Ironman Cozumel Part 4

Continued from Ironman Cozumel, Part 2, and Part 3….

I had done it! I had crossed the finish line. I had accomplished my goal of finishing an Ironman before aging up to the big girls league. I can’t help but to smile when I think about it even now, a month after the fact.

  

….After crossing the finish line, a volunteer immediately grabbed ahold of me to walk me through the finishers chute. She kept asking “Are you alright?! Are you alright?!” All I could think to say was “Yes, can someone please take my shoes off??” I was tired and hungry but thankfully all that hurt on me was my extremely swollen feet. I guess I looked worse than I felt?! Regardless, I made it through the line, had a medal put around my neck, was given a finishers shirt, and someone eventually helped me take my shoes off. Then it was time for pizza and pepsi.

  
My family met me just outside of the finishers area for hugs and pictures. Y’all they must really love me to hug me at this point… I was gross! Pretty sure my hair could have stood straight up without any products!! 

  
Once the pictures were done and Dad had taken care of getting all my gear to the right places, mainly Stanley back to TriBike Transport we grabbed a cab to head back to the hotel so I could have my much deserved beer! Priorities right?! Before the race that was what I had told my brother I wanted at the finish line. 

Upon arriving back at the hotel, having about three sips of my beer, half a hot dog, and maybe half a margarita, I was done for the night. Unfortunately I was too restless to get much sleep but it sure did feel good to lay down and be clean.

The next day, for as good as I felt at the finish line, I was exhausted so naturally drinks and naps on the beach were most of the day’s work. 

  

 

By evening, it was time to pack our bags and check out of the hotel before heading to the slot allocation and the awards ceremony. Going into this race, my age group was slotted for two Ironman World Championships slots, aka two slots to Kona, Hawaii!! 

Upon arriving at the very disorganized slot allocation, we got the pleasure of standing on line with some of my previous day’s competitors. It was interesting to hear everyone talk about their race experience; everyone had very different thoughts and experiences on the race course. Finally the doors were opened and we took our seats in a big open air pavilion. 

I had finished 2nd in my age group so I knew there was a chance I was headed to Kona. I also knew that only a few people from my age group toed the line the previous day so there was also a chance that I may not be. Regardless, I was ready if the opportunity came my way! 

Lucky for me, being the youngest age group, I quickly got my answer to the lingering question….

 Unfortunately it wasn’t the answer I was looking for, I wasn’t going to be packing my bags for Hawaii this coming October as the final slot allocation only gave the 18-24 year old females one. However, I couldn’t be mad, the girl that edged me out absolutely killed it and I did get to step up on the podium and was handed a huge m-dot trophy. That was pretty awesome! 

  
Worst part of this trophy was that it weighed about 10lbs and I had to carry it for the remainder of that evening on the ferry and in the long cab ride to the hotel in Cancun by the airport.  Then after a quick nights sleep, it was time to continue the travel the rest of the way back to Charlotte. Lots of congratulations came my way while carrying it which made the trophy a little more fun to be carrying the large piece of wood all day long. 

  
Finally after an exhausting trip, we had made it back to the Queen City. The city in which made it so I was now officially in recovery mode for atleast a couple of weeks. 

  

Ironman Cozumel Part 3

Continued from Ironman Cozumel and Ironman Cozumel Part 2….

Transition 2 – A welcomed separation from Stanley. Although we are buds, 7hrs got the best of us. He was handed off to a volunteer to go rack and I grabbed my run bag and headed into the changing tent. Applied a little more body glide and sunscreen, switched out my shoes, and I was on my way, 5:12 later.

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Heading into T2! Bye Bye Stanley!
Run — It felt so good to walk that I took the first 20-30yards to just walk and stretch out my legs before finding my stride. Similar to the bike, it was a three loop course that consisted of running down the street away from the finish line a little over 4 miles then running back towards the finish line a little over 4miles. It sounds like a boring course but for an ironman when you want support, it was great! And my family took full advantage of this; they spread out over the 4 mile stretch to cheer me on the entire way. The course was relatively flat with a few gradual hills. The best part of the course, aside from the spectators, was that the aid stations were every kilometer (.6 miles). Something about them being every kilometer made them that much easier to stay focused and running in between them.

Lap 1…Sun high and still hot!

I was able to keep that focus and get through 10miles strong, just walking though the aid stations. At about mile 11, I started to struggle a little bit. I was STARVING!! And I couldn’t stomach any more Gu or gummies so I had to turn to the food on the course to get me through. From mile 11 – 16, the aid stations became Kathryn feeding stations. Pretzels and peanuts did the trick. During this time, my walks through the aid stations became a little more leisurely and my focus in between stations had dwindled. I was running 2min, walking 30seconds. Alex even briefly walked with me during this, I’m pitiful, I’m going to starve stretch. Eventually, I was able to build back up to about a 3-4min run 30sec walk.

