have fun. My walk breaks were incredibly short as the aid stations were very short. The garbage cans for the empty cups were positioned right after the last (2nd) table. With the winds as strong as they were, I didn’t want to drop my empty cup on the ground and have it blow away, so I made sure to quickly drink my water and then get my cup in the garbage. This often meant I only got to walk for about 5-10 quick steps before I was back to running again.
In the first 1/2 mile, there were many ladies who ran by me at smoking fast paces, but I reminded myself to stay in control and run my pace. At about mile 1.5, some Isiserettes Drill & Drum Corp. members were under a bridge in the shade lifting the spirits of the runners. Running past them at races is ALWAYS a highlight! This organization is doing AMAZING things to help keep kids off the streets and out of gangs. So much talent!
It wasn’t long and I was passing those same ladies that flew past me in the first 1/2 mile. I’m guessing they went out way too hot and blew up in the first 3 miles as most of them were walking. I was sticking with my plan and pacing well, while only walking through the aid stations to take in plenty of water without spilling it since it was so spicy hot. At about mile 3.5 I took in a gel and then at about mile 4.5 we ran past the first relay exchange zone where there were more spectators to cheer us on. This was a great pick me up!
At about mile 5 ish we ran past a small stage with drag queens singing, dancing, and cheering us on. “If we can dance on this stage in these shoes, you can keep going.” This brought a HUGE smile to my face and I continued with forward progress.
From mile 6ish to 7ish was on a cinder trail and was really shaded, which was a nice change. At about mile 7 I consumed another gel and a beet pill to stay on top of my nutrition.
Mile 9 was straight into the headwind. I was grateful for the wind as it was a great cooling mechanism, but being blown to an abrupt stop while running made me laugh out loud! All I could do was yell, “Kiss me harder Mother Nature” as I smiled big and continued forward.
Miles 10-11 were around a pond and mostly shaded with the winds at our backs, which was a nice reprieve. I took in my last gel between miles 10 and 11 to have the energy to finish strong. By mile 12 I was ready to be done. It was so spicy hot, but I stayed strong and kept soldering on. The last 1/2 mile to the finish was a bit frustrating as we ran right by the finish line and did a small loop before we got to actually head toward the finish line. After crossing the finish line, I grabbed a water off of a table, my medal off of a hook holding all the medals, and made my way to the Iron Hippie so we could get back to the car. All I wanted was out of my sweaty nasty clothes and into the air conditioning.
I am super proud of my performance and very happy to have had the opportunity to cross a spicy hot finish line. This race was a great opportunity to practice for my 70.3 race coming up next month since I swam 3000 yards and rode 87 miles on Friday before having this race at 2 pm in the heat of the day on Saturday. This big training weekend and spicy hot race added lots of confidence into the bank! 💙💛
“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.”
Cliff Notes Version: Squeee! I GOT to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday! 💙💛
The race directors at the Drake 1/2 marathon put on a very safe race with the following Covid guidelines in place:
any athlete with Covid symptoms was asked to stay home
masks were required before and after the race
athletes were not allowed into the starting corral until 6:45 am (with a 7:00 am start time for the first wave)
athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral” (each athlete had to stand on one of the 50 blue “D”s that was painted on the ground to be spread apart)
50 athletes started every 90 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations, but there were dixie cups with water and sports drink available for athletes to grab off of tables at the water stations
volunteers were not serving athletes at the aid stations, only refilling water/sports drink
all volunteers were masked
when athletes crossed the finish line in the stadium, a volunteer gave each athlete a mask and mylar blanket
volunteers guided the athletes out of the stadium preventing athletes from hanging out in the stadium after finishing
no spectators were allowed in the stadium at the finish line
there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed on a table for each athlete to pick up their own medal after leaving the stadium)
there was no food distribution at the finish line (each athlete picked up a box with water, sports drink, banana, cookies, and beef jerky in it after leaving the stadium)
Longer Version: I was SO full of JOY because I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race on Sunday! We parked about 2 blocks from the start line, so after getting completely ready to run, eating my banana, and drinking some water, we walked to the start line. I used a kybo to quickly empty my bladder, stripped off my sweatpants and sweatshirt (thanks to the Iron Hippie for putting them in his backpack and lugging them around with him while he biked around the course to cheer me on), and then entered the starting corral at 6:45 am when they started to let athletes in. I was not allowed to start in the first wave of runners because I am not an elite athlete, but I positioned myself in the second wave so that I could get moving as soon as possible. After the National Anthem and a few announcements, the first wave was off and we were moved up into the starting area.
