Monday, August 25, 2014


How awesome is Julien Heon Photography?

Before I go on and give the gritty details on my Mont Tremblant Ironman adventure 3 shorts weeks after my first Ironman win, let me just say: I'm going to KONA baby!! It has honestly been a 4 year process chock full of sweat, tears, smiles and sacrifice. I smelled a worthwhile struggle when I first started Ironman and boy am I happy I took on the challenge. Because in all honesty, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW! What a Ride!"

Ironman Mont Tremblant was a race to remember and I will never forget my AWESOME homestay in Tannis and Kenny Hall ( They served me the most delectable food and took me by boat to the START of the Ironman!) Hopefully I get to see these 2 wonderful people for 70.3 World Champs in 2 weeks.

"When you come out of the storm you wont be the same person that walked in. That is what the storm is all about." 

And that storm was Ironman Mont Tremblant.  Someone up above wanted me to suffer that day and suffer I did. I had put a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure on myself to qualify for Kona as a pro. So much so that I really did not even let myself fully enjoy the Ironman Lake Placid win. After Placid I smiled when people congratulated me but really I was hyper-focused on having a solid day in Canada.  The 3 weeks between Placid and Mont Tremblant were hard. I was feeling tired, sore and nervous. There were some bike rides where I was on the verge of crying because I was not sure if my very sore foot would hold up. And the worst case scenerio was if I got injured racing this risky double.  

Here is an interview before the race. Interview. I sound happy and giggly but really I am shaking in my boots.

Race day came VERY quickly. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit on the pro panel,  interview with Ironman and Kevin McMahon and participate in a photo shoot with the super talented Julien Heon

Photo Credit: Julien Heon

I woke on race morning to 50 degree temperatures, a sore/questionably stress fractured foot and LADY CRAMPS. Whoa baby! If that's not a triple threat I don't know what it. Regardless though, I really have a hard time feeling sorry for myself. I enjoy the pain, I like to suffer, I LOVE to swim bike run.

Holy lats! This is why I swim OK and also look terrible in dresses.

This is the break down of the start. 1) Gun goes off 2.) I start swimming INSTANTLY 3) Tine Deckers (who is approximately 3 feet taller than me proceeds to walk through the water for the next 1/2 mile) 4.) DOH!

Leading out of the water. Thank you TYR!

In short, the swim was exciting because, well, I was leading it. I love chasing things. And for 57 minutes I got to chase the stand up paddle boarder.  However, post race Tine Decker informed me (with a Belgian accent) that she was 100% sure I am the biggest wiggle worm of a swimmer she has ever met. I am sorry to Tine and Sara Gross. I know the swim is 2.4 miles but it is quite possible I led you on a 3 mile adventure.  

Ouch. Leg cramps, lady cramps, and shoulder cramps, If my eyeballs could cramp, they would have.

In short, the bike was the most grueling mentally challenging ride of my life.  I saw my VERY AWESOME coach a billion times throughout the ride. Every time he say me he would yell: "EAT and DRINK!"
What made matters worse is I couldn't eat very well due to said lady cramps and my quads were on FIRE. I actually looked down at my watch 90 minute into the bike portion and my body felt like it does after 6 hours of riding. On top of that, I had trouble reaching for gels in my back pocket because my shoulders would cramp.

I had also moved into the lead at the 3 hour mark and this was NOT something I was expecting. After Ironman Lake Placid I learned that being chased is quite possible the scariest part of racing and it actually takes quite a bit of mental fortitude. You have to be ON YOUR GAME and stay on top of that positive talk or it's game-over in the blink of an eye.   

Running VERY scared from Sara Gross.
The run was the storm. I went between nearly crying because my foot hurt and then the next moment wanting so desperately bad to keep the lead. I wanted to win for my Coach (Kurt Perham) and for my partner in crime: Danny. I knew Danny was cheering me on even from afar.  I wanted to win for my great friend Ryan who was out on course cheering like a mad man. I wanted to win so badly for everyone that wanted it for me. I knew I only needed top 5 to secure a Kona slot but leading an Ironman makes you want to hurt yourself and dig deep and experience those intense emotions so you can break that tape at the finish. It makes you HUNGRY to accept the pain.

Chasing my lead biker. She was AWESOME by the way. Totally made my day.

At mile 130 (20 miles into the marathon) Sara passed me. I tried to hang on with every fiber of my being but it was a losing battle. She was the strongest girl on that day. I crossed the line 100% depleted.

 Finish interview: 2nd at IM Mont Tremblant

Huge congrats to Sara Gross. She pushed me so far into the pain cave and for that I OWE HER.
And then you know what I thought??  KONA BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Time to hug some sea turtles and race the best girls in the world at the Ironman World Championships come October....


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