I’ve probably thought about this race too much. I had a great coach once tell me “you have 24-48 hours to have a pity party and then it’s time to move on.” It’s been right about that much time so I decided to write about the race to help me move on. However, this is more of reflection than a race report.

Like I wrote about in my last blog post, I was preparing for and planning on really pushing myself to the limit in this race. I was looking forward to a good foot race and “testing” myself mentally by pushing my physical limits. I WAS tested, just not in the way I had planned.

I swam on my own and got out of the water knowing it wasn’t my best swim but that I was still in a good spot. I brushed it off and started racing through transition. When I got on my bike I noticed that my heart rate monitor wasn’t registering right. I tried to fix it a couple times in the first 10 miles but eventually gave up trying and brushed it off thinking, “This will be fun! I haven’t raced on feel and power in a while!” (I race 100% off heart rate and don’t look at anything else during the bike and run.)

I biked my way through the field to get myself in a good position. I caught up to Alicia Kaye (2nd place) and legal drafted with her for a mile or two when a male pro passed us. Alicia went with him for a bit but then started to let him go so I passed to go with him and get a nice, fast legal draft. I had just passed and put myself in 2nd place 8 minutes behind Lauren Brandon who is a super swimmer and biker. I was excited about my position, feeling great and set myself up for a sub 4:40 bike. The joy might have been part of my undoing as I was coming down an overpass hill and hit an expansion join HARD and flatted my back tire. We were told there would be flat pack assistance at aid stations so I rolled into the aid station that was just up ahead. I figured I could easily refuel and restock my bike as well as change my flat. Long story short, there was a bit of confusion but after about 10 minutes I was back on the road. Even after this I thought, “I’ve won my last two races by over 10 minutes so this will just makes things more interesting.”

Just before the next aid station, the same thing happened. This time my front tire blew, but I thought to ask someone to call the roaming mechanic. He came after I started trying to change my flat again and ended up switching out my whole tire so it was a pretty quick stop (2-4 minutes).

I came up to special needs and called out my number but the volunteers must not have heard so I had to almost stop to get a bottle from special needs. Again, no big deal! I could see Jodie was less than a minute ahead of me so I wasn’t too worried. I was still in contention! 

A little bit later, I hit a third expansion joint and this time my back tire went flat. This was the first time that I had a little sinking feeling. I didn’t have another tube to change my flat and I wasn’t near an aid station so I thought my race was over. I don’t know what made me do it, but I got off my bike and started taking the back wheel off to change it. A couple minutes later an age group male on his first lap called up and said “Do you need something?” WOW! I can’t believe the kindness of people!  He gave me his tube and was back on his way. Another long story short I broke my CO2 converter so couldn’t inflate the tube once I had it all ready to go. AGAIN to my utter amazement, a woman pulled off to the side without me even flagging her down and said, “I don’t know anything about bikes, but what do you need?” She let me borrow her converter and I got back on my way! I was shot down so many times but with lots of help I was able to keep trucking along.

As soon as I got back on my bike I realized that I couldn’t shift. I was in my hardest gear and couldn’t shift at all. I usually race between 90-95 RPMs, but I was down around 50 with the wind at my back and 20-40 with the wind in my face. I stopped two more times to try to fix it but just couldn’t get it working. Mentally I was still with it. I had chosen three phrases to replace any bad or negative thought. So most of the ride back into The woodlands I was saying “Believe your dreams, I am a champion, I dominate.” My legs were getting toasted by the low cadence and my calf muscles were really starting to strain.

By the time I was in T2 I was not a happy person. I really wanted someone to tell me, “It’s ok to stop, you can do Santa Rosa in 3 weeks and still get to Kona.” I didn’t go into this race just wanting Kona Points. I went into this race to race, push, and test myself. I didn’t think I would end up coming off the bike in 16th place after fighting mechanical after mechanical on the bike. I wanted Tim, Scott, and Meredith to say “Yes, that stunk, you can stop and just fight another day.” But, no, none of them ever did. I had a mental battle in my head for most of the run.

“If I don’t finish I won’t have a marathon in my legs and I can do Santa Rosa 70.3 for more points and accomplish another goal of a podium in a 70.3 this year.”

“But what if something happens during that race? I wouldn’t have ANY other race to fall back on.”

“Well, you don’t even know if you’ll get enough points at THIS race.”

“But if I did Santa Rosa, I would have more time away from family and I don’t want that right now.”

“But I hate bad results on my ‘resume’.”

“I told myself I wanted to push myself, this is just a different type of pushing. I’m not battling physical pain, but the disappointment over how horribly wrong things have gone.”

“My legs are so, so dead from that low cadence the back half of the race.”

“I’ll keep going until I see my daughter”

“What about those people who can’t do this? I can’t quit.”

“Stop going back and forth and just decide to GO! ”

In the end I decided to finish. I ended up in 12th place and got 385 more points for Kona, which will probably get me there by the July cut off though nothing is written in stone until it is.

Honestly, somehow God always knows what we need more than we do. I wouldn’t have picked this path but with a sour taste in my mouth I have so much more motivation for Kona! I’ll be honest, this race rocked me for a couple days, but I’m back and ready to push myself to my limits and beyond during this build to Kona!



04/26/2017 11:20am

As one of "those people who can’t do this", thank you for not giving up. I was at home anxiously following your progress. We all can't be ironmen (or women as it is) but the inspiration you provide me to keep pushing my own limits despite the obstacles helps more than you know. At the end of the day, you did something a vast majority of us can't and that's to be applauded. But more importantly, as I know all too well, not giving up sometimes is even harder than putting in all the miles. So good job overcoming those voices in your head and getting over yourself, you killed it out there despite the setbacks! Now brush the dust off and get back up and fight even harder for the next one....

05/02/2017 3:53pm

I am glad that after what you have experienced from your race, you are able to contemplate some thoughts. It is true indeed that God knows what we should have more than we do. His plans are always greater and better than what we have. Well, just so you know, I do admire you for being this dedicated to what you are doing. You have the passion in your heart that no one can ever take away from you. Just continue what you are doing because everything will be paid off in the end.

07/06/2017 11:33pm

Wow that's amazing - Felix Flatpack

04/26/2017 6:21pm

Sister a great roll model for your daughter. Way to push if this was easy then everyone would be out there.

04/29/2017 3:13am

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05/18/2017 12:35am

Hope you performed well in Texas.

05/18/2017 12:56am

What a lovely post from Texas memories.

05/21/2017 10:39pm

Keep sharing.

05/26/2017 2:31am

Thanks for sharing.

06/09/2017 1:26pm

I was about to say something really uplifting but I got distracted by hiccups. I am not sure where it came from. Oh well, maybe it's best to just keep my thoughts to myself. I am just kidding. Anyway, have this love hate relationship with bicycles. For the record I haven't had an accident since I was a kid and you can never say I never had enough riding hours. There is no way I should hate bikes. But now I do because it's frustrating not to have more than one. They are simply wonderful.


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