Whoa!  So, there went eight months.  And seven races. When I started racing as a pro this year, there were a lot of things I wanted to do.  Buy recovery boots. (Fail)  Stop eating cherry sours so often. (Fail) Keep my apartment clean and become a master of time management. (Fail) Blog regularly. (Double fail).  But, we move on. Backing up a bit– I raced my first pro race, the San Juan 70.3 in March.  Then I did five more 70.3s over the next four months – New Orleans, Chattanooga, Victoria, Coeur d’Alene, Budapest.  It was an exhausting whirlwind of travel, learning new lessons, making lots of mistakes, but generally exceeding my own expectations for the season.  Blogging just never happened.  But Ironman Mont Tremblant was just too much of an experience not to share, so I’m wiping the slate clean and starting anew. Maybe I’ll go back and review those six 70.3s later, or at least drop some pictures. It was after race #5, the Coeur d’Alene 70.3, and during one of the only good weeks of training I’ve had in the past eight months  (racing has gone decently, training not so much),  that I came up with the […]

2015 came and went, and with one exception, I forgot to blog. But despite my silence, a lot went on that I don’t want to forget, and I’ve enjoyed reading other’s year-in-review posts, so I thought I’d put together my own “Best and Worst” of 2015 by AirDropping a bunch of random iPhone pictures to give a little snapshot of what went on this year, mostly in my training and racing life.   The ordering is random and flighty …but then, so am I. Best Training Spot Madison, Wisconsin.   Always.  The Wisconsin Love runs strong here.  I spent almost as many weekends in Madison this summer as I did in Illinois.  The memories are vivid – hill repeats in the rain with Nick.  Getting dropped like a bad habit by Bob, and texting him from the gas station to “forget about me, I’m having a moment here.”  Suffering through the hottest and most humid day I can remember in Madison with Machee, Liz and Chris.  Stopping with Kristy for cheese curds that were desperately needed. Chatting with Erin and accidentally extending my ride to 7.5 hours because the conversation was so good.  Sliding out on freshly-chipped roads.  I put in […]

Last year in Kona, two days after the World Championship that I’d started but not finished, I went for an easy swim at the Kona Aquatic Center.  While taking a break between intervals, I had a long chat with Karlyn Pipes, a Kona resident and pretty famous and fast masters’ swimmer (although I didn’t know it at the time)  At Kona Aquatic Center- this year Karlyn was friendly , and eventually I spilled my whole story –how I’d started the race fit and ready but eventually collapsed 15 miles short of the finish line.  I just don’t know what happened, I told her.  I honestly don’t know what went wrong, I don’t know what I could have done differently, I don’t know how to fix it. She shook her head, having heard it a million times.  This island, this race….. it’s like no other and it can take the best down with no warning. She shared some stories, she gave me some tips, she helped me with my “butterfly”, and as I was getting out of the pool she said,  “the most important thing to know if you want to beat this race …. you’ve got to respect Madame Pele, […]

Despite having to really drag myself through several weeks of literal and figurative darkness and fear and all that stuff prior to Ironman Arizona, by the time we arrived in Tempe, I was actually in quite a good state of mind.  I knew (I’m learning!) that in order to have a successful race, I needed to do whatever I could to keep the pre-race anxiety very, very low.  My method of doing that?   I made the trip short and sweet, not flying into Phoenix until Friday morning.  I kept my head down, focused on myself, and tried to stay away from the noise, popping in to Ironman Village only to check in and handle the necessities but hustling out of there and staying away from the buzz as much as I could.  I mostly did my workouts away from the race site, skipping the pre-race practice swim in favor of the local Y and riding/running from my hotel.  And mostly, I surrounded myself with close friends and family and people who could keep me laughing Spotted on pre-race ride.  I knew it’d be a good day. My mood the day before the race and the morning of was ridiculously good, […]

I am the kind of person who needs instant gratification and for that reason, haven’t always been the biggest fan of Ironman Race Reports that are split into parts.  The cliffhangers leave me twitchy….I start enjoying the story and just want to know what happens next!   But, I’m also the kind of person that is apparently unable to write in a cogent or concise manner, and I have so much to say about the time before Ironman Arizona.  So, I’m going to go ahead and write a separate pre-race blog.  It’s not the first time I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite and it certainly won’t be the last. Last year at Kona, Timex put these cool magnets in the race goody bags: The idea was that you’d rip out the pieces of the magnet to reflect your actual finishing time in the race, and it’d serve as sort of a souvenir of the day.  I, obviously, did it differently.  Instead of punching out the pieces to reflect what I had done, I punched them out to show what I wanted to do, and then I stuck that magnet on the refrigerator where I’d see it multiple times a day.    […]

