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Ironman 70.3 Florida: The Swim Bike Mom Race Report

In this fourth installment of a half Ironman race report, I am still sweating and feeling sunburned (ah-hem, another lesson learned… a little invention called sunscreen…who knew!?).

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Ironman 70.3 Florida
Haines City, Florida
April 13, 2014

Swim:  43:54
Bike:  3:09:39
Run:  ETERNITY INFINITY
Total Time:  7:42:15

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Traveling Down

The Expert and I hit the road to Savannah on Friday, with the Swim Bike Kids in tow.  My parents agreed to watch the kiddos while the Expert and I travelled to Haines City.

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Friday night, the girl Swim Bike Kid woke up at 1:30 sick with a head cold / allergies.  So we were awake then.  Slept about 2 hours Friday night. The Expert went to Walgreens at 4:30 to pick up the kidessentials for the grandparents (Benedryl, Tylenol, thermometer) so my parents would have everything they needed.  The girl child seemed better after the drugs, and we managed to hit the road around 7:30 to Florida.

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The Day Before

Funny how we used to freak out about bike check and race packet pick-up.  Oh wait… I still do.  Ha!  We cut it close, with bike check closing at 5:00.  Granted, the bike check was optional at this race, but we checked the bikes about 3:30.

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I spent some time calibrating my power meter (I had changed the battery in it for the first time on Friday), did a quick few loops to test out Andie, and that was that.

We did a quick wetsuit swim. And headed on out.

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Feeding Our Faces and Race Packing

After a heavily salted meal at the local corporate joint, we headed back to the hotel and started packing up the race day gear.

[the Expert promises his own race report… so I am going to stop with all the “we” stuff now… ]

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I have a very methodical way of packing my transition bag.  It’s very scientific and special—so much so that I should probably patent it.

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Here’s how it goes:

Throw everything I might need for race day onto the bed. Look at it.  Say, “Yep that’s it.”  And then stuff it in my gear bag, cursing, “Why doesn’t anyone make a bag big enough for all this crap!?”

Alright, it’s a little more than that. I try to run through the checklist in my head and also out loud with the Expert.  Swim: goggles, wetsuit, timing chip… check check.  We go through everything together, which makes it easier.

Race Day: Pre-Race 

The Expert and I were in bed by 9:00.  He was snoring by 9:01.   I fell asleep around 10:00, which is actually pretty good.  It was the best pre-race sleep I’ve had, I think.

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Wake-up call at 4:23 am, and off to the races.  Slammed down some coffee and some carbs, and we were good to go.

Arrived at the race venue around 5:20, only 40 minutes before transition closed.

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I should have known that this race would be interesting for me… for a coupla reasons. First, when I walk into transition, I usually stand frozen, paralyzed, in front of my transition spot.  I get nervous and confused. That morning, I was plugging through everything—pumping my tires, getting everything ready like it was no big deal. I was calm and happy and I felt rested.

As we were leaving transition (with only 5 minutes before transition officially closed), I realized that I didn’t have my goggles and swim cap.  Good thing the Expert noticed.  I usually tuck them into my tri top before the race, and he didn’t see them.  Whew. Close one.

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As we walked over to the swim start, I told the Expert—I feel like today is going to be either an amazingly great race, or it’s going to really suck.  There’s no in between.  (And I was right).

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Swim

As usual, the “go time” rolls around quickly.  Surprisingly, this race was wetsuit “legal.”  My wise Coach Brett texted me a few days before: “Do you have your wetsuit?”  I responded, “Uh, this is Florida.”  He said, “Uh, take your wetsuit.”

Glad I did. Race day water temp around 73 degrees.  Not like that is cold, but it’s the advantage of having the wetsuit. I was cooking hot by the end of the swim, but the advantage was worth it.  I am finally (after Ironman and all that swimming) comfortable in a wetsuit. I am still surprised that it has taken me this long, but that’s one good thing.

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The swim course was shaped like an “M” – which was the most cray cray swim course I have experienced.

Still, though, I felt like I had a great swim. I managed to swim fairly point-to-point. Concentrated on long strokes, and good body rotation. I hit the shore swearing I had a 36 minute swim.  WRONG!  Almost 44 minutes.  Poop.  But I was still good with it.

And I wasn’t tired. That was a great sign.

Bike

I turned T1 pretty quickly, even throwing on arm coolers (but not sunscreen—smart!) and didn’t have to potty – went in the water – yay for me! I know some of you were taking bets on my potty stops.  I was out on the bike at race time of 50 minutes.

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Coach Brett had a new plan for me on the bike, and I was determined to execute it.  My usual bike style is: burn it!  I go out on the bike and I push hard, and I usually have nothing left for the run.

