Monday, April 30, 2007

Listen up

Nothing in this life

that is worth having

comes easy

Bring on the aqua-running, baby. Nothing is going to keep me away from Ironman.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just call me Grace

The Klutz strikes again

Yes, I am truly a piece of work.

I went out on my first run after my IT flared and I was able to really keep the pain away by paying really, really close attention to form. What happens when I pay really really close attention to anything while running?

You know the drill

I fell down. Right on my knee. Yup. Right on the damn kneecap.

Having a long history of clumsiness, I am quite accustomed to the pain of falling down. I sat down, rubbed the knee for a minute and then hopped up and started running. No biggie

My bike ride (trainer) the next day was swell, no problems. The huge bruise on my knee didn't seem to bother me.

Fast forward to Friday. I had a 1 hour Zone 2 run to do. I start running. Hmmmm I am a little uncomfortable.... wow, I am a lot uncomfortable.... mile 1.5 comes... holy shit!! This HURTS.

So what do I do? I jog/walk home and immediately burst into tears, completely convinced that I've fractured my kneecap. Yeah, I know, over-reaction of the year. But realize that my PhD thesis is due in 10 days. This was my second spontaneous breakdown/hysterical crying session of the week. I'm not exactly the definition of emotional stability lately.

Thankfully Paulo was online and was able to talk me off the ledge. I'm sure it's just how he wanted to spend his Friday evening- chatting with a hysterical girl who is just sure that this little boo boo has doomed her Ironman. Well, anyway I felt a little better and iced a lot and was told not to do anything stupid until the inflammation was gone (like run)

So today I did a nice 5.5 hour ride (2 on the trainer, 3.5 outside in the cold and rain) (no run) and had no pain. Weird how some injuries can be SOOOO sport specific. And instead of my long run tomorrow I'm going to hit the road again and do 3 more hours. I'm again going with my swimming buddy who is just the greatest! He endured 2.5 hours of my ride today even though it was freaking cold. He has become my training coordinator lately- I am now set for my brick next week and my ride tomorrow. WoooHoooo! It's nice to get off the trainer every once in awhile!

Oh, and on an unrelated note, I have so much more respect for Carrie Underwood. She is my new hero for singing "Before He Cheats". I don't even like country music, but that song kicks ass. Not that I have any experience with that kind of thing...

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Next in our tour of IMAZ athletes is The Legend Herself- Miranda Alldritt!

I met Miranda at SmartassCamp and immediately realized that this girl is truly special. I dare you to find me a single person as dedicated to triathlon as Miranda. She doesn't miss workouts. Period. If she needs to go out on a long run at 1am, she does it. If she needs to drive 30 miles to find a pool open, she will go. If it is pouring, she's riding. If it's cold, hot, snowing, storming, nothing, I repeat NOTHING keeps this girl from training. On top of that she BEGS Paulo for more hours. Miranda works full time and still trains up to 30 hours per week.

Miranda definitely has What It Takes

But that's not all that makes this girl so kickass, she's also a total sweetheart and always has kinds words to say about everyone. She is the one who stopped to help me change a flat at camp. Who was patient with me as I fumbled around like a newbie. Who pulled me along for a 2 hour ride, and then thanked ME when we were done for the company! She is a positive energy in the lives of everyone she meets.

That's why it was so amazing to watch her really nail this. Here is Miranda's race:

The day before the race we went out for Mongolian BBQ. Miranda is a vegetarian and loaded up on noodles for a pre-race carb load. As always, she had a big smile for the camera.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. Paulo, Sergio, and Miranda walking to the transition area on race day. So much energy in the air!

As the sun began to rise we spotted Miranda again. Her tires were pumped up, transition set, and she was ready to race. I was so impressed by how relaxed and happy she was!

Here I spotted her right before she jumped in the water. She's the one in the Orca full suit facing away from the camera

And the race is on! Here she is coming out of the water after a PR swim! 1:14:18. A quick 4 minute transition and she was off to the bike.

