My dad flew in Thursday from Milwaukee, Wisconsin so that we could drive together to Tempe, Arizona. I picked him up from the San Diego airport, and we continued on to Tempe. Friday, we picked up my mom and sister from the airport, and I checked in. Friday was mostly logistics, and chillin’.
Saturday – we woke up early and headed down to the expo area, so that I could get all of my shake out workouts in. Unfortunately, there were a few bumps in the road, that made my stress levels sky rocket, but thanks to my amazing sherpas we got everything figured out. I needed to switch out my brake pads, but forgot the right tool, so I had to drop off my bike, and have the bike techs there do it. After dropping off my bike, I headed over to the swim, and I was going to get my swim shake out workout in, after putting on my wetsuit, swim cap, and goggles, I headed over to the entrance where people were getting in line to enter the water. They ask, “do you have your timing chip?” I said, “my timing chip?” Why do I need my timing chip?” They said, “I’m sorry, but you have to have your timing chip on in order to do the swim practice.” I thought to myself, seriously? Never at Ironman Wisconsin did I have to have my timing chip to do the swim practice, so I didn’t even think about having it with me for Ironman Arizona. That was a bit frustrating. So, my parents went back to the hotel to get my timing chip, and I picked up my bike, and got my bike workout in. When I was finished, my parents were back with my timing chip, I hit the water for a quick swim, and then I headed out on a quick run. My mom, kindly, waited in the looooong line to drop my bike in transition, and when I got back it was perfect timing for me to drop off my bike in transition, and my transition bags. After that it was feet up in the hotel room, and rest. Pre-race dinner was spaghetti and turkey meatballs.
After packet pick up!
Before they told me I needed my timing chip to participate in the practice swim. :(
Yay! Practice swim over!
Strawberry banana smoothie at N’Counter. Love that place!
I woke up at 4:20am, hopped in the shower like usual (it wakes me up and makes me feel ready to start the day), and finished some last minute “to do’s” and headed down to the race start. My dad dropped my sister, mom, and I off and I went down to transition to put my water bottles in my cages, and drop off bike special needs (I didn’t do run special needs this time, because I’ve never used it). My mom and dad went to the bridge that goes over the swim course, to secure a spot, while my sister stayed with me, until I headed to the start.
Double french braids – otherwise known as speedy braids are in!
My pre-race pump up song!
Swim: 2.4 miles – 1:15:59 – 1:58/100m – 21st AG
Leading into the race, I hadn’t put as much time in the pool as I had leading into Wisconsin, due to my bike crash 6 weeks ago, and some plaguing intercostal pain around my ribs and shoulder blade. My intention was to just get through the swim. As usual the first 300-400m were chaos. But usually after about 400m it clears out. I would sight and look for clear water, and somehow as soon as I found it, so did 10 other people. This swim honestly was pretty frustrating, there were people zig zagging all over the place, which seems silly as it’s pretty much a straight line out, and a straight line back. Anyway, when I got to the half way point I looked at my watch for a hot second, and saw 35min!!! I was pumped. I thought I can totally make 1hr 10min. And then when you think the swim would get better, it got worse for me. Some dude, was swimming right next to me. Which is fine, except for the fact that he kept bumping into me, I would speed up to get clear water, and when I went to breathe, he would still be right there. WHY?!?! Go find your own clear water I thought. About 400m into the second half of the swim, I went to breathe, and this guy ended up punching me right in the eye, taking my goggles off, and me having to keep them from falling to the bottom of the lake, and so I had to stop, tread water, and put my goggles back on. I started swimming, and no joke, he was there again, he eventually zig zagged his way across 10 other people cutting them off, and I eventually had clear water for maybe all of 500m of the swim. Oh well. I was pretty bummed about my swim time, but I quickly let go of it, and moved on to the bike.
Coming out of the swim!