I didn’t really want to write this blog….which is why, for four-and-a-half weeks, I didn’t.  Why dwell on failures?  Why relive the pain? But, there was something in the back of my mind that said that it was important to be honest, to be real, to get it out there, to process it.    And I had enough awkward conversations involving tentative “so…..what happened in Kona?” questions that I figured I might as well get my story out there.  So here we go. Pre-Race Swmming At Dig Me Beach I went to Kona with high hopes, fantastic fitness, near flawless preparation, and riding a wave of confidence after having the race of my life in Mont-Tremblant in early September.   And I got there, and…..I failed.   I know that’s a word that tends to make people flinch a bit, to say “oh, but you tried your best, it’s really all about the journey, you didn’t fail, it just wasn’t your day,” etc. etc. etc., but I refuse to back away from the “f” word because it’s accurate.  My day ended with me lying face-down and semi-conscious on the Queen K at around mile 11. 15 miles short of the finish line.   That’s […]

This is going to sound terribly cliche, and for that I apologize, but the night of the World Championship 70.3, as I was standing on stage receiving my award for winning my age group, I had the very distinct feeling that I was dreaming.  Two women in black dresses and stilettos walked towards me, and one took and held my trophy as the other one started to put a blue and black jacket with the words “World Champion” onto me, like the friggin’ Masters’ Tournament or something, and it just felt surreal.  I didn’t know how to act or what to do, I’m not that experienced on podiums, so I just looked out at my parents and shrugged my shoulders in a giggly, dorky, and shocked sort of way.  I have vivid dreams from time to time, and I just kept thinking, at some point I’m going to hear an alarm, I’m going to wake up, it’s going to be 4:00 AM and it’ll be time to get ready for the race, and I’ll go downstairs, eat my pre-race breakfast, and say to my friends, “I had the craziest dream last night…” Is this happening? That Sunday in Mont-Tremblant, it […]

Well….summer happened. And I forgot to blog. When I last wrote here, about a million years ago, I was in a bit of a state when it came to triathlon. I was still dealing with my Coeur d’Alene meltdown/ DNF, still not sure how I felt about this sport and how much it’d taken over my life, full of self-doubt, just kinda lost. I spent the last two months working to get my triathlon mojo back. It was, without sugar coating, really hard. I won’t bore you with the details except to say there were a lot of changes that I made– in my mindset, in my actions, in my general approach to this sport and my life as it is right now. But, spoiler alert—the mojo is back. Mission successful. One of the things I did to help myself re-find the passion was to race frequently and in a totally new way. I’ve always approached my race schedule conservatively, doing fewer races with lots of time in between them to recover and regroup. This summer, post-CDA, was different. I raced a lot for me—three races in less than a month, including two half ironmans that were only two weeks […]

Welp, I am long overdue for a blog post. And this one, I’ve written, deleted, and re-written so many times.  For a while I considered just not writing it, pretending like everything was great.  But….I’ve always wanted to be honest (as much as I can in a public space), this blog serves much like a journal for me, and writing is cathartic, so this while this may seem self-indulgent and silly, it’s me and it’s my blog, so here goes…. Coeur d’Alene I did an Ironman a few weeks ago in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  More accurately, I started an Ironman.  I quit halfway(ish) through.  And then I stayed totally silent about it, here, on Facebook, on Twitter, to some extent in real life, because I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t know how to tell the truth, and I wasn’t sure I even knew what the truth was.  I didn’t know what people would think and I feared being judged.   It’s fun and easy to write and post pictures when things are going great, when everything is effortless.  It’s a lot harder to talk about it when it’s a struggle. It’s also hard to talk about the Ironman […]

Before I’d even started the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii last year, I knew I wanted to make the return trip in 2014.  There was something about that place- a buzz, an energy- that drew me in.  Then the race happened.  I was generally happy but not completely satisfied with the outcome, and the desire became even stronger— the desire to do whatever it took to qualify for the 2014 race, and to return to the Big Island wiser and stronger.   Obligatory Hawaii Picture Largely due to a fear of putting all my eggs in one basket, I set up the first part of my season so that I’d have two shots at a Kona slot. Attempt #1 was this past weekend’s race-  the Eagleman 70.3 in Cambridge, Maryland, one of only a few half Ironmans world-wide that qualify for Kona and the only one in the continental United States.   Attempt #2 is Ironman Coeur d’Alene, a short (and perhaps foolish) three weeks later…possibly not my wisest decision, scheduling-wise, but I have a smart coach and she managed to figure out a way to train me for both an extremely competitive half-Ironman and an Ironman at the same […]