Never Say Never

09/29/2014

My performance at Ironman Los Cabos in March 2013 was very lackluster mostly due to my bum foot but also partially due to temperatures of one MILLION degrees (for the record, I do NOT do well in extreme heat)! I went in to the race the most prepared, the most fit and the most excited I had ever been for any of my Ironman races (well, maybe excluding the first), but also injured and hesitant as to how my foot would hold up. I did all I could to put my foot to the back of my mind on race day and told myself I would finish the race over hell or high water. After losing my timing chip while diving over waves to start the race, I had an eerie feeling the day was not going to go as planned. The “calm swim” in the Sea of Cortez I’d experienced the day prior ended up being oddly similar to swimming in the crashing waves of the ocean; the nice cool temps and awesome breeze that we had the 3-4 days leading up to the race picked up to all out gusts on race day; the “rolling bike course” (as advertised) ended up being what I can only classify is border-line mountainous climbing over 8,000 feet; and the “flat shaded” run (as advertised) was anything but flat and shaded. I guess that is the downfall of doing an inagural event. Lesson learned: the Mexican Triathlon Association is a bunch of false advertisers 🙂

I came back from Cabo with my tail between my legs and questioning if triathlon/running could continue to be a part of my life. I was depressed about my foot and my performance but proud of myself for not giving up. Most importantly, I promised myself at the finish line that I’d never put myself through walking/jogging a marathon in agony again. If that meant no more running, then so be it. Since then, I’ve been focused on having fun, staying fit, working on my overall strength and flexibility, and getting my foot healthy.

Well a year and a half after thinking I’d never be able to run pain free again, I registered for Ironman Chattanooga on September 27, 2015! I’m a bit shocked that I actually did it but super excited for what’s to come. I think my life will change a lot in the next few years and I want to do one more big race before any of that may happen. 🙂 I plan to tackle it the same way I did my first Ironman – have fun and complete the race with a smile on my face. No pressure, no time goals, no expectations. 🙂 I plan to continue to teach classes during training, continue with my strength workouts and working out with my sister and best friend, and will incorporate longer distance biking, running and swimming early next summer. I’m excited for the adventure ahead and look forward to training with a lot of the local athletes who also registered!

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/chattanooga.aspx#axzz3EkeNEqcj


Langley Pond Olympic

09/02/2014

Race reports are a little fewer and further between this year but they exist and that’s the best part! I wanted to do at least one more race in 2014 before the end of the season but was having a hard time finding one that fit my schedule. I have heard good things about Langley Pond and liked the idea of doing a new course, so I registered about 2 weeks ago.

We left Charlotte Friday a bit later that we originally planned only to have to do an about-face on the highway at 8pm in Rock Hill because my car was shaking and my right tire was smoking. I called my sister to tell her the trouble we were having and she graciously offered to let us take her car down there. We headed up to her house and were back on the road at 9pm – for a 2 1/2 hour drive to Aiken. Being one who desperately needs my sleep, Derek so awesomely offered to drive and I was able to get a little much needed shut eye after a very long, stressful week at work.

The alarm sounded at 5:30, way later than I would have liked had we gotten more than 5 hours of sleep, but way earlier than I wanted to get up. We made it to the race site with sufficient time though to set up and get ready for the 7am start. The venue was nice and small and easy to maneuver.

The swim was changed to 2 loops of the sprint course that morning (still don’t know why) but it was fine overall. It was a beach start so when the gun sounded, we ran into the water and people started swimming. Being intimidated (and not capable) of lining up on the front line of the swim when men are involved, I situated myself second line back. I ended up running about 25 yards before being able to dive in which was ultimately fine with me because less time swimming is…awesome. 😉

The female age groupers started 3 minutes after the open wave and I thought I saw a girl swim past me about 1/2 way through the 2nd lap. Yup. Regardless the swim was generally uneventful, which for me, means is was a success. I never found myself way left (a little, but not way) or way off course and I never felt terrible. The first turn buoy got pushed out quite a bit on the 2nd lap so the Olympic course was a little long and I always tend to add a bonus 100 meters for myself by swimming like a drunk fish, but all in all, this “got the job done” for today at 30 min and 8th female.

The run to T1 was literally 0.32 miles (that is FOREVER) in bare feet on gravel roads. My feet suck in general and running on gravel / uneven surfaces for this long wasn’t that awesome. If I do this race again I will stash some shoes to put on out of the water. I think my transition was 2:30ish.

The bike course was a fun 2 loop 24-mile course. About 2-3 flat miles, about 3 miles of granny gear, about 3 miles of flat, and about 3 miles of screaming fast false downhill and descents. So fun! The weather was perfect, my power meter was actually working and my power was right on target. Overall, a great ride! Finished in 1:04 and change and 1st female.

The run course was also really nice- flat, some shade, and I love out and backs to see other athletes. I felt great for the first 2-3 miles but my endurance was really wavering for the last 3 miles. The volunteers told me I was the first female at the first aid station which was kinda cool, but means nothing that early on. After I made the turn around, it was quite a long while until I saw another girl so my motivation to keep trying to push SUPER hard faltered a little. And I was really starting to hurt. I hung on as best I could to some sort of pace, and by mile 5 and just wanted to be done. The very last mile literally comes right past the finishing shoot and then sends you back out about a 1/2 mile before you finish up. I didn’t love that or running again on the same uneven rocky surface we ran out of the swim on (twice) and my ankle was pissed but it was pretty short and over relatively quickly. All things considered, this was a decent run. Ended up 46:46 which was good for 2nd female today.

Overall finish time was 2:25 and 1st female. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement in my overall fitness and my race performance but I am just so happy to be where I am in my life right now with a good balance between training and having fun that I am at relative peace with it. I again realize there are lots of girls that could have / would have beat me, but its all about who shows up on that given day! 🙂 I’ll take 3*-3 this season (thanks C. Behme!).

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Not sure if there will be any more races this year but have had tons of fun doing the ones I have, that I may look for one more before the weather gets cold. Racing in the cold weather is NOT my thing! Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and got to do some things that make you happy too!