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Still smiling!
By mile 17 I had found my stride again and was moving pretty good. Still keeping to about 3min run, 30sec walk. Somewhere close to this point, maybe a little before, I passed my mom and I told her “I got this.” My strong stride continued though mile 20, a 10k to go. Although my legs were doing okay, I was just all over getting tired and losing focus.

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Maybe a little pain but staying strong as the sun sets!
This is when I took a new approach and really started playing the mind game. The street was divided with cones so I took to counting cones. This was entertaining because they weren’t evenly spread out. I would run 10 cones then walk 2. This mind game plus a little encouragement from the guys from England I met during bike drop off worked till about a mile to go. Funny thing is, I am sure people thought I was some kind of crazy chick out there, I was counting out loud for all to hear. I didn’t realize it for the longest time though; I was just focused on my cones.

With a mile to go, it felt like I picked it up and was killing it to the finish line but really, that wasn’t quite the case at all. Regardless, I felt strong and I was determined to get there. The smile was still plastered on my face like it had been all day and I could feel my heart beating in my chest, I was about to be an Ironman!

Coming back up the street towards the finish line, I got to stay to the right at the split, as opposed to the left like I had the last two times. I could hear the cheering crowd and the announcer over the loud speakers. I was close. As I made the split, I spotted my parents straight ahead. I bee lined it for them, high fives all around before making my way up the ramp for the final stretch to the finish line. My hands held high, tears in my eyes; I was steps away from being an IRONMAN!!

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The final approach!
There was this huge sense of relief that rushed through my body as I crossed that finish line. It was unreal. I, Kathryn Leach, was officially an IRONMAN!!! Although, I felt confident all day, even during my low points, I had now, really done it! I had completed the 2.4mile swim, the 112mile bike ride, and the 26.2mile run with time to spare before the cut offs.

My run time was 4:48:31, making total time for the day, 13:20:51!!

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I did it!
To be continued….

 

Ironman Cozumel Part 2

Continued from Ironman Cozumel….

Swim – 7am the pro division heads into the water, that was my 30min till go time mark. I lined up with the 1:20 – 1:30 wave since it was a rolling start as opposed to the normal mass start of an Ironman event. Little did we know that 7:30 start would quickly turn into a 7:45, almost 8 o’clock start time. The announcer wasn’t doing a great job of keeping the athletes or the spectators informed and you could sense the frustration amongst the athletes as we stood waiting. Turns out the dock broke, luckily no one was hurt but it made it so they were only allowing about 4 people to start at a time. And what was supposed to be a ramp into the water turned into a jump in the roughly 4 feet of water. I fortunately didn’t have any issues but I did hear of others complaining about hitting their feet hard on the bottom and jarring themselves a bit.

Immediately into the swim I had a little bit of a panic. All along, I was told the swim was with the current but I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I kept thinking to myself, if this is with the current, I am in trouble!! This went on for about the first 10(ish) minutes before making a slight turn around the island to where you could feel the difference. Immediately, the swim got easier and you were able to watch the fish swim below you and cruise…. Kind of like an intense snorkeling session. 😉 This went on for a while before the seaweed and jellyfish became a bit of an issue. The seaweed was more so gross but the jellyfish (which you couldn’t actually see) did become a problem. I ended up being stung twice. Lucky for me neither was bad but still irritating (and still scarring…literally) nonetheless. By about the last 15min of the swim, even though I was feeling good, I was about over the salt water. I happily welcomed the swim exit. I ended up finishing the swim in 1:17:00.

Transition 1 – It felt so good to be on land and to run through some fresh, NON SALTY, water. This was the first place I saw my team, Team Kat! Remember how I said my family had an awesome surprise for me the night before the race, well they made Team Kat shirts to support me! They were easy to pick out and I welcomed their smiling faces on the dock. After passing them, I grabbed my transition bag and headed for the changing tent. Y’all, take my word for it, if you’re doing an Ironman in salt water, change your clothes, you won’t regret it, plus it only takes about 2min! I wore my speed suit with a swimsuit underneath then changed into my tri kit for the rest of the day. It felt so good to start in dry, non-salty clothes for the 112mile bike ride. Another piece of advice, take advantage of the help the volunteers are willing to give you. As soon as I walked into the tent they had water in hand and were rinsing off my sandy feet then were quickly helping spray my sunscreen on my back. Thank you Thank you Thank you volunteers! Then it was an easy jog to my man Stanley and out the bike exit as I waved to Team Kat. Total time, 9:53.

