Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Mental Component

2014 marked my 3rd year racing Eagleman 70.3. The first year I raced was the completion of a "dirty double" which consisted of Mooseman 70.3 followed one week later by Eagleman 70.3. Ouch! 

In 2013 I desperately needed a top 3 finish to qualify for the world championship and I finished 3rd! Last year was also extra special because my 2 sisters and cousin competed.  I love racing when I know I have friends/family racing because the energy is always high!  Eagleman 2013 was full of great memories and I chose to race this year again and plan to make it a tradition.   

My sister and her husband live in Annapolis so it's great to be able to visit and explore the very beautiful city of Annapolis. 

I arrived at my sisters house late Thursday and Danny, once again, drove my bike down on Friday so I could avoid bike fees. If someone were to ask me what my secret weapon was in regards to continued progress in sport  my answer would be: Danny Ferreira.  Eternity is what I need to repay the acts of kindness he has delivered. 

We had a relaxing few days before the race. Luckily I left all of my forget-fullness in Texas and I did remember my pedals and even attended the PRO meeting. I was on fire.

Race morning I dug into some watermelon like a widlebeest, ate a  yogurt and a banana and felt like I was raring to go. I was unsure of how I would feel just 3 short weeks after Ironman Texas but mentally I was in attack mode.  

It was a non-wetsuit swim which I should be in favor of because swimming is a strength and I am not a huge fan of cold water. BUT every time I am granted a non-wetsuit swim I swim like a manatee. You know, the manatee...sort of resembles a chubby dolphin. Also, the slowest moving critter this side of a sloth? 

Yep, I 'manateed' the heck out of that swim. I did however feel amazing once I was vertical and sprinting through transition.  I zipped off my TYR speedsuit and hopped onto the Argon.

Once on the bike things got interesting. I was in a solid pack of 4-5 girls and the pace was all over the place.  Every so often I would take a turn leading and surge out in front until someone eventually made a pass.  The pace would spike and then another person would pass or sit up and the pace would drastically slow. There was an official by us the ENTIRE ride. He actually gave me a few 'thumbs up' along the way, meaning I was riding legally and doing a good job considering this was the most tactical and surge-y ride to date.  You can read about the gritty details in Danny's blog. I won't say too much because I know things like this happen in racing. I love a good honest race BUT with the emphasis on honest. 

I tried to ride as steady and as strong as possible, focusing on positive thinking, conserving energy and chugging Infinit (which is a nutrition game changer). I rolled into T2 in 2:25 which was a fine split considering I felt very fresh but I knew the leading girls had put some big time on us.

Still, I entered T2 excited to start my favorite leg!   Danny yelled that I was in 8th and I was determined to save the race. I saw my sister and her husband cheering for me and this gave me a HUGE surge of adrenaline.

The first 2 miles I clicked off in 6:05 and then it happened.  You know how they say never trust a fart in a Ironman? Well it's true. I spent the rest of the 13.1 miles doing a tour of the port-a-potties. It was around mile 7 that I was really starting to hurt all over: quads, calves, stomach!  The very speedy Kim Schwabenauer was behind me and I knew I needed to RUN or she would surely run me down.  In all honesty though, there were points when I wanted to quit. I was in pain and I was not going to get enough Kona points and I was barely hanging on to 8th.  

But I made a very important choice directly after that pity party moment.  In all of my discomfort I decided to live in the moment and just love it! I would never have this exact experience again and I would never get this moment back to push a little harder. So I dug really deep, I ignored my screaming calves and quads and gurgling stomach and I just raced. HARD.  I was able to catch 2 girls and move myself into 6th. 

On this day 6th was my win.

And now, 6 weeks until Ironman Lake Placid!


  1. Reading your blogs is one of my favorite activities!! You never cease to disappoint. :) Congrats on such a hard fought race!!!

    1. Thanks Beth! How is your hip doing?? Hopefully you are back at it 100%


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