Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 Part 2

When it came to ski trips my grandfather had this theory: “You can’t end one without planning the next.” I like to apply the same rule when it comes to races or race vacations. I think this partly explains why I’ve never taken much of a lounge-y vacation. That and the fact that I was single for the better part of my 20s and had a weird thing about vacationing solo. Basically, I’ve never hopped on a plane with a suitcase full of swimsuits, sandals, and tank tops, unless I was also packing swim-bike-run gear too or visiting family. For the most part, I’m totally fine with it; there will come a day when I leave the gear at home (and probably miss it). Packing my s/b/r gear on most vacations has become a web of more and more race vacations, strictly applying my grandfather’s rule above.

Appropriately named Discovery Park in Seattle

Before I packed up my bike in Coeur d’Alene and turned down my spot to Kona, I knew precisely what I’d be racing over the next few months. It goes something like this:

Seafair 8k – this sucker is going to hurt. I realize it will take less time than half of my Ironman swim, but I will push the pace from the first stride and hope there is some speed buried under the long course training I’ve focused on all year. Besides, it's a local race and a chance to see where I stack up with Seattle's speedsters.

Crew Ultraman Canada - I like to refer to my friend John Bergen as my Ironman big brother. He's given me great advice over the years and has been someone I've looked up to as a mentor. His wise words have helped me through many races and seasons and inspired me to be a stronger athlete. When he asked if I'd be interested in being on his crew for Ultraman Canada, I just had to say YES! He won the race in 2011 and I'm excited to be there to support him the first weekend in August. Most of my help will come on the final day, as I expect to pace him for 20+ miles of his double marathon. The race is up on part of the Challenge Penticton (former Ironman Canada) course and I'm also excited for a weekend spent with friends and other athletes giving back to the triathlon community. Besides the Okanagan region in British Columbia is beautiful and there will be some opportunities to check out the course on my own (and decide if its something I'd some day like to do).

Mora 1/2 Marathon - Where it all began - the tiny town of Mora, MN! The birthplace of my running obsession and the birthplace of…me. This run course goes by the hospital where I was born, my dad’s dental office, my church, my elementary school, the pool where I took swimming lessons, the hockey rinks where I learned to skate, my best friend’s house, my parents’ house, the tennis courts where I played countless matches, the Nordic Center and trails where I had XC ski meets, my high school, Main Street, and Mora Park. This was also a good excuse to visit home.
Hood to Coast - the weekend of the year! This race needs no introduction. I've been on the same team since 2009 and it's always challenging and fun. It brings me back to my runner roots and gives me a good ab workout from all the laughs. I'm on a co-ed team with some fast girls and REALLY fast guys (like 2:20 to 2:30s marathon guys). Our team name is Puke & Rally! As you can tell, we don't take ourselves too seriously. At the same time, I always feel this deep sense of team pride and want to run my absolute best.

From left: race tradition heel clicks after leg 3, our 2011 team, Sunday shake out run/hobble on the beach
Black Diamond 1/2 Ironman - a local half Iron that I haven't raced since 2008. It's nice a low-key, yet a chance for me to try and put together a strong race. It will be a good chance to see where my swim and bike fitness is in the middle of the second half of my season. It's also nice that I can sleep in my own bed, pick up my packet that morning (the race starts at 9am), and hopefully convince a few friends to join me.

Austin 70.3 - If all goes well for training, this will be my second half of the season "A" race (sorry Puke & Rally). I've never been to Austin and I've heard some really great things about the city. Plus, the race looks competitive and should be a good time to gauge any improvement at the 70.3 distance.

As you can see, no tropical paradise and no big city fancy marathon. Perhaps I’m foolish for traveling to Mora, MN versus the Kona coast. But I’m excited about this schedule that has some new and old locations. I’m spicing it up a little, so that I can start planning the next one.

Keeping On,

PS - in other news, it's been really funny and also a little frustrating to have a lot of people question what I'm doing the rest of the season. Some direct quotes have included, "so, are you still working out?" and "what are you going to do with your time since you're not racing Kona?" There IS life after Ironman and just because I didn't take my Kona slot does not mean I'm giving up on triathlon or hanging it up for the season. I understand most people are just curious and caring more than anything else. So, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I think my reasons for not racing Kona are really good ones that will improve me both as an athlete and as a person.


  1. Um, you forgot the most important race of the year. Brent is offended by your omission of the Beer Mile. You're the three-time female champion! And three-time overall podium finisher!

    1. Austin 70.3 is the last weekend in October. I'll have to tell Brent to reschedule the beer mile for November. Oh, man!

  2. Sounds like we're blog twins and beer mile twins CK! :) Love the post, as usual!

    1. Thanks Alyssa! The beer mile has to be one of my proudest and most embarrassing moments of racing ever. Hope you're enjoying some IM recovery!