Once in the starting area, we were told to stand on a blue “D,” remove our masks, and stow them as we would need them when we crossed the finish line. I put mine in a Ziploc bag that also housed my phone, which I put in one of my pockets in my Coeur Sports fitted running shorts. It was nice to be spread far enough apart that we could remove our masks before starting instead of having to wait until after we crossed the start line to remove them and then fumble with everything while running.
The weather was perfect for a 1/2 marathon…48*F, mostly cloudy, winds from the NW at 7 mph. When it was our turn to cross the start line, a volunteer counted down, said “GO”, and we were off. While there were only 50 people in our wave, it was nice to feel like we were racing again…even if the field of athletes was much more spread out than in years past.
We immediately started climbing right from the start line, which is a good way to kind of tame the excitement at the race start that can sometimes cause one to start way faster than planned/intended. I settled into a slightly uncomfortable Z4 heart rate within the first mile. My goals were to maintain this slightly uncomfortable heart rate for the duration of the run knowing that it would likely creep up into Z5 at various times when climbing and #BELIEVE I could maintain this slightly uncomfortable HR for the duration of the race. Within that first mile, I realized I had forgotten to take my beet pill while waiting in the starting corral, so I took in a beet pill at about mile 1 while it was still relatively flat. Speaking of terrain, the first 3 miles are generally flattish, but then there is a good sized downhill and what goes down…must go up…and up…and up…and up…
I decided I was not going to look at my Garmin to see where I was for pace or overall time for the duration of the race. I was running by feel and enjoying the opportunity to race in person. I wanted to see just how my race would unfold without monitoring my pace. I took in my first Science in Sport (SIS) gel at about mile 3.5 (there were big signs on the course indicating the location of each mile), washed it down, and continued to run strong!
I was so happy to be racing again! I continued to run strong and smile big for the duration of the race. Lots of spectators commented on my big smile. Truth…I just couldn’t stop smiling! I was SO full of joy! I was SO grateful to be racing in person again! It was fun to chase down other athletes, see spectators out on the course cheering + holding up signs (“Go Stranger” was a big hit), and getting to do what I love again!
Shortly after mile 7, I took in my second SIS gel and then took in another beet pill at mile 8 to keep the energy flowing so I could continue to run strong through all of the hills…did I mention this is a hilly course?! I didn’t even care! I just kept smiling BIG and running STRONG because I GOT TO RACE!
With that BIG smile plastered on my face, joy in my heart, and my feet moving forward, I made my way to the top of the last BIG hill around mile 10 (there were still more rollers, but the BIG ones were behind me). This is where I took in my final SIS gel to keep me running strong all the way through to the finish.
As I approached Drake Stadium (where the finish line is), I was so full of joy…the weather was perfect, I got to see friends I haven’t seen in over a year, I GOT to race IRL, there were real spectators cheering, I got to push my limits without looking at my Garmin once, I felt the strongest physically and mentally while racing that I’ve felt in years!
As I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes, fatigue in my legs, happiness in my heart, and fuel in my soul, all was right in the world! I had SO MUCH JOY! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I ran my second fastest 1/2 marathon EVER (my fastest was 14 years ago and I only missed that finish time by 2 minutes).
“Nerves are a cousin to excitement and excitement is a cousin to gratitude. If you feel nervous, it’s a sign that a VERY BIG THING is unfolding. Be nervous for how good that thing can be.”
