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PRE RACE WEEK: I spent the week freaking out, thinking how on earth am I going to put all three of these together at once… I was getting bored on one hour long rides without music or podcasts, how was I going to last 6 hours without a huge mental bonk. I had only run 12-15 miles long off the bike, how was I going to DOUBLE that? I basically slept in fits for the whole week. On Thursday, I got on my bike heading to Lifetime for a quick 30 minute swim in my wetsuit and DISASTER. I came to a “yield” intersection and I didn’t see any cars so I kept going and BOOM! a car comes cruising out the corner of my eye at about 40mph! definitely NOT yielding, I swerved and slammed on my breaks, flew over my handle bars and landed on my head/face/shoulder/knee!

My mind was racing I had blood dripping down my face and was seeing stars. I got up, brushed off, took a few steps and HUGE relief…my knees were just bloody and bruised…no sharp pain there, I moved my arm around…some pain in the shoulder but felt superficial, my face was another story… my left eye had already started swelling, I was drinking blood from my mouth, and my left hand pinky area was definitely not right. The driver, immediately stopped (as immediately as you can when going 40mph on a 25!) and wanted to take me to the hospital or follow me home, I said ‘NO, hold my bike so I can put my chain back on’ and I road my bloody ass home ;).

I tried to clean up but everything STUNG so bad, I was seeing a nice starry sky out of the corner of my eyes and had a headache so I figured I had a minor concussion, had to see the doctor, this is NOT going to ruin my race! Doctor said it was all superficial, except I had a boxers’ fracture in my hand, which they can cast/sling but that would affect my race, so NO. I hobbled around the rest of the day praying that the 48 hours before the race and adrenaline during the race would cure my throbbing knee that hurt to bend and maybe bring the swelling down in my balloon hand! Friday I felt like I got hit by a car, everything was sore. Not exactly a good mindset going into a race I had been training for since March! My dad begged me not to go but there is NO WAY I’m letting this stop me, I spent countless hours on the bike and run injury free, crash free and 2 days before the race I crash…what a joke, not stopping me.

FRIDAY: Athlete Check In: I got to Madison around 4pm and checked in…this is REAL! EEK! I got all my bags and went to Kristy’s mom’s house to pack them up and eat. I had my plan with me so I packed the bags quickly and went over my race plan in my head as I tried to fall asleep. I also had brought all the encouraging emails from other athletes and coaches and read all their mantras and helpful hints.

SATURDAY: I woke up on Saturday and decided to test the knee, I ran 30 minutes with hills, felt OK… it felt like someone was punching me in the knee every step but it didn’t get worse… then I met Karyn at the water to try and swim. I LOVE KARYN. She is a calming presence, so it was so nice to have her there. I got the wetsuit on SLOWLY because it hurt the road rash and my hand was so swollen. Got in the water which was surprisingly warm and started to swim. My hand hurt a lot because the pressure of the water was pushing the fingers back right where the fracture is, I had them taped together but it seemed to be causing more swelling rather than helping. I got out and just hoped the adrenaline would help the next day. I checked my bike in and resisted the temptation to buy any Ironman apparel because I did not want to have anything until I truly was an ironman. Karyn told me to go put my feet up for the rest of the day but I couldn’t just sit, so I did a little shopping at Target (I needed a sweatshirt for the cold start anyway) and some cute boutiques in town. Saturday night it stormed, it was pouring from about 7pm to 12pm or later, that did not help, I knew it was already going to be a cold swim start and now the storm was adding cold water to Lake Monona and probably stirring up the cold water from the bottom. UGH! Sleepless night.

RACE DAY: I woke up at 4:30am, had my breakfast of eggs/veggies, and sweet potato with almond butter and coconut oil and my first mug of Chai Black CAFFEINATED tea in a week. I filled up my special needs bottles and headed to transition. I realized I did not have the rubber bands to hold my aero bottle on and thank God I saw a girl with a bag of extras and she let me borrow two. Got my wetsuit on and headed to the water. My hand was huge already from the wetsuit squeezing but I tried to ignore it.