Miranda is an amazing cyclist. She can kick the butt of most men. She had the best female bike split at Canada last year but then lost it on the run. This race she played it so smart. Held things back on the ride to save her legs. The amazing thing- she still went 5:30.51!!!! That's more than 20 miles per hour on a windy day. For 112 miles! Can we all say.... wow

T2- 2 minutes

When Miranda passed on the run the first time all of our jaws dropped. She was FLYING. We called home when she was on the second loop to find out what her split was. 7:27 miles for the first loop! I wish I could say that we weren't all really really nervous at this point. Could she really maintain this for 26.2 miles???? Here's Paulo in the first loop yelling encouragement:

By the time she was on loop 3 the pain was starting to show. We saw her at mile 17, and then were going to see her again at mile 22. We waited with baited breath. I was so nervous. Paulo was having a fit thinking she went out too hard. But then we saw her. And she was STILL FLYING. Paulo, Sophie, and I cheered at the top of our lungs. We knew she had it. There was no way she was going to slow down with 4 miles left. The girl has too much gut for that. Here is Paulo saying: "Keep it together, Miranda!" I believe the one word Paulo kept repeating after she left us to continue on the homestretch was "WoW"

And then we all ran to the finish, filled with excitement. Final run time 3:25 (7:50 miles) HUGE PR

Final time 10:16.31. Second Overall amateur (only by a minute!), Sixth woman overall, if you INCLUDE pros. The girl beat like a dozen pros! I think Miranda's days as an age grouper are numbered

My very favorite quote of the whole day was from this moment. It was from the girl who never thinks she's good enough, and never thinks she trained hard enough:

"I'm really, really happy"

We're really happy for you! You earned it, girl!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Training update...

I just had the most intense weekend of training ever. And that includes camp. Sitting here on my couch, packed with ice, I thought I would share...

Went out with my swimming buddies for my brick on Saturday. Neither of them was up for 4 hours, so they split it up for me. I started with Lanny and met up with Tony after 1:20. Then we dropped off Lanny at 2:45, and Tony and I went out again until 4:15. So what was so special about this ride? (Other than having wonderful friends who are willing to bend over backwards so that you can get your training in)

67 miles
8000 feet of climbing

8000 friggin feet!

And when I was done I had to do a 45 minute run. The prescribed workout was 15 minutes Z2, 15 minutes Z3, then 15 minutes Z2. Now for some reason, hard bike workouts result in quite substantial HR depression for me. So when I started my run I knew I was in for it. I started at my normal Zone 2 pace and checked my HR. Zone 1. I picked it up a bit. Still zone 1. Then I hit the 15 minute mark and knew I needed to hit HR of 165 (minimum HR for Z3). I started running, then I started running hard, then I ran as hard as my tired legs would take me. I didn't hit 165 until I was at 7:50 pace. By the time I was done I was in a world of hurt. I went home, forced myself to eat, and then collapsed onto the couch. I stayed there until I felt it was socially acceptable to go up to bed and officially pass out.

Sunday beckoned

I woke up hurting. My body was sore and my ITB was flaring. That hasn't happened since October. So I started stretching and knew I had to suck it up for my 2:20 run.

I met Jen and couple other runners down by the towpath and we started out on the run. And then we hit the trails... and went straight up. More climbing... lovely!

The run was actually really nice. Great company, great trails, not so top notch body, but I have learned to make do ;-)

And... I did the longest run (mileage or time) of my life. Despite the hills I got in 14 miles. Remember back when a "long run" was 1 hour? Those were the days!

Then... I had to swim 4000 yards.

So after a nice lunch with Jen I was off to school for the open swim. I ran into an Ironman finisher (I was wearing my Cali swim cap) and we got talking for a bit. He is doing Alcatraz this year and was also coming off a 2 hour hard run. After a bit of chatting I dove in and swam nice and steady for 4000 yards. I grabbed a pull buoy for about half of it to give my legs a break. I hit a nice, super easy steady rhythm, and was surprised when I was done I had only been in for 1:05. Sometimes I think I actually swim faster when I take it easy. There's definitely something to be said for focusing on form.

