“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
Doug and I arrived in AZ on Thursday, where we proceeded to build my bike, check in, grab D’s bike and do our workouts. We shipped my bike via Bike Flights which was a fantastic way to go: no airline fees and Timmy arrived in perfect condition! That night we were invited to a rather interesting (hello politics) dinner party with our Homestay and guests, which somehow included Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell.
Friday also consisted of a swim, bike and run, as well as a Coeur Sports Team dinner. My love for this team just continues to grow. I love all the giggles, smiles, meeting new teammates and catching up with old ones!
Saturday I was able to have some fantastic french toast and catch with my two girlfriends, before racking Timmy and dropping gear bags off. The rest of the day consisted of New Girl episodes and laying/napping in bed all afternoon/evening.I slept rather well Sat night, which is becoming a little more normal before a full ironman. I was so fortunate to have Alex and Emily there, as well as one of my athletes Dana. I’m not sure why, but I was so emotional. I literally just burst into tears when Amy came over (sorry Amy). Before I knew it, it was time to get in my new Roka Wetsuit and get in line.
Swim: 4200 yds – 1:13.27, (Actual 4,315 yds – 1:13.04, 1:41/100yds.), 9th AG * PR
Once in line, I found one of Doug’s athlete’s and my Coeur Sports teammate Ashley (who is strong and finished with a stress fracture!). Finding these two kept me so calm that I was ready to just jump into the chilly 65 degree water and just swim! I felt great as soon as I got in the water and started passing people. I kicked myself for not seeding myself faster. I reminded myself of all the swim work I’ve put in, focused on my form and kept pressing on. The buoys seemed like they were passing relatively quickly, but it was also still a little dark. I noticed how beautiful the sunrise was and turned my focus to getting to that red buoy.Eventually, I found some feet and stayed on those until just before the turn buoy. Once we made the turn, I started chasing as many pink caps as I could, with one goggle full of water. At this point the river/lake was pretty choppy – I definitely wasn’t expecting that BUT it was great as I was focusing on my strength!
I felt like I moved up the entire time and really pushed the last quarter reminding myself that these were the last yards of the season. It paid off, I have a shiny new swim PR, although I might have to owe it to my brand new Roka Maverick Elite Wetsuit (yes – I was that person).
Gear: Roka Maverick Elite Wetsuit, Roka R1 Goggles (can’t speak enough about these – still no fogging!!), Garmin 735xt.
Bike: 112 miles – 5:48.30: 19.28mph, (5:41.11, 19.5mph), 7rd AG *PR
Oh my lordy where to start. I was SO excited to go ride. Heading out of town, the wind, oh the wind and I couldn’t see out of my L eye from the water. Fortunately, it cleared up after a few miles. When I could see, I tried to just buckle down and be as aero as possible. HR was good, Watts were WAY low and I just prayed they would come up. Around mile 16, a HUGE peloton of 20+ riders FLEW by me. I was beyond annoyed and reminded myself Karma. Well, wouldn’t you know, as a female rider passed me, then braked heading up the hill, putting me into her draft zone, and I wound up with a drafting penalty. I was livid as the group was still in eyesight. I told myself to hold back the frustration and not get another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Of course, none of the riders from the peloton were at the penalty tent when I arrived. I focused on calming myself down, filling my aero bottle and gosh darn it, take advantage of the time to PEE.
From then on, I tried to keep the demons at bay. I attempted to focus on what I could control (nutrition, hydration, etc), but this was my hardest bike to date. I was in a dark place the entire time. I cried 3-4x because everything was uncomfortable and I wasn’t having fun. I thought about how it would be more fun to get off, have a few drinks and cheer with my best friends. I thought about how stupid triathlon was. I thought about my failed last long ride where I got off 2 hours before I was supposed to and sobbed in the corner. I vowed to never do another ironman again.My saving grace: my best friends Alex and Em and my teammate Meaghan. Alex and Em (including J & W) were cheering every lap, they gathered how rough it was going on the bike for me, and they kept pushing me on. Meaghan, bless her sole, cheered every time she saw me on the out and backs. All I could do was smile at these little moments of love as I prayed for my run legs and kept myself together as I pedaled to T2.
Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Zele Tri Top (so perfect), Coeur Sports Team Shorts, Rudy Project Aero Helmet, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, Shimano SH-WT60 Triathlon Shoes, 2 bottles of NBS hydration (love that hawaii flavor), 1.5 bottles of Osmo, 5 bottles of gatorade, 6 Gu Stroop Waffles, Base Salt every 10 miles.
Run: 26.2 miles – 3:35.44, (8:14/mi), 3rd AG *PR
Once arriving into T2, I sat in a chair and I sobbed. The volunteers freaked out and kept telling me I’d be ok. I dumped my stuff and just asked if they could help me put stuff on as I was crying. I was ok, just really tired and sore. Then it was time to run.
I headed out to T2 unsure what to expect. There was one more cry session when I saw Alex, Em and Amy (seriously, I promise I’m not THAT crazy) but then I managed to pull myself together. The miles started to flow by. My HR was right where it should be and my pace was great right around 8 min/mi. After the first out and back, Alex was able to let me know that I was around 8th place and that there were 3 girls in front that I could catch if I held it together. So, I followed a pattern of coke, gatorade, a lick of salt and kept running.
Things started to hurt around mile 14 – which was a lot later than I expected – but I had the goals in mind and I was running well. I wanted to really put together a good marathon. I started focusing on running aid station to aid station and mile to mile. Thank goodness for the Coeur signs and group at mile 20, I may have given you the dirtiest look, but you were so wonderful and deep down it was what I needed. There was a slight pity party around miles 21-22 but when I crossed 23, I reminded myself that these were the last few miles and I always have more to give (Thanks T. Knibb). So I ran with my heart and I gave it all I had.Gear/Nutrition: Coeur Sports Team Tri Top, Coeur Sports Team Shorts, Coeur Team Trucker Hat, Smith Pivlock Sunnies, NB 1500 Shoes, Feetures Socks, 3 Huma Gels, all the gatorade, coke, water at aid stations, Base Salt.
I crossed the line at 10:44.27, was 4th AG, and the 58th F. Thank you to my wonderful teammate, Elissa, for catching me at the line and helping me get in a wheelchair. I went to medical for about ~20 minutes as I was a little lightheaded, nauseous, and couldn’t really stand on my own. I was ok after some chicken broth and moved on my way! Even the fun trip to the medic couldn’t stop my smiling from running a 3:35!!! I was SO excited, not to mention when I learned that I made my first IM podium!
With that, I’ve put together a tough long year between races, moving and life changes. I’m so grateful for the village that helps me day in and day out. To Doug for always being there and dealing with the crazy bouts of emotions. To my Mom and family for the unconditional support even if they don’t understand. To Alex for always understanding. To my wonderful friends who never question my sanity, love me because I’m crazy, and always pick me up when I need it. To Coeur Sports for always keeping me comfy and caring so much about all of us.
Hello off season!