SWIM: 1:29:22, 2:18/100m; Division Rank 101, Gender Rank 451, Overall Rank 1831: I had a blended sweet potato (baby food consistency, and 10 MAP, 2 PHENOCANE, 2 TYLENOL PAIN PILLS, 2 HAMMER ENDUROYLTES) about 1 hour before the swim start. I got into the water about 5 minutes before the start, it felt warm but I knew in the back of my head it would only be a matter of about 30 minutes before I got cold so I tried to enjoy the moment and look out at the amazing view of 2300 athletes bobbing in the water… I decided to relieve the tension and yelled out “Nobody kick me, I’m F-R-A-G-I-L-E (said like the dad in ‘The Christmas Story’) I got some laughs, then the cannon went off… here goes NOTHING! It was not as bad as everyone makes it out to be crowding and kicking wise, but there was never a moment where you weren’t passing someone or getting passed or right next to at least 3-4 people which was very disconcerting because in halves and Olympics you usually get your spot after about 400m and don’t have to worry. Unexpectedly about 600m into the swim my hand started KILLING…. It felt like it was going to explode, I kept lifting it out of the water to make sure it wasn’t going to pop, that is how bad the swelling got (picture a doctor blowing up a rubber glove to entertain some kids).

All my fingers were tingling and swelling not just the pinky and it hurt, my forefinger and thumb felt like I was getting liquid nitrogen pressed on them they were so cold or lacking circulation, so I had to swim with a left fist for the rest of the swim, talk about SLOW. I was able to stay warm until about the halfway mark, then my right hand decided to lose circulation and it turned into “the claw” just like at Leon’s and Racine. So basically I was swimming with a fist in the left hand and claw with the right, and a body shivering from cold (try that at the pool, let me know how efficient it is). Right around the 2 mile buoy I got kicked in the mouth and the scab over my lip was ripped clean off… OUCH! I had to flip on my back to get my head straight it was searing pain, I spent the last 0.4 miles trying to avoid any and all contact because I could not handle the shot of pain from getting kicked in the mouth again.

T1: 13:49: I got out of the water and started vigorously shaking my left hand to try and get the feeling back, I ran up the helix and was FREEZING, I wish I had a towel in my bike gear bag. DUMB. Anyway, the volunteer and I tried to get me ready fast but spent a good 4-5 minutes trying to get my arm warmers and gloves over my swollen hand, very SLOW painful process, I finally got outside, had to hit up the porta johns cuz I couldn’t go in the water, (which was another process, try pulling down your bike shorts with one hand cuz the other one can’t grip anything!) Finally, got to my bike and down the helix.

BIKE: RACE TIME: 6:34:52, average mph 17.02; First 56: 18.35mph, Next 38: 15.13mph, Last 18: 17.69; Division 59, Gender 247, Overall 1409; Garmin Time: 6:27, 112 miles, average pace 17.3, HR 125/205; 5 mile Breakdown (17.4, 17.6, 18.3, 18.0, 16.9, 15.4, 16.7, 19.2, 16.5, 19.5, 19.7, 17.5, 16.8, 15.4, 15.3, 18.7, 16.6, 17.3, 19.2, 17.4, 17.3, 15.9, 13.7) Elevation 5860ft; I realized immediately that my left hand was going to be useless for awhile and all shifting was going to be done with my right hand. As soon as we got on the road, I was shivering. I dreaded every shaded portion of the beginning of the ride. Although, I had no desire to drink something cold, I was not going to screw up my nutrition so I started to drink. My aero bottle had half of UCAN Superstarch and a zym tab …

