Thursday, August 8, 2013


I am happy to report I took the overall female win and broke the course record this past weekend at Top Notch Triathlon. This event is great fun and anyone looking for a challenge should mark the date on their calendar for next year. The event starts with the bike which is half road and half mountain style, transitions to a beautiful swim across Echo Lake and finishes with a quad busting run up Cannon (mountain goat style). 

Overall I felt very strong the entire day which was a pleasant surprise because this was a non taper event. The morning started with showers but as the seconds ticked down to start the sun starting poking through and it got warm!  As soon as the gun went off and I charged to the front hoping to pocket some time because there was a 100% chance I would be losing ground as soon as I entered the woods. I’m not only awful at mountain biking I’m actually quite the menace.  

And this is how the  mountain bike portion went down:  attempt to bunny hop a rock, fail, scream like a child, fall off the bike, curse, fumble to get back on,  pedal like hell to make up time, face plant, curse, mount the darn bike again, inadvertently get in someone’s way, apologize, pedal pedal pedal to try and catch said person,  hit a rock, nose dive over the handle bars, face plant, and curse.  If nothing else, my spastic riding gets the heart rate going which turned out to be a good thing. Historically, I have had great swims post spaz-attacks and this year was no different. I called out one last curse and hurled myself into the water like a crazy amazon lady.  I noticed my arm turnover was fast and my catch was strong. I exited the water in 15 overall and also was lucky enough to break the female swim course record.  Who would have thought riding like a goon could help your swim stroke?
The hill run was what I was looking forward to all day because this is where I am in my element. My secret dream is that all Ironman will someday end in a 26.2 mile UPHILL run. J  I smiled at the awesome crowd as they cheered me on and informed me I was first girl. I jumped into my ZOOT SHOES and charged up the hill. 

Right off the bat I felt strong. I passed a few guys and found myself in 10th overall. My breathing was steady and my legs were ready to charge.  I was running with a great guy who I later learned was a talented Nordic ski racer and we kept encouraging each other through labored gasps the entire way.   The percent grade was relentless but I’m pleased that I kept the pace up and was able to run the entire grind except for about 30 seconds during the rocky scree section.  I crossed the line with the run course record, overall female course record, and and 6th  human overall. The first person I congratulated at the finish was my great friend Ryan Kelly who took 2nd overall and bested the guys course record!  

To date, my season has been full of pleasant surprises and I am surpassing many of my goals.  Because of this, numerous people have approached me and asked me what I have done differently in my training this year.  And my answer is: NOTHING. I have changed nothing and this is a great thing.   The secret is this: I have an outstanding coach who I believe in 100%.  I have been fortunate enough to be amazingly consistent in my training, I have a wonderfully supportive husband  and I have great, great training partners.  I can count on one hand how many workouts I have missed in the past 3 years.   I have put my head down and have been consistent day after day;  5 hour trainer rides, pool workouts that make the lungs scream, stupid long bike rides in the rain and early morning long runs with the stomach and the legs revolting.  I believe that if I am consistently strong and I push through the sub par workouts and the lactic acid  and bottle up all the positive energy I get from nailing workouts  I never thought I would get though, I believe that I will surpass even my wildest dreams...   

Up next: Timberman 70.3!!  


  1. Love it Amber!!!! Although I just do not agree with that whole uphill IM run. That is evil and I feel like you should be lashed with a wet noodle for even thinking it. ;)

    Love watching you succeed, meet your goals and kick butt. Take some names at Timberman!!!

  2. Way to go neighbor! I feel famous by association. Congrats!!
    Christine Tatro


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