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Stanley and I heading out for the next 112miles!!
Bike – The longest part of the day. Initially I felt a little iffy. My legs were great but all the salt water and the waves during the swim had my stomach a little uneasy. I drank a fair amount of water and Gatorade in those first few miles and quickly came back to life. The bike course was a three loop course that could easily be divided up into 4 sections. The first part, the long never ending straight, flat part. This section felt like it went on forever but you could cruise. It was well protected from the sun and wind. Part two, the windy, slightly uphill, sunny section. And calling it the windy section might be a bit of an understatement; I should really call it tornado ally. The wind was something between a head and cross wind coming off of the ocean. It was beautiful but lets just say it was a success to keep moving above about 12mph. The next section was the tail wind. Coming out tornado ally this was welcomed. Easy to gain some extra speed and allow your legs to recover a bit from the last torturous hour in part two. Part four was the fun section. This part went through downtown Cozumel and was lined with loud, cheering spectators. Also this was slightly downhill and with the wind still at your back, by far my favorite section of the course.

Lap one, after getting over my uneasy stomach was smooth sailing. I was on top of my fuel, drinking plenty of fluids and cruising. I am pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face the entire way.

Lap two, was a little more tough, the winds in tornado ally had picked up slightly and the sun was high and hot. This lap took a little out of me and I struggled with my fuel for about an hour, but overall, another strong lap with one big exception. There was a FIRE on the course in part three. A building had caught on fire and there was a huge black cloud of smoke that we had to ride through. Before entering the cloud I took a big breath and held my breath till I got through to the other side. Obviously, not ideal, but it didn’t end up being as bad as it could have been. And major plus…. Team Kat was everywhere on this lap! They were racing me on their mopeds! 

Lap three, at the start of part one, I made my first and only potty stop for the day. It felt so good to get off the bike that I almost didn’t want to get back on again but I knew I had a goal to get across that finish line so I hopped back on and got going. I did great through part one but tornado ally did get me. I remember looking down at my watch shortly after making the turn to tornado ally and seeing that I was only going 11mph. It was so defeating. I felt like I was working soooo hard but was hardly moving. This section was a little over 13miles, so I knew I had at least an hour to push through. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one with those same defeating thoughts though. As I passed one man, he jokingly (but totally dead serious) said, “Will someone please turn off the wind?!” Finally, I made it through the ally and was on my way to the nice tail wind. The tail wind was great but by now, my neck and shoulder were hurting pretty badly making it tough to stay tucked in aero position. This was annoying but overall, no big deal. Thankfully the smoke had cleared on part three and I had clear visual of the city ahead. I knew the city meant ditching he bike and heading for the running shoes, something I happily welcomed!

Total time on the bike: 7:00:15. I was 8:27 into my ironman journey.

To be continued…

Ironman Cozumel

I know I know I know….it has taken me forever to get this series (yes, it is a series) posted! This was such a big event that it has made it hard to wrap my mind around it to write about… so here it goes!

What an overwhelmingly amazing experience. Becoming an ironman is unlike any other experience I have ever had. I think its because of all the many months of training that lead to this one day, that no matter how conditioned you are, you never really know if you will make it across that finish line. A million things can happen from jellyfish stings, to bike malfunctions, to unbearable weather conditions over those 140.6miles. Some of these bumps are inevitable to happen and most you are able to overcome but at the end of the day, you just never know what the outcome will be. All I can say is coming out of this race, crossing the finish line, feeling good and all in one piece, I feel blessed.

Before I get too far ahead of myself though; let me back up a bit to give the whole recap on my Ironman experience….

Wednesday — Mom, Dad, Alex, and I got up bright and early for a day of travel. First stop the Charlotte airport, then the Atlanta airport, and then the Cancun airport. You’d think we would be done traveling by then, but no, the fun had just begun. Once arriving in the Cancun airport, going through customs, and picking up our luggage….which I should really rephrase as my luggage with a few pieces of clothing for everyone else (dang there is a lot of gear for this silly sport), we were off to stand in a giant line to take a taxi to Playa de Carmen. This was about an hour ride where I was sure I would get sick as the driver zipped through the streets of Mexico. Once there, I completely understood why everyone told me to send my bike with TriBike Transport, we had to lug all of our bags through the cobblestone streets, wait in another line, and then take a ferryboat to Cozumel. I felt bad for all those who were trying to pull their massive bike boxes and load them onto the boat. You could see the fear in their eyes as their bikes were passed over the water onto the boat as the ocean was super rough that day. I will say though, this is when the Ironman became real for me. Seeing all the Ironman tattoos and bike boxes made the event become a reality. Finally, after a nauseating boat ride to Cozumel and a quick taxi ride to the hotel, we had made it! Only a mere 14 hours of travel!!!