Cliff Notes Version: Pinch me! I got to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday for the first time since November 2020! Nerves were high, but it is a good thing to be nervous! I was SO excited and grateful to be racing in person again that I didn’t even care about the ridiculously strong winds! I stayed true to myself and did what I said I was going to do…run the whole race and push my limits even when it became uncomfortable, which it definitely did. Oh, and that VERY BIG THING that unfolded…it was massive amounts of self discovery because I decided to show the f*%k up and #believe I could push myself farther than I thought possible! 💙💛
The race directors at the Des Moines St. Paddy’s 1/2 marathon put on a very safe race with the following Covid guidelines in place:
each athlete had to fill out a survey online before racing to determine their exact start time, which was sent to each athlete via email
any athlete with Covid symptoms was asked to stay home
masks were required before and after the race
athletes were not to arrive to the start line any earlier than 5 minutes before their designated start time
athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral”
1 athlete started every 5 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed in a paper bag with an orange, cookie, and protein bar that athletes picked up off of a table)
spectators were not allowed to congregate at the start/finish area
I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations, but there were small individually sealed water bottles and sports drink available for athletes to grab off of tables at the water stations. Volunteers were not handing them to athletes
all volunteers were masked
Bonus safety measure…Mother Nature provided us with 20+ mph winds so there was very little risk of Covid droplets hanging in the air from others
Longer Version: As I was preparing to start the race, my nerves were REALLY high but I knew those nerves were representatives of excitement and gratitude that I was going to GET to race IN PERSON! I was given the start time of 7:45 am, but I could hear an announcement being made that anyone could start the 1/2 marathon if they were ready (as they had spread people SO far out that they weren’t sending people off every 5 seconds as planned, but more like every minute instead). So I ate my banana, took off my sweats, and made my way to the starting corral where only 2 people were waiting to start. Within 10 seconds of me entering the starting corral, I was off.
I was fumbling a bit after crossing the starting mat as I had to remove my mask and put it away. I put it in a Ziploc bag that also housed my phone, which I put in one of my pockets on my Coeur Sports fitted running shorts.
It was a WINDY morning with temps near 40*F (and a windchill temp closer to freezing) at the start + partly sunny/cloudy…and those winds were 18-20 mph with gusts up to 45 mph from the south. I honestly didn’t even care that it was windy! I was just SO happy to be racing in person!
As I ran, my phone was giving me splits (that were often WAY off), which annoyed me, but I decided to completely ignore it and just go! I typically don’t run with my phone in this mode, but I didn’t want to try to mess with it while running + it was the tracking device that was being used so the Iron Hippie would know where I was. He and Jersey (our baby girl) were bouncing around the course cheering me on. I am so grateful for their love and support!
In previous 1/2 marathons I had only taken in 1 or 2 gels throughout the entire race and typically felt it wasn’t enough. I decided this time I was going to take in 3 gels throughout the race even if I didn’t feel I needed it in that moment…one every 3-4 miles. This would turn out to be a GREAT decision and one I need to be sure to implement in future races as well! This helped me achieve my goal, which was to run the entire race without one walking step and to continue to push myself even when things got uncomfortable. My mindset was strong! I stayed focused and determined.
Around mile 9 I started to really heat up. The sun had risen and I was warm. I should have given my LS jersey to the Iron Hippie at this point, but with the wind I didn’t know if I would still want it, so I decided to keep it on until I saw him next. This was the only thing I really regret about my race.
I ended up ditching my LS at about mile 11 when I saw the Iron Hippie next and was SO grateful for that strong wind and evaporative cooling! Knowing I was getting closer and closer to the finish line, I just kept pushing! Reminding myself to #believe I could do this and that I was here to show the f*%k up and give it all I had!
Shortly after seeing the Iron Hippie for the last time before the finish line, I saw our friend Alex (who also happens to be the event timer for this race). He gave me a high five, which was just the motivation I needed to push hard for that last mile! As I got closer to the Capitol building (where the finish line was), I got even more excited! I was doing this! I was pushing my limits! I was staying strong! I was having fun! I was showing the f*%k up! I was believing in myself! I was confident! I was having fun!
