“Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.” I came across this quote somewhere over the past couple years and have since read it nearly every single training day. It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure of being a competitive athlete, even as an age grouper, and it’s something that has affected me quite significantly this year. But I feel like I’ve remained grounded, meanwhile keeping my focus, drive, and confidence in check in order to perform well. And so it goes; my 2011 Ironman
As I came off an incredible season in 2010, I knew I had some sights to set my eyes upon if I wanted to keep such a good thing going. I was on a really great streak of hitting goals from January through April. I was three for three: 1) a sub 3:15 marathon - check 3:05 in AZ; 2) a sub 1:30 half marathon – check 1:26 at
June 24, 2011 – I drove over Friday morning, just like every other year. I realize this is a little on the later side, but I like to be able to sleep in my own bed race week and I don’t like getting caught up in the Ironman hype too early. Besides, all I needed to do was keep my feet up and relax. Friday was spent picking up my race number - #109, an interview from IronmanLive (my first athlete interview – they wanted to talk to the AG winners from 2010), and the athlete welcome banquet.
|Talking with Universal Sports|
They did not use any of this footage, still cool to be inverviewed
|Crashing a bachelor party with old co-workers from my public accounting days|
|Some of Seattle's fastest TriBabes :)|
|Actual Coverage from Universal Sports|
I don't think it's possible to get any less of my face
T1 – I ran out of the water feeling a little confused, but eventually made my way to the wetsuit strippers, bike bags, changing tent, and then over to my bike. I had a prime spot at the end of the rack and close to the bike mount. My swim-bike transition took 3 minutes and 7 seconds.
Bike – Last year was when I really proved to myself that I was a good cyclist, and this year I knew I was a lot stronger. My goal for the bike was to ride around 5:25. I started out steady, but fast, focusing on getting 250-300 calories per hour in the form of PowerBar Perform, chocolate PowerBars stuck on my bike (the girls from Saturday night know this story), and energy gel. My goal was to negative split the bike, but I was just having too much fun riding fast. I came through the half at 2:39:50 and knew I had to ride conservatively for the next 56 miles if I wanted to put together a solid run. The second half wasn’t the prettiest and I even made a rookie shifting error, causing me to drop my chain on one of the hills, but I kept things in check and kept repeating my mantra for the day, “don’t give up and don’t let up.” It was something Kainoa and I talked about during my pre-race meeting and part of her pep talk that morning. I didn’t get passed by any women and I’ll admit it; it was awesome to pass so many guys! I finished the bike in 5:26:56, which is a 20.55 mph pace, and a new bike PR. But the best part was that I was leading my age group by over 12 minutes and in 2nd place of all the female amateurs.
T2 – Since I was only the 2nd female age grouper to come through transition and the 7th woman overall, the volunteers in the women’s changing tent were eager to help. They had my run bag ready as I unclipped my helmet and kicked off my bike shoes, they helped me with my socks and run shoes as I grabbed my visor and water flask to run out of T2 in 58 seconds! Yep, this is pretty nerdy, but I am very proud of my quick transitions. I was the second fastest age grouper (2nd only to my ex-boyfriend- dang!) and 9th overall. Julie Dibens and Tom Evans should really start listening to me. :-)
Run – My goal for the run was 3:30 – 3:35 and I tried to ease into it as best I could. My long training runs for the past couple months have been in the 6:50 – 7:05 range and I was trying to start around an 8:15 pace for the first couple miles. But I couldn’t hold back. I was running 7:20s and I felt like the only way to slow down would be to walk. So I just focused on a light feet and told myself to relax. But I also tried to soak it in a little. As I ran through downtown I heard the announcer say, “And one of our faster women just started the run.” It’s hard to believe he was talking about me. But my favorite cheer of the day was from Michael Vanderhyde, “you chicked a lot of boys out there today!” It was true; out of the 1,605 male age group finishers, only 84 finished in front of me.
|Headed out for lap 2 on the run|
I turned the corner onto
I felt great and knew the next 24 hours would be a celebration. Sydnie, Ben, and Nina met me at the finish line, until I eventually moved on to the food tent where I was able to choke down some chicken broth and then on to the massage tent to work out some of the aches throughout my body, and then back to the food tent for pizza. After a much needed beer and shower, I was back on the course cheering for my PauoleSport teammates. Lisa, Robin, Kathryn, Cindy, and Judy, we are all going to Kona and I couldn’t be happier. You ladies continue to inspire me as you dominate the women’s 40, 50, and 60 age groups. Amazing.
|My teammates and I headed to Kona|
|The finish line at midnight|