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On the ferry to Cozumel trying not to toss our cookies! 
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We made it!! The hotel even welcomed me! 😉

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving! It certainly didn’t feel like Thanksgiving but it was a nice and relaxing day to recover from the previous day of travel. I did get in a short run followed by a quick swim in the beautiful blue water. It was so cool to be able to see the ocean floor and all the fish swimming about. Then a few hours on the beach (in the shade with 50spf on of course) and we were ready to watch the Panthers game. Yes, in Mexico, the crazy people from Dallas and my family did find a way to get the game projected on a wall of one of the bars at the hotel. The night closed with a traditional Mexican buffet and show.

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Typical beach attire right?! Cap, googles, and a speed suit for me! 
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And the family made sure to enjoy all of what the resort had to offer! Drinks all around! (water for me!)

Friday – The Ironman crazy festivities began. First thing was swim practice. They opened up the end of the swim course for all the athletes to get a feel for what race day would be like. It was really cool to meet so many other athletes who were also about to embark on this big adventure. You could quickly distinguish between the seasoned athletes and the newbies.

Next stop was packet pick-up. Here was the first time I realized that the language barrier was going to be a real thing. Going through the lines trying to communicate was quite the challenge. Also, since you cannot fly with the CO2 cartridges (used in the case that you get a flat on race day), my dad and I were on the hunt to find those at expo. We did manage to find them but then the question of where to pick up my bike became our next struggle. My bike, Mister Stanley, was only a couple blocks away but finding someone who spoke English to communicate that to us was nothing short of a miracle. Once finding the TriBike Transport bike lot, we headed back to the hotel for the remainder of the day where I was able to get in quick bike tune up and go for a smooth 10mile ride.

Saturday – Busy busy busy! I got up early to get in a quick brick workout. 20min on the bike followed by a 10min run. Then I packed up all my transition and special needs bags for the next day, had a good, hearty breakfast, and jumped on my bike again to go deliver all my gear for the next day. The ride to transition 1 was the moment I realized I was really going to do this. As I took the 2mile ride nice and easy, soaking up the beautiful views along the ocean all I could think about was how awesome, it was going to be to see that finish line and hear my name, “KATHRYN LEACH, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” the next day.

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All the gear! Yikes!

Transition 1 was hectic to say the least but I was very impressed with the security. When you first got there, you were corralled to where you got your first piece of body marking done then they took a picture of everyone with their number and bike, then you individually went to another station where they recorded your number and a description of your bike before they let you into the bike drop area. Once in the most massive transition I have ever seen it was time to find my bike spot. It was exciting to see my name and USA on the spot reserved for Stanley surrounded by a multitude of people from other countries. After racking my bike, I hung my transition bag with all the others and continued on with more body marking and a quick walk down to the water where I met a couple guys from England who where about to take on their first ever triathlon!!! They were funny but you could sense their nerves, they were asking tons of questions and definitely got my confidence up a bit since I had some answers for once (HAHA).

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Bye Bye Mister Stanley! Enjoy your bike sleepover!

Next, it was time to head to transition 2, in downtown. I hopped on a bus and was there in no time. I dropped my bag, saw where the changing tents and run out would be, and walked past the finish line. All I could think about as I saw the bleachers and massive finish line was OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! After aimlessly wondering the city for what seemed to be forever to find the bus again, I managed to find the hotel where the busses picked up and headed back towards my hotel. I was officially all checked in and ready to race the next day.

Finally a little R&R on the beach before the night closed with a moped pick-up and an early dinner before and a super awesome surprise from my family.

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Is my beach attire improving?! 
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Boys and there toys! The mopeds used to get around on all the closed roads come race day!

Sunday – The day to become an IRONMAN!!! That 4:30 alarm sounded and I was quickly awaken… well, lets be real, I was awake almost all night anyways so I happily welcomed the alarm saying that, YES YOU CAN FINALLY GET UP NOW. First thing I saw when walking into the bathroom was a sweet, pump up note from my brother. I couldn’t help by smile since I could really sense how excited he was for me. Then it was time to choke down breakfast. I don’t know about you but eating a substantial amount of calories at what seems like the middle of the night is rough. The pump up music Alex was playing (Yes, we were jamming at 4:30 in the morning) and all the sweet messages from friends and family made it a little easier though. Before I knew it, 5am had rolled around and it was time to hit the road via moped to transition 1. Alex and I giggled a little as we were driving this little scooter through the dark, rainy morning.

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Headed to the race start!! 

Once arriving at T1, I got Stanley ready and did one final walk through before loading the bus to head to the start line. While in line for the bus, I met a nice girl from New York. This was her second Ironman and she was looking for redemption. We rode the bus together and she told me all about her first Ironman experience. I loved hearing all about it as it got me that much more excited for the gun to go off. By the time I stepped off the bus, the sun was finally starting to rise.