As I approached the finish line, the gratitude I had for being able to race in person was overwhelming…tears in my eyes, fatigue in my legs, happiness in my heart, fuel in my soul. All was right in the world…even if briefly. I had missed this! I had missed racing! I had missed these moments of self discovery…leaving it all out there and seeing what you are really capable of! While this wasn’t a PR race, it was everything I needed in this moment!
“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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
This is just a few weeks late, but better late than never! I raced the Okoboji Triathlon on July 15 and it was so much fun to go short, fast, hard, and have my family cheering for me on bike and run course! This race has a special place in my heart as I get to go home, home to race! It is unique, because it is between the sprint and Olympic distance.
Swim: 960 yards in 17:37 (1:50/100 yards average pace)
The women 40+ were in the last swim wave, so I had lots of people to pass during the entire event. Once I settled into my swim pace, I started pacing many people in the previous waves. This swim was about 1 minute faster than last year without a wetsuit this year.
After exiting the swim, there is about a 200 yard run up to transition. I thought I was being super speedy in transition, but apparently I wasn’t as fast as I thought I was! My transition time was a bit slower than last year.
Bike: 18 miles in 54:10 (19.9 mph average speed)
I quickly settled in on the bike and began to climb right away. I was very aware of surrounding athletes and was SUPER pumped that not one athlete passed me on the bike! The last 6 miles of the bike is full of short, punchy hill climbs, and I was ready to punch back! With about 1.5 miles left to ride, I saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad on the course cheering me on!
I quickly racked my bike, changed my shoes, and took off on the run!
Run: 4.5 miles in 38:48 (8:37 min/mile average pace)
I’ve run this course many times and knew there were many rolling hills, so I didn’t push as hard out of T2 as I probably should have and could have. About 1 mile into the run I was passed by the only female who passed me for the entire run (this cost me 1st in my age group and 10th overall female). I should have hung onto her to see what my body was capable of, but I let her go. With about 1.5 miles to the finish line, I again saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad. I was revived with their high-5s and cheers! I allowed that to carry me all the way to the finish line!
This week…was all about chasing dreams! Putting in the work both physically and mentally to turn my dreams into a reality. My dreams won’t come true if I don’t do the work to get there, so this is what the work looked like:
Swim: 9100 yards
I had some challenging swims this week…they challenged me to try to keep a consistent pace, which is something I REALLY struggle with. Thanks to Coach Kelly for continually pushing me to swim at a more consistent pace!
Bike: 58.8 miles
I had a couple of key workouts this week on the bike to help me build my bike strength and push my threshold farther and farther from my comfort zone. I must say…I love the challenge! I love the feeling of success after pushing myself WAY out of my comfort zone! I love to push my limits and find that they are not the limits they once were! I love to find that what was once hard is now easy! Hard work is definitely paying off and I’m super excited about it! Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness for making me #trackcatstrong this year!
Run: 14.9 miles
I only had a couple of runs this week, but I was super lucky to get to run with a girlfriend on Friday morning! I was also SUPER lucky to have such an amazing outdoor run on Sunday morning in the misty cool weather!
I had some good strength sessions this week! Box jumps definitely scare me, but I’m working to overcome my fear and become more #fearless. While I’m afraid of missing the box, I know I’m getting stronger by incorporating them into my schedule. Thanks Coach Kelly for pushing me out of my comfort zone! I also had an amazing home yoga session thanks to Amy’s yoga download suggestion. It was the most perfect yoga session for me! Thanks Amy!
Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 22 minutes
I had a massage on Friday…OUCH! After all of the hard work I’ve put my body through in the last couple of weeks, it was much needed! Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping my body happy and healthy as I push it to new levels!
I received my belated birthday present in the mail from my tri sis from down under! I can’t wait to read these two books!
Breakthrough Nutrition‘s Goodnight formula is the best! It helps me sleep and I don’t wake up groggy in the morning. This is the perfect #huginamug for recovery + sleep! Take advantage of a 10% discount by using code WELOVESNBS at checkout!
Quote of the Week:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only dream but also act, must not only plan but also believe.” ~ Anatole France
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 🙂