By the time I got home I could barely walk my ankles hurt so badly. My shoes are old and the pronation control is totally inadequate for my flat feet. It's so time for new shoes!

So here I am, with ice on my knee, soon to switch to my ankles. I'm too tired to think of anything even remotely witty or introspective to add to the blogger world, so you're stuck with my dribble.

Welcome to Ironman Training


The next athlete in my IMAZ feature is Danois Montoya. I met Danny at smartasscamp and he is one of the kindest, most hard working people I know. After knowing him for a total of 10 days he sent me on my way with his race wheels to use at Cali and CdA. He lives in Las Cruces, so he lives his life under the watchful eyes of Coach Paulo! He also has a girlfriend who is a total sweetheart, and he works at the kickass pool that we used during camp. Here are the shots I got of his day:

Danny in transition at the beginning of the day. I was amazed at how relaxed and happy the entire crew was on race day. That's what happens when you have confidence in your training

I just missed seeing him on the swim. He was running by so fast I just saw a blur! He had a very solid swim of 1:05 followed by a 3:30 transition. We can all learn a lot from this crew with their smoking transition times. Keep in mind, there is a LOT of distance to cover to get through transition. At least 0.2 miles if not more.

I caught a bit of a blurry pic of Danny going by on the bike. (Damn that fire hydrant! My camera kept using it as a focal point) He had some really intense abdominal cramps on the bike ride, but maintained a positive attitude and gutted out a great ride of 5:18.50 (21.08 mph in the wind!) T2 time 2:12.

Here was the first time I saw Danny on the run. Coach Paulo is yelling some words of encouragement. He look strong and focused although his stomach cramps were persisting.

And here is the last loop. 4 miles to go and he's finishing strong. Total run time 3:31.50 (8:05 minute mile pace)

Here he is after the finish getting a hug from Sophie. Notice the man in orange in the background. He's always watching! ;-)

What a relief to be done! Here is Danny with his girlfriend Misha

Total race time 10:01.48. The amazing thing is that this was kind of an "off" day for Danny. His cramps held him back on the bike and the beginning of the run. Can you imagine being in such great shape that 10 hours is an off day??!!! Can't wait to watch his progress at Kona. His AZ performance got him a slot to the World Championships in October. I'm sure he'll do wonderful!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm back from my trip to IMAZ! I had a fabulous time watching the the most dedicated group of people I have ever met have the races of their lives. And... I took a ton of pictures. So every day this week I'm going to dedicate a blog to one of pstriathlon's athletes who kicked ass. Today's athlete is Jonathan Caron

Jonny is not only a very fast pro triathlete, he's also one of the most likable people you could ever meet. He's funny as hell, extremely humble, and is always willing to take time to help people out. He's been in love with this sport for over 10 years and his hard work and dedication are really starting to pay off! Jonathan had an absolutely stellar race, finishing 6th overall with a time of 8:50- a 12 minute PB in extremely windy conditions with a PB run. Here is my spectators race report of Jonny's race

*Note* I know not all of the pictures are showing up on all your computers. I have no friggin idea why! If anyone has any ideas PLEASE email me!


The day before the race we all went out to a Mongolian BBQ for a large lunch. Coach Paulo thought it would be a good time to do some chiropractic adjustments to Jonny's neck

Race Morning: I used my super duper sneaky digital 18x zoom to capture this special pre-race coaching meeting

Almost ready to race. Just packing away his bag for after the race

Jonathan is an extremely strong swimmer, despite not having started the sport until relatively late. This is a good hint to his dedication. Here he is having a moment before the swim start (recognize the wetsuit? I have the same one, but mine has pink on it!)

Here was when I first spotted Jonathan coming out of the water in 7th place with a swim time of 49:15. As I saw him run by, with a look of extreme concentration and intensity, I just knew it was going to be a very good day :-)

T1 time 2:05 SMOKING FAST

The first time we saw Jonny on the bike course he was right on the tail of Michael Lovato.

Coming back down a couple minutes later in his signature pink PlanetX bike...