Stepping off the bus there was this sense of calm. It was almost only athletes at the start, very few spectators due to logistics of the race. People were dropping there morning clothes, eating a last minute snack, and helping one another apply sunscreen and body glide, as well as zip each other into our respective speed suits. This is when you could really feel the community of the sport. Everyone was happy and ready to help cheer each other on to having a great race.

To be continued….

Beach to Battleship Race Re-cap

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Hey Hey Hey! How are y’all doing? Things are still just as busy as ever on my end but nonetheless, I still managed to get in my final pre-ironman race this past weekend!…and y’all it went great!!! But before I get ahead of myself, let me back-up a minute to give you the WHOLE race weekend recap.

Wednesday night — Packed my bags (dang I have a lot of Tri gear) then Baby Brother came to town to hang out with me! Woohoo! Taco Mac and baseball, the perfect way to spend the evening.

Thursday — Starts out bright and early loading all my tri gear into little brother’s car and he drove me to work. That was such a treat! I sure did feel spoiled not having to fight my way through traffic alone like I do most days. Then (spoiled again) mom picks me up from work after only a half day at the office. THEN (SPOILED AGAIN) dad drove me (and the rest of the fam) all the way down to Wrightsville Beach.

Once we arrived…. we looked like the three ring circus. I did mention once that I had a lot of tri gear with me right?! Well the truck of the car got jammed!!! AND NO ONE SEEMED TO BE ABLE TO HELP US!! All the being said, all 4 of us were up a creek without a paddle. No one had a tooth brush, change of clothes, anything! We sure did look like a rough bunch by Friday morning….in the same clothes as we wore all day Thursday and Thursday night!

Friday — Lucky for us, the car dealership came through in the clutch and they were able to get the car trunk open. THANK GOODNESS! I was beginning to panic seeing as packet-pickup, and transition drop off all took place on Friday and they were MANDATORY! YIKES! Really should say, “Thanks dad” as he spent ALL morning stranded at the dealership, while the rest of us slept in and I was able to get a short run in on the beach.

Final pre-race workout! A short run along the beach!
Final pre-race workout! A short run along the beach!

Friday post lunch was nice and smooth, Mom and I were able to get my packet and all my gear made it to the correct spot, race day ready. Friday night even capped with a beautiful sunset over the channel.

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Saturday — AKA RACE DAY started out bright and early with papa and I heading over to T1 for the final gear drop. Then surprise surprise we got to go back to the condo to hang out for nearly 2 hours!! This never happens race morning but because this race had both a Full Ironman and Half Ironman race, us half people got to ease into the morning with our first wave going off at 8:30!!! I personally didn’t go off till 8:50, probably the latest start to a race I’ve ever had.

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Go Purple Caps! 34 and under females

8:50AM — The gun goes off and the mob of 34 and under women are kicking and scratching. Really, can we put in a rule that finger and toe nails must be clipped?! Anyways, the swim went great. With the current the entire way making for a very fast course. With the exception of poor sighting on my part, sighting a paddle boarder instead of a buoy, the swim went flawless! I finished in 34:45 and that even includes a little time out of the water as the timing mat was after the wetsuit strippers and partially up the hill. Also, I have to give kuddos to the volunteers at this locations…they were champs! They were on their game and not afraid to get wet at all, helping pull us out of the water and getting us out of our wetsuits in no time! THANK YOU!!

Headed into T1!
Headed into T1!

Transition 1 went smoothly, wetsuit in the bag and helmet on my head and I was on my way with a flying mount to get started on the bike (AKA Stanley).

The bike was probably my best ride of all times. It started out fast and ended even faster. I felt great and was able to stay on top of my fuel (with the exception of missing one gu) making for a great ride. The course was pretty flat and for the first time in my life I was got to ride on the highway!! That was really cool and also really nice as the roads were in great condition. The aid out on the bike was also great, I saw lots of people receiving support with flats and the aid stations were well stocked with very helpful volunteers. I ended up completing the bike in 2:55:23 for an average speed over the 56miles of 19.26mph. Thank you Stanley!

Bike Finish!
Bike Finish!

Transition 2…. well, I can’t say it went quite as smoothly as T1. The bike hand-off was pretty cool but getting my run stuff and making my way through the mandatory changing area (even though I wasn’t changing clothes) was a struggle. My run bag was no where to be found for what seemed like forever and the changing area entrance wasn’t marked making for a little confusion. Still nothing to get my panties in a wad about as I was about to deal with a MUCH bigger problem as soon as I stepped out on the run course…..

