Ironman World Championship

 

It has been 3 weeks since the Ironman World Championship and I have finally decided I should sit down and put some thoughts on paper. This experience, this race has far exceeded any and all expectations I had. I have many years of experience volunteering at the World Championship but it is so different being a participant.

David and I got to Kona 2 weeks prior to race day. I thought this would allow me to train on the course and acclimate, as best as I could, to the heat and the wind. Well, that was one of the best decisions we made. It was great to be able to train on the Queen K, Ali’i Drive and in the Energy Lab. I was able to ride almost the entire bike course during those 2 weeks which was a real eye opener. We had sun and clouds and unbelievable winds on some of those days, very humbling, but so much fun as well.

I was also able to enjoy the town with less crowds and relax a bit without the stress of work or other distractions. We hung out with friends, went out to dinner, went swimming in the ocean almost every day and just enjoyed island life! And ate lots and lots of Poki, my favorite.

I did have one big stressor that was hanging over my head (other then the race). As the winner of the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference race slot, I was asked to speak about “My Road to Kona”. I was well prepared, having practiced my speech many times, but I never made it through the entire talk without a meltdown. This has been an extremely emotional journey for me and there was no hiding that. It was amazing to me how much lighter I felt after my talk and could then just focus on having the best day possible. Check out my you tube video, https://youtu.be/MCGY4YACpKk  . Unfortunately, our video shut off right before I thanked all of those who supported me throughout this journey.

My brother joined us the week before the race and my parents several days before the race. It was so much fun to have them experience the energy and electricity surrounding the race. To have them see first hand why I am so passionate about triathlon and the community and why I keep coming back to Kona year after year after year.

Race day, what can I say, other then it was everything I could ever imagine and then some. It was hard, quite possibly the hardest race I have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I have had other really hard races, both emotionally and physically, but this race was different. I was racing with the best triathletes in the world, in the lava fields of the Big Island, with unrelenting sun, heat and wind in every direction. But, I loved every single minute of it. I don’t really recall a race where I had a smile on my face the entire race despite the brutal conditions. It was an absolutely perfect day in every way and as Mike Reilly stated when I crossed the finish line, “Dreams do come true”!

So, if you want to be inspired, check out this youtube video, you wont be disappointed. https://youtu.be/rdCW_777CE8

Ironman Bike       Ironman Run       Ironman finishline

 

35 days

Black Diamind Half Ironman Black Diamond Halkf Ironman

35 days and I will find myself in the waters of Kailua-Kona bay with 1600 other amazing athletes. For me, as for most people, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is a where I get to race, on the same course, on the same day as the best triathletes in the world. I didn’t secure a spot as most of the 1600 athletes do, with a qualifying Ironman race. I am not an elite athlete, not the fastest or strongest in my age group by any means, but I will be there at the starting line. I have volunteered in the medical tent at the World Championship race for the past 8 years and was fortunate enough to be rewarded for my dedication to the Ironman community.

Dedication is the quality of being committed to a task or purpose and training for a race like this takes 110% and then some. For some of my other 7 Ironman races I had a coach, but not all of them. This time was different, this time I decided to hire a coach (Complete Human Performance coach Jon Fecik). Kona is not just any other Ironman, it is the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. I have had the utmost commitment and dedication to my training for this race. I am not saying that I didn’t miss workouts, I did. I work full time, have a husband and a dog and well, there is just life that happens. I tried to be as consistent as possible everyday and not miss key workouts. I was honest with myself and with my coach about what I could do and what I couldn’t. I have made sacrifices along with my family. And I hope, come race day, it all pays off.

I have had a stellar racing year and I believe it is all due to my commitment and dedication.  I ran my first 50 miler, my first Boston marathon, had my marathon PR and most recently, my Half Ironman PR by almost 10 minutes. Almost 10 minutes faster then I was back in 2006, when I was 36 years old.

This says 2 things to me, one is that good coaching really works. If you have a good coach/athlete relationship, the athlete can really thrive, but the athlete needs to give 110% too. Second, commitment, dedication and perseverance pay off. You get out what you put in and then some. So no matter what it is in life (not just racing) give it 110% and don’t ever sell yourself short.

A wise man named Abraham Lincoln once said ” Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

 

Change Your Story

Kinetic Sports Rehab is one of my biggest supporters and the feeling is mutual. I am not just saying this to promote their business or get you to click on their site, I have no invested interest if you do or you don’t. I do know that I would not be talking about them if I didn’t believe in them and what they do. They focus on functional fitness in a way that I have never experienced before. A combination of sports chiropractic doctors (http://www.kineticsportsrehab.com) who do soft tissue work, along with rehab specialists that work with you on the floor. For me, this has been a winning combination.

My first experience with the staff there was after a 19 mile trail run that went horribly wrong. I was in pain, in tears and thought my days of endurance sports were over. They have supported me throughout my journey of rehab and the realization that I would be able to compete again.

Since I started with them several years ago I have accomplished so much, my qualification race that took me to Boston, the Boston marathon itself, my first 50 mile trail run and now my training for the Ironman World Championship race in Kona on October 14.

Why am I talking about this, because I believe that there are no limits. It is all about your mindset, your attitude, your perseverance, your commitment, your drive and your dedication to what you really want in life. I heard a saying recently that stuck with me, ” The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world  needs dreamers who do.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach. So as my cousin Deb would say, Go and Be Great!

Check out this amazing video that Nate Dietz (http://nathanieldietz.com) from Kinetic Sports Rehab put together. https://youtu.be/4QjHo6RCs8Q

 

Not an individual sport

Most people think of triathlon and running as individual sports. Although we participate as individuals, most times, it takes a village. I have had so much help along the way from so many people. I need to thank these people as I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for them!

My parents have been huge supporters of mine. Coming to as many races as possible. They were unable to join me for my first Ironman in Australia but they would not sleep until I was out of the water and then watched the live feed until they saw me cross the finish line. They have been my biggest cheerleaders throughout this journey into endurance sports.

My friend and first triathlon coach, Eddie Herd, was a huge influence on me and a huge inspiration.

My husband, David, has  been amazing support. Not only does he encourage and inspire me everyday but we get to spend a lot of time training together.  Not sure I could have done a lot of this without him.

More recently, as I get older, I have also needed more help staying healthy. Kinetic Sports Rehab has helped me change my story. When I first saw them several years ago I thought my days of endurance sports was over. Well, here I am many marathons, ultras, crossfit comps later, and I am now having the most amazing year ever, so thank you.(https://www.kineticsportsrehab.com/)

G4 athlete came on board more recently and has been an amazing supplement to Kinetic, with more directed physical and massage therapy. ( http://g4athlete.com/ ) Then came my friends at Superfeet who have been so amazing and supportive, making sure my feet as well as my body stay healthy. ( https://www.superfeet.com/ )

I have been through a few crossfit gyms since living in Seattle. My first experience was with Mike Ross from Sodo Crossfit Endurance, now part of Crossfit RE. Mike, along with Darrick and BeckyJo of RE have always been huge supporters of mine. ( http://sodocfe.com/ ).  Currently I belong to Crossfit Felix and have met some amazing people there. (http://www.crossfitfelix.com/ )

My current coach, Complete Human Performance coach Jon Fecik, has been pushing me to be the best athlete I can be and preparing me for the biggest race of my “career”. Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 14. Thank you Jon for your guidance in this journey. (https://www.completehumanperformance.com/jon-fecik/ )

So, when you are riding, or running or swimming or whatever your sport of choice is, don’t forgot all the people that helped you along the way.

Thank you to all of my friends and family for all your support, past, present and future!