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,  . 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.

Ironman Bike       Ironman Run       Ironman finishline


“Some days you win and some days you learn”

I recently heard a quote that resonated with us today. “Some days you win and some days you learn”. Well today was both for us. David had a difficult day today at the Tunnel Light Marathon. He knew at mile 19 that it was not going to be a BQ kind of day. So instead of pushing through and potentially injuring himself, he backed off a bit, and met up with me at mile 24.5. I was pushing really hard, I hurt really bad and was not sure how much harder I could push. He was a ray of sunshine when I saw him in front if me, he had amazing words of encouragement and he knew I had it in me to not only get a BQ today but a PR by over 3 minutes. He kept me motivated to the very end and despite how bad he was feeling, he focused all his attention on getting me to that finish line. He is truly the world’s best training partner, my best friend and an amazing husband and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

This race was about 2 things, training for Kona and qualifying for Boston. I was fortunate enough today that all the stars aligned, the weather was perfect, I felt good when I woke this morning, my nutrition was on target, and I didn’t have to stop at the porta-potty during the race.

David at Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon 2016

I was so tempted to stop and take a picture along the way as this course is unbelievably beautiful. Nice wide non-technical gravel trail with about 2200 feet of drop over the entire marathon. Along with the 2 mile long, pitch black, cold Snoqualmie tunnel, trees as far as the eye can see, several trestle bridges with amazing views, it is easy on the quads and makes for a super fast course.  What more could one ask for in a marathon. I highly recommend this race or even just taking a hike on the Iron Horse Trail on a nice day. There are a handful of opportunities to do this race and all are Boston certified.

In the beginning

Someone recently asked me how I got started in the world of endurance sports. Well, it has been quite the journey. I was not an athletic kid, and as a matter of fact, in high school I would do anything to avoid PE class. Fast forward 10+ years and this was me. I woke up one day, somewhere near my 30th birthday, and decided that being an overweight, unhealthy couch potato was no longer the lifestyle I wanted. So I joined the local YMCA, started walking on the treadmill, changed my eating habits, learned how to use the equipment and began to see changes. I started to loose weight fairly quickly but thought that if I could loose weight walking, I wonder how fast I could loose it running. So, I began to run on the treadmill. And when I say run, I really mean jog, and that lasted about 15 seconds until my legs and lungs were burning. But, I didn’t give up. I would do run/walk intervals and slowly increase the run portion of the interval until I could run an entire mile without stopping. From there I eventually ran my first 5K. I remember thinking there was no way I would be able to run the entire race without walking, but I did and I finished in just over 30 minutes. A very proud moment for me. That race is one of my most memorable experiences, even today.

So a 5K turned into a 10K turned into a half marathon and eventually my first marathon, The New York City Marathon, November 2004. My family was there to cheer me on along with the thousands of people that line the streets, but my body was not happy and I walked a good part of the race, from mile 18 on. Again, I didn’t give up there. I did run 2 more marathons, Las Vegas x 2, before turning to the world of triathlon.

My triathlon experience was very much like my road running, first a sprint, rather about 50 of them, then some Olympic distance races, then eventually a half ironman and then my first full Ironman race, Ironman Western Australia in December 2007. This was an incredible day and a huge accomplishment for someone who was a former couch potato.

Fast forward 15 years from that overweight, unhealthy, couch potato and here I am. 7 Ironman finishes, over a dozen marathons, including Boston, dozens of trail races, numerous local crossfit competitions and I am now training for the biggest Ironman race of all, Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 14.

This is my lifestyle now, I am proud of it and grateful that I get to spend everyday doing what I love with someone I love. So remember, it is never too late to make a change for the better, whatever that may be.

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.(

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

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. ( ).  Currently I belong to Crossfit Felix and have met some amazing people there. ( )

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. ( )

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!