As is usual for me, my feet will sometimes fall asleep while I am on the bike. You know, the normal tingling but then after wiggling them a little they usually come back to life and are totally fine. Well today, that was not the case. I didn’t think much of it initially as it has happened before where my feet are asleep right at the ball of my foot when I have started the run, but typically by a 1/2 mile in they are completely fine. Not so much, today they didn’t wake up till MILE 4!!!! Then by mile 9 my right foot was asleep again!!!! I had to stop a couple times to walk and shake it out since it would also get a little painful as it feels like you have a ball of sand right under the ball of your foot. This continued all the way to the finish, where even though I felt strong, my face was saying otherwise. Nonetheless, even with a sleepy foot, the 13.1 mile run went great with a finishing time of 1:57:20, an 8:57 pace. The course, was boring at times but the aid stations were great and very lively. I also liked that there were constantly people around you. Although it got a little tight at times, I prefer that over a super spread out course where you can feel like you’re all on your own.

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High Five!

Overall for the day, I finished in 5:33:23, a nearly 20min personal best, placing 33rd out of 359 female athletes, and first in the 20-24 age group! It was a great race, and I feel strong going into Mexico in just a few short weeks!

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Ironman Training Thoughts

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Hey Y’all! I hope you are doing great! I am exhausted and running on E as per usual. Between working two jobs (Jenny Craig and personal training), attempting to have a social life, taking classes to keep all my certifications up to date, and ironman training, I am stretching myself to the limit. I love all that I am doing but dang, can it just slow down a bit?! As I like to tell my friends and family, hang on till December 1 and I will become a normal human again! December 1 is only 80 days away which means the Ironman is only 78 DAYS away!!! CRAZY!!!!! So for today, here are my training thoughts….

  1. Displaying IMG_0542.jpgHOLY CRAP THIS TAKES ALOT OF TIME! Yes, I knew it would, but gosh darn it seems like I am always training…. get home from work at 8pm and you think you’re done for the day….NOPE! Time to get on the bike in the apartment and spin for a couple hours then make dinner, shower, and go to bed. There are definitely some long days involved with getting ready for this race. Displaying IMG_0454.jpg
  2. Lake Norman needs more water. Although I am proud of myself for building up to some super long, continuous, open water swims, I am really tired of
    getting out of the water with a slightly orange tint (thank you red clay).
  3. This girl can eat! 4+ hour workouts really rev up the metabolism. I feel like there are days when (read as: most everyday) I just can’t eat enough to keep up.
  4. Displaying IMG_0777.jpgI think my new favorite of the three sports is biking. I have always been partial to running (which is why I say I think) but right now I am really loving my long rides. In fact, I really look forward to my 60+ mile rides. Something about going a really long distance under your own power and maintaining 16+ mph the entire time is really cool.
  5. However, biking is a struggle. Combine the fact that I am exerting myself for hours on end and I’ve already got a reved up metabolism, I hit like 3 hours in and I AM STARVING!! This is something I am working on but is taking some major work. I currently take a GU every 45min and am sipping gatorade endurance and water but it is just not cutting it. I think next long ride I am going to try an almond butter sandwich at the 2.5 – 3hr mark and see how that works out.
  6. I am having some issues with my neck and shoulder that stem from my soccer day which unfortunately throws a kink in training every now and again. I constantly have knots that run down my neck and under my left shoulder blade. This causes a lot of pain in my left shoulder and arm all the way down behind my elbow and when its really acting up all the way into my hand. Although this stinks, if this is the only “injury” I am having to deal with I feel like I am doing really good!
  7. I feel like I am going to be one of those people who says “I am never going to do another one of these again” and turns around and immediately signs up for the next one. The training is long and grueling but I couldn’t be more anxious and excited to get to race day. It is crazy that such a big life goal of mine in getting so close.
  8. I am most nervous about the logistics of getting to and the actual race itself at this point. My flight is booked but now the questions of, how will I get my bike there? What if it gets lost in transit? What if I need help making bike adjustments to my once I get there? What if everyone speaks spanish and I can’t communicate? How will I bring all my food down there? I can’t drink the water there so how am I supposed to drink on the race course? How will my hydration and nutrition needs change if I get down there and it is a sunny 90+ Displaying IMG_0568.jpgdegree day? The list goes on and on!
  9. I am so thankful for my family and friends that are being so patient and supportive of me as I take on this big adventure. Really, even though I am doing the training on my own, knowing I have a support crew cheering me on often from a distance means a TON and often what keeps me going.
  10. Training is tough. It is wearing me out. BUT I am so happy and excited to be taking on this big challenge! I cannot wait till race day when I get to put these many months of training to the test! I am confident I will be able to complete it but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating right now!

There you have it, my current thoughts on ironman training… I will be sure to check in as the race gets closer! If you’ve ever done an Ironman yourself, I would love any input you may have! Have a great day!

30minutes

Hey y’all! Looky here, two posts in one week!! This is a first in quite a while. Keeping with the theme of everything quick (see yesterday’s post), for the busy, on the go lifestyle that many of us lead, check out today’s post for an at home, all you need is a [STABLE] chair workout….

This workout is start to finish, including warm-up and cool-down, 30minutes.