Loop 2 of the bike course Jonny is still looking very strong. He rode very smart on Sunday. Went out conservatively, negative split the bike (despite the roaring wind that picked up) and saved his legs for the run. Very, very smart riding

Bike time 4:55.04 (22.77 mph average) Place- still 7th
T2 time 1:21 How does he do that?????

And here he is on the run. Still completely focused. This was a very exciting run. By the beginning of the third loop Jonny was in 8th place with 2 pros fading in front of him. We screamed and yelled to keep it up! He was looking like he was hurting a bit, but very mentally strong. The loop is about 5 miles in one direction and 4 in the other, so you see them twice. Paulo said that it would be a divine message if Jonny was in front of the other 2 guys by the next time we saw him. We waited.... and waited. It felt like forever. But then we saw him- Jonny was leading the other 2 and looking great! Paulo was SOOOO excited he could hardly contain himself! We ran down to the path to cheer him on, then Paulo was gone on a mad dash to the finish line to meet him.

And here he is finishing the race, knowing that he is about to crush his PB and finish in the money at an Ironman

Run stats: 3:03.11 (6:59 pace) WOW!

All alone in the finisher's shoot. What a moment!
Final time 8:50.56

A quick chat with Mimi and Desert Dude (his very good friends and homestays) before heading to the med tent for his IVs and food tent for pizza

Congratulations on an absolutely wonderful race, Jonathan! You earned it.

Next stop for Jonny is IM Canada. Stay tuned, I think he's going to take some people by surprise


I'll be doing my reports in race finish order, so tomorrow we get to see the race of Danny who finished in 10:02 and nabbed a Kona slot. I told you these people are amazing! Wait until you meet Miranda...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Negative Attitude... an epiphany

I was sitting at work today. I was really cold (The VA has been an icebox lately), my boss wanted me to finish some things up, it was getting late, I was starving... and I still had to do my 45 minute run before dinner. To make this worse, it was really cold out and the sidewalks were hidden under 2.5 feet of snow. I was NOT looking forward to this run. But then I had an epiphany...

I was not going to skip this workout. So I could do it one of two ways

1. Pissed off and miserable, wondering why I was out there and feeling sorry for myself


2. Go out an enjoy it. The sun was actually shining for the first time since I got back from Cali and my body was feeling pretty good. And on the bright side, I sure wasn't going to get dehydrated from the heat...

So I turned around my negative attitude (which was truly there for no reason other than to make me grumpy) and I actually drove home looking forward to getting my UnderArmour Cold Gear on one more time. And took comfort in the fact that it might be one of the last times this season I would have to wear it.

Training really is 95% mental. Embrace it.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Random Thoughts Easter Edition

1. You know the road conditions are bad when you pass a man during your 45 minute run.... on skis! yup, 2 feet of snow in 24 hours here in Cleveland. On April 8!Running through the snow was a lot of fun. Not quite as great as running in the rain, but a close second.

Here's an unhappy girl who can't wait for summer:

Bonus pic of my dad having fun helping walk the dogs last night. He also shoveled my driveway and sidewalks this morning before leaving for Wisconsin. What a guy!!!

2. Because the weather is so shitty, I thought it would be a good idea to take a short trip to a sunnier place

I'm Going to Arizona!

Yup, I'm going to be the official pstriathlon race photographer at Ironman Arizona on Sunday! I'm going to cheer on my friends Jonathan, Danny, Will, Miranda, and Sergio. Ok, well I've never met Sergio, but I feel like I have since I've heard so much about him. Can't wait to cheer on these wonderful people. I'm sure great races will be had all around :-)

3. I wasn't lying, really. It WAS a hilly course. For all you graph geeks, here is my bike course graph from the Garmin:

That's it for the day. It was a recovery week, so the training was very laid back. I'm eager to get right back into the meat of Ironman Training!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Race Pics!

I'm exhausted! My plane was in late last night and didn't get to bed until 1 am. The 5 am wake-up call for masters was quite a rude awakening! But I wanted to get my body over the jet lag as soon as possible. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to keep my eyes open until 9pm tonight...

