Monday, April 24, 2017

Believe that the Fairy Tale is True

Each day I wake up with a few goals:

1. Be present 
2. Strive to see the beauty in the beasts
3. Tackle the crap out of my goals
4. And believe that the fairy tale is true

I woke up everyday after Ironman Cozumel with these 4 things in mind.  I had a successful training camp in Tuscon in March and noticed the fitness piling up. More importantly I was really loving the work. Twenty plus hours of swim, bike, run on top of a regular 35+ hour work week is hard but I was thriving and I was PRESENT. 


Ironman Texas was looming which meant my excitement was building. My love for racing is strong. A love that has been deepened by time and strengthened by both successes and hardships.  I love the thrill of race day and the people I meet along the way.  

First and foremost I was more than excited to go back and visit my Homestay from 2014: The Lee's. They are a wonderful, fantastic family and I am forever grateful to them for feeding my hungry self and making me laugh throughout the weekend.

The build up to the race was perfect save one small snafu with TSA squashing my Enve race wheel.  The triathlon community came through and before I knew it I was rocking a mis-matched but pretty awesome HED/ENVE set up.  I shrugged off the broken wheel because it just deepened my respect for the endurance community. I SAW THE BEAUTY IN THE BEAST. 

Always breaking rule #95

I was feeling so energized and ready to tackle 140.6 miles.  Nothing could stop me now. TIME TO TACKLE THE CRAP OUT OF MY GOALS.

The race started fast (it was the North American Champhipships after all) but I really made an effort to NOT race like a Donkey. New Hampshire had a tough winter so I had limited outdoor ride time and didn't want to burn any bike matches because I truly believed in my run.

I truly believed in my run until I didn't. At mile 1.5 I suffered the worst leg cramps and was forced to walk/shuffle/run/cramp/walk/shuffle.  This was mind boggling as I have done 18 Ironman and my nutrition/race build up/training was at its BEST for #19.

The Boss Man cheering me on. 

Moments before attack of the hamstring cramps
Eighteen full Ironman races under my belt and #19 really showed me who was the boss.  I guess that is why we both love and hate the fickleness of an ultra long race like this. You can train like an animal and be mentally psyched and yet there are never any guarantees.  Similar to life.

During the time I spent shuffling/walking/jogging on the run course I SAW THE BEAUTY IN THE BEAST. Almost every athlete that passed me gave me a pat on the back and asked if I needed anything. How amazing is that?  One exceptionally nice Australian triathlete even offered me his Vegemite - haha!  I laughed, I shuffled, I hobbled and I cried.

I have put my body through the most intense training and racing over the past 6 years. 18 full Ironman and 35 half Ironman in 6 years. It was absolutely soul crushing at the time to not finish but my motto is Be Brave. And at this particular time that meant BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO BREAK MY OWN HEART.  And with that I pulled myself off the course.

But I believe in the fairy tale and the beauty of my dreams. The heartbreak will eventually make us stronger...

A gigantic hug my sponsors: (DELTA DENTAL, TOM RAFFIO, VELOCIO, RUDY PROJECT, INFINIT NUTRITION, BEETPERFORMER, MC CYCLE AND SPORT), The Lee's and the triathlon community.


  1. Oh Amber, I am so sorry. I love all your pictures and am so inspired by how hard you train and your incredible work ethic-not to mention your talent. Your posts are so positive even when they have some sad news like this one. I'm always pulling for you!

  2. Your ability to take it all in and always finding some lesson or silver lining is amazing! I am always so inspired by you and your attitude!! ❤ - Josie

  3. you are the most amazing and inspirational person I will probably ever have the pleasure to know. Your story bought me to tears, worthy of a book for sure. I know this is not the end for you, you will preserver where others would not. Hugs to you my dear

  4. I love all your pictures and am so inspired by how hard you train and your incredible work.
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