Warm-up: 5min

Complete the following circuit 2x flowing from one exercise immediately into the next. 

:30 high knee march (round 2 can be an in place high knee run)

:30 jumping jack

:30 deep squat

Workout: 25min

Just as you did in the warm – up, each set will be completed 3x without adding rest in between exercises. Take :30-1:00 rest between each set.

Set #1

:30 lunges (lead :30 with each leg)

:30 push-ups

Set #2

:30 step-up (lead with each leg for :30 at a time)

:30 modified tricep dip

Set #3

:30 squat (touch your butt to the chair each time)

:30 flutter kicks 

Set #4

:30 plank

:30 superman

:30 side plank (:30 each side)

Cool – down: 5min stretch

Hold each stretch for about 10 – 15 seconds. Stretch each muscle two times allowing for a slightly deeper stretch on the second time. 

Key muscles to hit: 

Hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes, hips, shoulders, and triceps. 

Happy working out!!

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I hope you are having a great week so far! And hey, just maybe you will hear from me again this week 😉

A Week in 3hours

Hello Hello! I hope y’all have had a wonderful weekend and your Monday is off to a great start! I had just the weekend I needed after some stressful days these last couple weeks. I was able to step away from the Queen City to visit some of my closest friends, Kimberly and Bre in Greensboro and Raleigh. After work Saturday, I made a quick stop in Greensboro to have lunch with Kimberly then took off to Raleigh for the rest of the weekend with Bre. I had a great time catching up with both of these ladies. It also always amazes me what a stress reliever it is when you can step away from the day to day monotony and just smile, laugh, and catch up with close friends. Anyways, enough about my weekend and on to today’s scheduled post….Creating all your meals for a week in three hours.

Meal prep to me, and I think to many, is one of those daunting ideas. The idea of making ahead of time EVERYTHING you are going to eat for an entire week (or in my case 5 days) is kind of a crazy thought. So for today’s post, I am going to break down for you how I meal prep, start to finish, in less than 3hrs…..

Step 1: Inventory what you have on hand and throw out anything that has spoiled in your pantry and refrigerator. Should only take about 5min.

Step 2: Based on what you have already plan your meals and snacks for the week. Typically I choose a theme to follow to keep grocery costs to a minimum and avoid waste. I like to make 2-3 options for the entire week to keep from getting bored at meal time. For snack I plan to have 1 salty snack, 1 sweet snack, 2 fruits, 1-2 veggies, and 1-2 dairy / protein options for the week. From this prep sheet, highlight or circle everything you need to get at the grocery store. This should take 15 – 20min.

Step 3: Write your grocery list according to how the grocery store is laid out. This means keeping your produce together, meats together, etc. Less than 5min.

Step 4: Grocery shop. Stick to your list. 20min. If it takes you longer than this you aren’t sticking to your very well organized list.

Step 5: Unpack the groceries, put the produce in the sink to wash. Less than 5min.

Step 6: Start with the meat and the starch for the week. These will be the base for your meals.

Step 7: As the bases are cooking, wash and chop your produce.

Step 8: As the bases are cooling, cook your veggies.

Step 9: As veggies are cooling, start dividing your base items into individual containers.

Step 10: Finish packaging the rest of your items. This means adding your cooked veggies to the appropriate meal, dividing up your raw produce, creating individual snack bags for your sweet and salty items, etc.

Steps 6 – 10 can vary in length but should be no more than 75 to 90min.

Step 11: Put all prepped food away in easy to grab locations and clean up the kitchen. No worries with the exception of the containers, you will have almost no clean-up to do all week! 🙂 10min

Total time: 2:15 – 2:30 and no more cooking for the week!!

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What different ways do you go about meal prepping? Please comment below with any tips and or tricks you have!

Have a great day!!!

 

Stumpy Creek Sprint Triathlon

Hello Hello! How are y’all doing? I hope you’ve had a great weekend and are all set to make this a wonderful week. My weekend was pretty fantastic as I opened my racing season with a local sprint triathlon, so for today’s post I will give you a race day recap…..

5:30AM — Beep beep beep!! Time to rise and shine!!

6:00AM — Breakfast in hand and I am headed out the door.

6:15AM — Arrive at Stumpy Creek Park on Lake Norman.

6:15 – 6:45AM — Last minute bike tune-up, transition set up, body marking, and collecting my timing chip.

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6:55 — National Anthem.

7:00 — The first wave is headed to the start line. Time to start warming up.

7:12 — My wave heads into the water [read: muddy bath water].

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7:15 — The gun goes off and I am off to the races. I started off maybe a bit too hard and got myself out of breath early but by the second turn I felt like I had found my groove. Then…myself and what seems like the rest of the sprint triathlon mis – sight the third turn and start to cut back towards shore a little early before seeing the correct third turn way to our right. I think its pretty likely at this point my 750yd swim has easily turned into an 850yd swim. I make it around the third and fourth turns and head back to shore. Total time 16:02.