I was feeling pretty good heading out, we had about a 7mph tailwind for most of it and I was hoping the wind would stay around 7mph (wasn’t that lucky); I was still pretty cold by the time we got to Firemans’ park, and I realized I had to eat, PROBLEM, my first half nutrition bars were on my left side of my jersey pockets, I had no grip and still couldn’t feel my left hand so I had to reach around and grab my food with my right hand for the entire first half of the ride, good thing I am flexible ;), but it slowed me down to have to do EVERYTHING with my right hand; The first loop was great, and I knew I was NOT going to get bored, I began counting the age groupers I passed and made it to about 25 and then I got bored of doing it. I loved seeing MJ and Tri Smart coaching, Sarah Fixx, Moe and Lara from Infinity Multisport, and the Endure It crew on all the hills. I had to witness a 3 guys peeing on themselves, SO NASTY! I stayed on nutrition pretty well for the first half of the ride, 2 KT’s clif bars and a sweet potato and 2 bottles of UCAN/ZYM; Got to special needs and by then I finally got feeling back in my pointer, index, and thumb fingers of my left hand but was still having trouble gripping things, I spent about 5 minutes at special needs cuz I had to strip off the vest, gloves, and refill my bottles, and stuff my pockets with the baby food squeezes, take some MAP 5 pills, 2 PHENOCANE, 2 TYLENOL, 2 HAMMER ENDUROLYTES and I had to use the “wet ones” to get my bottle refill off my hand… (next IM… definitely revising the special needs stop); ANYWAY, off for round two still feeling good. I felt good all the way until about mile 95 and was debating going harder but then was worried about the run so I wanted to stay steady.

I stopped 3 times on the bike to go to the bathroom. Nutrition on the second half was not as good. I had a sweet potato, KT Clif bar, and 3 ½ baby food squeezes …. The first BF squeeze I spilled all over myself and only got about ¾ of it in, then had to stop (2 minutes) and use a wet one to get it off my hand and handle bars. Then I dropped one completely and the other 3 I managed to get in. The last one I couldn’t take, cuz I was trying to settle my stomach for the run. I thought I was on top of the UCAN but turns out I only drank maybe ¾ of one so only about 100 calories of it because when I emptied my bottles after the race it was full of the concentrate. It was getting really sweet. I had a mental bump the last 20 miles of the bike because it was straight into the F$#%ing 15mph headwind/crosswind! MISERABLE, I just wanted to be done and I was getting blown everywhere and could not handle my bike as well as I would have liked cuz I still could not grip with the left hand. The last 5 miles was SO SLOW because you get into this “no pass zone” and me and another guy got behind this girl who was going 10mph! NOT COOL! They need to change that next year. Total Nutrition: 1050ish

T2: 6:52: FINALLY GET ME OFF THAT STUPID BIKE… NOW IS MY TIME! I had a pretty quick change in T2, I took 5 MAP, 2 TYLENOL, 2 ENDUROLYTES, and 2 PHENOCANE with FRS/1/3 bottle of 5 HR NRG; stopped at the porta john on the way out and was off on the run.

RUN: RACE TIME: 3:48:57, 8:44 pace, 6.5 Mile: 8:11pace, 9 Mile: 8:37pace, 13.2 Mile: 8:29pace, 19.4 Mile: 9:01pace (ACHILLES TIME), 22 Mile: 9:25pace, 26.2 mile 9:04pace; Division 31, Gender 107, Overall 702; GARMIN TIME: 26.5 miles, 3:45:36, 8:31mph; HR 135/155 {7:52, 8:10, 8:12, 7:52, 8:20, 8:40, 8:07, 8:09, 7:55, 8:16, 8:33, 8:14, 8:35, 7:55, 8:14, 8:50, 8:36, 8:48, 10:00 (19???), 8:49, 9:15, 8:29, 8:47, 9:20, 8:35, 8:46} Elevation: 5000ft;