Anyway, here are some of the official race pics. I hate race pics, but these turned out okay... (keep in mind in the finish line pic that my wave started about 50 minutes after the pros. I wasn't lying about my time, I swear!)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Who wants a race report?

I did my very first triathlon, a sprint, on July 8, 2006. When I finished the race I thought I was going to vomit, have an asthma attack, and die on the spot. So naturally the most logical thing for me to do 2 weeks later was sign up for Ironman CdA. So I hired a coach, and she made me pick an early season half. I am convinced that this is so I could realize how utterly stupid it was for me to sign up for an Ironman with enough time before the event to have the pain and suffering fade into a distant memory. Kind of like childbirth. Give it 3 months and that woman that was screaming and threatening Dad’s life is already planning #2. So, we settled on the Cali 70.3, which is a great match because I have family in San Diego and a really good friend in LA, so lodging would be free.
Fast forward to March 2007. I’m coming off Smartasscamp and have a coach who is really concerned that I’ve just done a 39 hour training camp WAY too close to my half, so I’m being handled with kid gloves. My training volume got cut by about 80% in one week and I’m cranky as hell. I’m freaking out because I sent my bike to San Diego with borrowed race wheels that I have never even put on my bike, which are tubulars. So I get to SD, and put my bike together, which I have never done by myself. This required 2 frantic calls to Paulo asking how to do such complicated tasks as pumping up the tires. So at this point I spent at least an hour and half assembling my bike and now I need to take it on a test ride. I have also managed to drop my camera onto the cement and it is now just kinda working. Here is ordinary pic number 1- the test drive and my bike, fully assembled.

Now, I live in Cleveland. Traffic to me is when it takes me 17 minutes instead of 14 minutes to get home at night. My test drive was at 5pm on Thursday night on the 101 in Del Mar. Yeah, smart move, idiot. So I’m driving along in my nice bike lane next to about 8 miles of solid 4 lane traffic. I have just done an hour and 15 minutes of horrendous hills on my :45 minute zone 2 “test ride”, so I’m taking it nice and easy and kind of hoping I didn’t just blow my taper. When all of a sudden a car appears out of nowhere RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!. Apparently traffic going in my direction parted just enough to let a lady in an SUV turn left. She didn’t do me the courtesy of checking the bike lane before pulling out. It wasn’t that I was worried I was going to hit her, I was absolutely 100% positive in that moment that my race was done. I was just wondering how badly this was going to hurt, and how much I would have to pay Danny to replace the wheel that I just introduced to the passenger door of a Ford Explorer. But somehow, I have no idea how, I managed to miss her by the margin of about a millimeter. I felt a huge rush of air as we just narrowly avoided one another. I didn’t stop shaking until I got back to my Aunt’s house, and I had just blown every store of adrenaline that my body had so patiently been saving for race day.
That night was carb loading night. I made homemade spaghetti sauce and we had a bread and spaghetti extravaganza… here is pic #2 from the carb frenzy:

I wake up Friday and I hurt, pretty badly. Apparently when I was narrowly avoiding disaster I locked up the right half of my body and now have pain all through my right leg and butt. This is not good. But, I realized that there are some great perks to having extended family that lives well. My aunt had a personal yoga instructor come to the house on Friday to help me stretch out my battered body. Pic #3- My very first yoga class… ever.

Then it was time to head to O-side for an open water swim, an ST Meet and Greet, and to meet blogger Rachel. It was a very busy day, but it was a blast to meet people that I’ve only read about. If I have learned one lesson in my few races, it’s that familiar faces during a race make all the difference. The last thing you want to do is look like total cramping, nauseous hell when there are people you KNOW watching you! I also ran into Matt, who was having a worse pre-race than me. His bike was destroyed in shipping and he was stung by a stingray in the heal. Holy hell! I now felt like I was having a pretty great week.
Pre-race dinner- Captain Crunch Cereal. That’s all I have to say about that.
Race Day- it’s go time
I went to sleep at 8:45pm and was up and at em by 2:45. My alarm was set for 4am, but there was no stopping me. I finally gave up the sleep battle at 3:57 and got up. I went right to my breakfast- Bagel with strawberry Jam and a bowl of captain crunch (oh yeah, peanut butter flavor of course). I don’t care how nervous I am, NOTHING will keep me from my breakfast. I ate like a rock star. And being the obsessive compulsively early person that I am, we headed off to transition at 4:55 even though my wave did not leave until 7:29.
Got there early and tried to make it look like I was actually busy doing things and therefore could justify my 4:00 wake-up call to my Dad and Brienne. These two were the entourage of champions. Putting up with my crabby stressed out butt all week is NOT easy. They took some nice pics:

Then I made some small talk with the group of extraordinary women in my age group who were all totally pumped, and extremely friendly. I took a Power Gel somewhere around 6:30 as well… Oh, yeah, did I mention it was freaking COLD? When I thought I could finally start the 15 minute long process that is putting on my wetsuit, I began my final prep and the long walk to the corrals. During the walk my stomach did a somersault and vurped some serious bile into my mouth. Pardon the graphic nature of that comment, but it was NASTY. I thought- great- the race hasn’t started and I’ve already FUBARed my nutrition. It’s gonna be a LONG day.
I met a great girl, Margaret (Rambo on ST) who is doing CdA while we were waiting for our heat. I also met up with Mariana and Andrea from camp. More friendly faces!We were all aiming for about the same swim time, as were several of the girls around me, so I figured we had a decently solid swimming heat. Which was good.

Women 25-29:

Boom goes the cannon
And we were off. I was amazed at how aggressive the beginning of the swim was. I was fine with most of it, but on the way out there was a girl to my right who insisted on swimming on top of me for 500 yards. She had open water to her right, I had a mob of swimmers to my left, but she kept swimming over me. I finally gave up, let her by and swam to the right and finally passed her. This was probably the worst point in my race. And there is a LOT to be said for that. At the turnaround, which is always farther than expected, we hit some slow rolling ocean swells. I was sure I was going to finally lose that pesky Powergel as I started to get seriously queasy. But as soon as we got back into the breakwall things got better and I tried to pick up the pace. We were swimming directly into the sun… when we hit… the bobbers and floaters. See, the one really shitty thing about wave starts is if you are a fast swimmer you will have to swim around slow swimmers from 2-6 waves in front of you (yes, I realize that this prospect must be way worse for those that have to be trampled by the waves behind…). It becomes a mass of differently colored caps, people taking breaks, people panicking, and mass chaos. This race didn’t disappoint, as the last .4 miles or so were a blender of swimmers. I finally got out just a tad under 34 minutes and was eager to get on the bike.
Why do some people train their asses off all year to shave seconds off their times, then meander through transition like it’s the line at the Golden Corral? It was go time, and I wasn’t going to shuffle my way down the 3 block transition area, so I ran over to the uncarpeted cement and past about 10 people. I fumbled around in T1 and was off 4 minutes later. It had warmed up significantly and I took off in my shorts and a tri tank. Perfect conditions! The run into and out of T1 was crazy long- my rack number- 74, should give you some idea of the size.
The Bike
When I got to my bike my HR was flying! My first glance at the Garmin showed 192 bpm. Yikes, I need to settle down. You know what isn’t the best thing to get the ole HR settled? A 12% grade to climb out of the beach area. There was a lot of huffing and puffing all around. My HR remained >170 for about 4 miles before it finally settled down into a manageable rhythm. I held to my original plan of racing with ONLY heart rate and miles, so I never knew my speed or the time… well except for the fact that I had my Garmin beep every 15 minutes to remind me to drink (all beeps), and eat (every other beep). The first 30 miles were fairly unremarkable. It was beautiful scenery, but the terrain was rolling at its worst. There were some people clearly working too hard. I hoped that they knew that this race had hills…