Transition 1: In and out, speedy speedy! I had some time to make up after my slow swim. A little over :40 seconds to get from the swim to my bike. Coming out of the swim I wasn’t on the leader board but by the time I exited T1 I had gotten myself into 7th place.

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Bike: The bike course was tough. Very hilly and truthfully quite a dangerous course. I always appreciate the police and volunteers out on the course but unfortunately in this race things were a bit rocky. I had to duck under a truck’s mirror at one point and my dad watched several others have near head on collisions.  Throughout the danger and rough roads, I was still able to pick off quite a few more throughout this leg. I averaged 18.18mph to be the fastest female on the course. By the end of the bike I was in second place amongst the age group women.

Transition 2: Again, in and out. With a quick flying dismount and a change of shoes and I was on my way to the run.

Run: BRUTAL. Holy Moly it was hilly and hot!!! I definitely didn’t have the run I had hoped for. I managed to average an 8:45 pace which wasn’t terrible but far from what I am capable of.

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Finish: 1:24:18 and 2nd place OVERALL the women!!! A podium finish for my season opener!!


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Overall thoughts of the race….I still hate sprint triathlons. Something about going as hard as you can the entire time and not being able to find a rhythm the entire time is just not for me. More specifically to the race….not impressed. The swim was fine, very rocky start but nothing out of the ordinary. The safety personal on the water though…lacking significantly! Mom said she thought she was going to watch someone drown out there. The bike was well…dangerous! The fact that bikers were crossing in front of traffic and in front of one another was not good. They need to have a better plan going into next year. Run, nothing really notable. It was a tough course but that is nothing to complain about. Didn’t love the “off-road” section to the finish but still it wasn’t a bad run.

So there you have it, my season opener at Stumpy Creek. What’d you do this weekend? Anyone else race? Let me know in the comments below!

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A to Z Survey

Hey y’all! I hope you are doing great and had a happy and relaxing 4th of July weekend! I was able to spend a few days on the lake with friends and family. It was the perfect “stay-cation.” Anyways, I am sure you have noticed by my lack of posts, I have been in quite the blogging rut lately. I have tried putting together posts recently and ehh they just fell short so here I am today to give it another try with an A to Z survey all about me….

A – Age: 24

B – Biggest Fear: It’s a toss up between the dark and spiders.

C – Favorite Color: Pink

D – Drink You Last Had: Diet Coke….it’s Monday, I needed my caffeine.

E – Everyday Routine: wake up super early, train a couple personal training clients at the Y, go to work at jenny craig, workout, make dinner / watch TV / surf the internet, journal, go to bed.

F – Favorite Food: Umm…this changes by the day but I am currently loving all the fresh fruits… berries and watermelon especially.

G – Grossest Recently Memory: While out on the boat this weekend, we tied up with a bunch of other boats and one of the guys from another boat who had recently been in a motorcycle accident and had road rash gashes all over him was swimming in the nasty water without covering them….make it worse…I accidentally bumped into one of the big open wounds!!! YUCK!!

H – Hometown: Born in Charlotte, NC, raised in Alpharetta, GA, started college in Rock Hill, SC, finished college in Raleigh, NC, currently living in Charlotte, NC.

I – Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Butter Pecan

J – Jealous of: People who can go with the flow and be totally happy without having any plan. I just don’t get it!?!?!

K – Kindest Person I know: My mom. I don’t think I have ever met someone who didn’t immediately love her. She has a heart of gold.

L – Longest Relationship: 3 years.

M – Middle Name: Elizabeth

N – Next Race: I am racing a local sprint triathlon this coming weekend.

O – One Wish: Health and Happiness always.

P – Next Purchase: A new computer. I currently have a MacBook Pro and it is on its last leg. Anyone have suggestions for my next one?

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: I have a few frequent questions…..”What should I eat?” “What kind of workout should I be doing?” and “If X body part hurts, what’s wrong with it and how do I fix it?”

R – Reason to Smile: Seeing clients hit to goals and milestones on a daily basis.

S – Siblings: I have two brothers….. one (human) younger brother named Alex and one (canine) bother named Chase.

T – Time You Woke Up: 4:45am.

U – Underwear Color: Tan.

V – Next Vacation: Cozumel, Mexico for my Ironman at the end of November!!

W – Last Workout: 60min trainer (indoor bike) ride and foam rolling.

X – Number of X-Rays: Yikes! Too many to count!

Y – Your biggest weakness: Putting others before myself. I am known for making sure everyone else is taken care of before I take care of myself.

Z – Zodiac Sign: Cancer

Play along with me in the comments and let me know a little bit about you! Have a great Monday!