The first few miles felt ok but I was trying to stay out of my head and just think about going aid station to aid station and KEEP RUNNING. My knee was mildly bothering me but nothing too bad, I walked through the aid stations getting water. I took a vanilla gel at about 2 ½ miles, expresso gel at 6 miles, a vanilla at about 8 ½ miles, and forced down an expresso at about 11 miles …. Going through the stadium was actually pretty cool but it was so deflating to see the 3 mile marker followed by the 16 mile marker knowing you had to do it all again! I wish I would have looked at my pace and picked it up but I was so afraid of getting mentally deflated that I didn’t… I KNOW I could have run faster… GOOD NEWS… nobody passed me, keeping the streak alive! I saw MJ at around mile 9 which helped, and Mike McDonald and his wife at around mile 11/18 which was good cuz he was wearing a Bears hat and got me thinking football…BEARS won by 20… sweet!.... running in the crowds by the capital was great but coming back through that lonely path was annoying. I started drinking coke at mile 13….

Had about ¼ cup, and an orange slice…. I kept with that routine until around mile 18 when I tried chicken broth but that was just weird after doing coke so I would say I had about 1 full coke for the second half of the run, 4-5 orange slices, and some grapes; after mile 23 I didn’t do anything but water. I had to stop at the rest room 3x and had to wait for about 30-45 seconds for 2 of those times, I would say my bathroom breaks cost me about 6-7 minutes on the run. Right around mile 18 is when I realized I needed more time on my feet in training runs. My feet and Achilles KILLED… I was so worried about another Achilles strain like I had last fall because that is EXACTLY what it felt like, I tried to shorten up my stride and think of Anton K’s form but it really slowed me down. I definitely think next year, I’m going to be doing a few more 20 milers and more 15-18 milers off the bike just for the time on my feet. Anyway, coming into mile 24, I was HURTING just wanted to be done, I knew I hadn’t really lived up to my potential but I did what I could with what I was dealt! Total Nutrition: 550ish

POST RACE: I was very disappointed with my time. I know I could have easily done 11:00-11:30 and with a little experience under my belt I think next year I will do much better. I kept thinking on the run, you can’t stop running because you have to earn your Ironman tattoo that I was

planning on getting but now post race I feel like I don’t deserve it. It’s a hard pill to swallow considering all the training I did to get here and I have not yet for a minute been proud of myself or felt relief, I crossed that finish line and wished I could try again the next day because I know I could be better. How sad is that? I haven’t enjoyed it yet… I’m so used to placing and getting on a podium, that anything less than stellar is nothing. I just completed something that only .001% of the population can do and I can’t even appreciate it. I would race next weekend if I could.

My Achilles and feet killed right after crossing the line! I hobbled to my bike and got my special needs, thank God Tony was there to help. I couldn’t have done it without him. He helped me to my car, I got back to Kristy’s and forced down some sweet potato and almond butter and a homemade muffin and went to bed. I slept for about 2 hours then was up the rest of the night getting angry at myself for not performing up to my own standards. Still can’t sleep over it….

NEXT DAY: I feel like 100year old woman. Walking hurts, walking down stairs KILLS! But I got up, met Tony after breakfast and purchased my IRONMAN merchandise and signed up for next year, I have to redeem myself injury free.


-Creepy clown popping out of the bushes around mile 90, all by himself, then seeing him twice on the run screaming my name… turns out it was Erik Enstad HA!

-Girl on the bike told me, NICE LEGS! I can’t wait to see those things run… then saw her on the run and she said I KNEW they were fast!

-Saw a guy on a stretcher on the run… he was convulsing… great…

-First time I have had coke since 8th grade ;)

-Loved the naked spectators

-I really hope Chuck Norris does an Ironman so that I don’t have to see another sign that says, “Chuck Norris never did an Ironman”

-I would really like to know who Jeremy and Cindy are because they had the most “support” in the world, t-shirts, signs, road signs EVERYWHERE

-Never saw the pros… I thought at some point they would lap us?

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