Bike: 112 miles – 5:48:32 – 19.28mph – 12th AG
I was pumped to get on the bike. Surprisingly after my crash, this is where I spent most of my time. Because nothing hurt when I was on the bike. I also knew this bike course was NOTHING like Ironman Wisconsin, and that would mean a bike PR. I thought I would bike around 6hrs which would be about a 20min PR for me, but I ended up crushing that. Beth, texted the night before the race, and she said go HARD on the bike. And I did just that. The bike is 3 loops, which actually wasn’t too bad. It broke up the race really well. We had some wind, but nothing that became frustrating. We had a head wind on the way out on the first loop, but on the second loop the wind changed, and we ended up having a headwind going back into town on the 2nd and 3rd loops. Because the bike is 3 loops, it makes for a pretty congested course, causing people to draft accidentally. It was hard to keep 5 bike lengths, but I did my best to keep 2-3. What was disappointing was seeing non-accidental draft PACKS of people go by, seriously 5-10 people in these packs, drafting like they were in a road race. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was more disappointing was seeing the officials go by, and not give any penalties to these groups. And what was even more disappointing was seeing people I knew in these draft packs. I can honestly say, that I’m proud of my bike split because I biked an honest race.
Heading out on my second loop!
It was hard to gage my nutrition because I’ve never biked that fast during an Ironman before, so at the 3hr mark I had my usual bonk breaker bar, then usually 2hrs later I would have my honey stinger waffle, but instead I opted to just take in a couple gel blasts, because I didn’t want to be too full going into the run. I would rather be hungry, than have bathroom problems. A side note on this course: it is hilarious to watch people “pee” on the bike, there is no hiding from it on this course. Everyone sees everything! In fact, you really had to pay attention to keep your distance if you saw someone getting ready to go, to prevent from any backlash. ha! #gross
Overall I’m stoked with my bike, and I had a ton of fun on the course! Always riding into town was a blast, as it was packed with people cheering! So fun! I ended up with a 31min bike PR. SWEET!
Run: 26.2 miles – 4:19:10 – 9:53min/mile – 11th AG
Honestly since Ironman Wisconsin, I hadn’t done one speed run, no tempo runs, no fartlek runs, and no finish fast on my long runs. My first two weeks back at training after IMWI were just getting back into things, and easy runs, and then I crashed, and well after that running was really hard, I dealt with a few small injuries that kept me from running hard, and so I knew this run wasn’t going to be my best ironman run to date. So, my goal was honestly go out comfortably hard, until I couldn’t anymore. And that’s exactly what happened. I felt GREAT at the beginning of the run, and was running about 8:40min/miles on average for the first 10 miles, and then things went down hill. Not because I didn’t have the speed, but I didn’t have the endurance to maintain that speed for another 16 miles. My family was giving me splits of the girls ahead of me, and I would try, but then I just didn’t have the physical ability to run ‘em down like I did at Wisconsin. Part of me was disappointed, but at the same time, part of me was soooo happy and thankful to have made it to the start line safe and relatively healthy. Every mile after mile 10, was about smiling, and just checking off one mile at a time. I told myself, every step you take gets you closer to that finish line. It was a looooong 16 miles, averaging about 10:30 pace. I can’t even begin to explain that amount of support on that run course. There were soooo many surprises along the way, both people racing and cheering, that were calling out my name. I can’t thank you all enough. There were twitter friends, instagram friends, college alumni friends, of course my family, my old coach, colleagues from when I worked at Active, you name it! It was a run I’ll never forget. Thank you all for your amazing support and thank you to everyone who was tracking me throughout the day from all over the world! I seriously feel so thankful to have you all in my life. I gave it all I had on that day, and could not be happier about how it all went.
Pointing at my mom as I head out on the run course!
Hanging in there!
Overall: 140.6 miles – 11:30:19 – 11th AG – and a 26min PR!
Finishing with my signature cartwheel!
My mom and I post race
Two Ironmans in two months and a bike crash – I have never felt sooo happy to cross a finish line! As I crossed the line, tears streamed down my face out of pure joy, satisfaction, and relief that I had done it. I had overcome a challenge I had set for myself (two ironmans in two months), and an extra challenge that was thrown in there (a bad bike crash). I am thankful. Now it’s time for OFF SEASON!!!!
Thank you to Coeur Sports, Rehab United, Nytro, Rêve Endurance Coaching (Beth Walsh)