Mile 28- I’m cruising along, starting to dial back to give the legs a break and the heart a rest when I look forward in the distance.
Oh Shit
I see the biggest damn hill I’ve ever laid eyes on. And you couldn’t even see where the climb ended. It was like a big green monster eating cyclists. And the remarkable thing was that you could see a huge line of bikes, but they didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It was time for…
Granny Gear! That was a mile that I was wishing I had my triple chainring. It was every bit as steep as it appeared, and twice as long. People….were….SUFFERING. We small women have the advantage of weight. Most of the women were moving up the hill like it was a nice morning stroll. And then there were big guys who were falling over, cramping, and cussing. It was quite the sight. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to crest a hill in my life. And we were well rewarded. The descent was VERY fun. But there were more hills where that one came from, none as imposing as the first, but each one swallowed an equal number of racers who went out too fast.
The last 10 miles or so were relatively flat and fast. What was normally a huge headwind, was a wonderful, fast, albeit crowded ride back to transition. It was hammer time for me because I had saved up plenty of energy just for this section. I had a lot of fun passing people as we headed home to start the run. I do distinctly remember telling Marilyn, a woman I had stayed with practically the entire race: “I have no idea what I’m in such a damn hurry for- I hate the run!”
Bike Stats:
Average Heart Rate 161- exactly on my race plan
Average Speed- 18.5
Climbing- 2700 feet
Time: 3 hours 2 minutes
Nutrition- 2 power bars, 1 Power Gel, 30 ounces of Gatorade, 20 ounces of water (give or take)
T2- They let us bike the length of transitions which was AWESOME. I was not looking forward to running in my cycling shoes and hadn’t taken them off. This cut the T2 time down tremendously- 2 minutes

I ran out of transition feeling like a million bucks. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that fresh starting a run before. Of course, I am that weird mutant who would rather run off the bike than on fresh legs. My bike ROCKS. I had the biggest smile on my face of my life! I quickly wiped the smile off my face before I got to the cameraman because Paulo told me if I could smile that I wasn’t running hard enough. Then the smile came back, and stayed for the rest of the day.
The run was a total blast! I had my first name on my bib number and I was cheered on by spectators and volunteers for the next 13 miles. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome that was. I thanked every single one of them, which usually resulted in more cheering. Every time someone called my name my smile got bigger. I just couldn’t believe how great I felt. When I was coming back into transition to make the turn for the second loop I saw my Dad and Brienne for the second time. My dad said- wow you are looking strong! I smiled and said that I felt great!

Then I saw Matt coming in for his finish and that made me SOOO happy. He had been through hell and back and was looking strong ready to finish a race despite having a huge hole in his foot and racing on a dented bike. What a champion!
The second loop was WAY hillier than the first. I’m not quite sure how they managed a terrain change between the first and second loop, but I’m sure of it. They stretched the hills. They were steeper and longer. No doubt about it. Then when I got to mile 11 I decided that the race could end and I would be perfectly content with that. I was having a bit of a butt problem. There was some muscle in my deep right butt (yes this is the terminology that makes my med-school proud) and just about every muscle in my right leg (think back to the near accident on Thursday) were starting to ache and seize up. But there were only 2 miles left! My pace slowed a little bit, but when we made the last turn for the finish line the smile came back on my face. Then I saw the time- 6:25. I knew that my wave started 49 minutes after the pros. I almost cried from happiness. In my mind I thought it would be lucky for me to come in at 6 hours. I absolutely couldn’t believe it. I don’t know what they said at the finish, I didn’t do anything unique or fun at the finish line- I was too happy to think straight.

Run stats
Time: 1:54.54
Pace- 8:46
HR average- 167 bpm… right on plan
Nutrition- Gatorade or water at every aid station, 3 power gels with mucho caffeine and salt
Total Race:
Time 5:37.30
Average heart rate: 163
Total calories consumed- 1400
Very Special Thanks to my family, especially my Dad and Brienne who were the best wingmen I could have ever asked for. Seeing them through the race was AWESOME. And a huge thanks to all the Sters who cheered me on, all the volunteers on the course- they were awesome, all the bloggers for the amazing support, everyone who sent me emails before the race which helped more than you can imagine. And of course, Coach Angela who prepared me like a champ and gave me a spot-on race plan. And coach Paulo, who worked my butt into the ground at camp and taught me that I can accomplish more than I ever thought possible.