For the last few months, I have been training with a power meter on the bike, and Coach Brett prescribed me to remain at a certain wattage the whole race. I couldn’t believe how “slow” that felt.  But it was perfect. I had an amazing bike ride, and had tons of energy… and still managed a 17.72 MPH average.

As I am dissecting “what went wrong” for me in this race, I am unfolding some fun things.

For example, as I was packing my transition bag, I told the Expert, “I clearly am going to under-fuel tomorrow.” I stared at my scant Huma Gels and three bottles of Gatorade laced with Osmo. I had spent the last two weeks eating like it was job. We had a huge carbed up meal the night before.  So I thought I would be fine.  I usually aim for 350-400 calories an hour on the bike for half and for my full (that’s what has always worked for me).  On race day, I think I had 750 calories my whole ride.  Therefore, I was about 400 calories short of what I KNOW works for me.

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Also, I haven’t installed an aero bar hydration system on Andie yet.  And from experience, I know that I often fail to drink if it’s not in front of my face. I knew I had to be super conscious of sitting up and drinking my liquids.

The bike course was great. I really enjoyed it. The roads were paved nicely–only a few stretches with potholes and rough pavement.  The first half was faster, for sure, than the second. We were riding with a tailwind for the first half.  Then we hit the headwinds on the return trip.

Oh, and Haines City, Florida?  You are not flat.  Just saying.

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While the hills were nothing like North Georgia, this course is a shock for a Florida race.  Nice climbs, but some great downhills too.

At the aid stations, I took the water handoffs, chugged half the bottle and dumped the rest on my arm coolers, and managed to snag a banana too.  If I could pick one thing I was proud of for the day? I was impressed at my aid station skills. Woot. I have noticed that the more I race, the more at ease I become in situations like the aid stations.  But you still have to be super aware of surroundings, because not everyone is at ease.

One girl in front of me managed to knock THREE bottles out of the hands of the volunteers before she snagged her fourth.  That’s so dangerous for the riders behind… I mean, I know it happens, but it’s still a sketchy situation.  For my first Half in Miami, I just decided to stop and get off the bike at the aid stations.  Now, I can navigate through them, which is nice.

And can you believe it?  No potty break either!

About Mile 50 on the bike, I started feeling bad. I puked a little. The heat was getting to me. I swallowed some Salt Sticks and ignored it.

What I should have done was chug a bottle of Perform and two gels.  But I ignored that instinct too.

Still, my race plan of racing WATTS and not feel or time, worked out well. I felt like I still had legs to run, and I felt the best I have EVER felt off the bike.

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I was actually stoked about the run.

The “Run”

Ah-hem. The “run.”

I put this in quotes, because I did not run.  I’m not sure what the hell I was doing out there, to be honest.  But with a 3:39 half  marathon, I clearly was not running.   Dragging my wounded body… or having a picnic or shopping for groceries… was more like it.

I took advantage of the Porta Potty near my bike and headed out on the run.  And yes, I sprayed sunscreen on myself too.  Though clearly, it didn’t matter (as shown later).

Headsweats visor. Check. Socks. Check. Shoes. Race Belt. Check. Let’s go!

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Note to self:  negative split the race.  Start out slow.  Use your mind.

I headed out of transition and I felt amazing. Seriously, the best I had ever felt on a race.

Three loop run course.

Ran about a half mile, looked down at my watch and I was pacing great, feeling strong, and thinking, “Today is going to be awesome!”

I hit the dreaded hills.  I had already planned to walk up the big hill(s) after transition, so I walked up, and cursed the horrible sidewalks (crappy, crappy construction happening on these).

After the hills, I picked up the run again, good pacing. Wahoo!

Felt great until Mile 2.

At Mile 2, I felt the skin on the bottom of my feet start to move. Seriously? Blisters? At Mile 2?

Then it occurred to me. I biked without socks. I normally bike without socks on sprints.  Not on half irons.  What in the heck. I have some orthotics in my bike shoes, and they have a super rough surface. I did the damage on the bike.  My feet were shot.

Crap. Okay. I can run through blisters, I thought.

But then I threw up.  Out of nowhere.  Whoa.

I don’t throw up. Like, ever. I have an iron stomach. I usually do.  Gawrsh, it was so hot too.  Salt had already crusted on my arms.

So at Mile 2 (yes, 2!), it was if somebody threw a giant wall up.

Boom.

I’m okay, I’m okay.  I chugged some water at the aid station around Mile 4. I ate a banana. Then I threw up again.

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At this point, I stopped fueling and the blisters were throbbing. And I just kind of fell apart. Physically. Mentally. I poured some water on my arm coolers, some ice down my tri top. And talked myself into not quitting. And not pantsing my poop.

“Hey Swim Bike Mom!”  I heard it over and over again. I waved. I smiled. I felt like a fraud. I am renaming myself Swim Bike Crap, that’s what I’m doing when I get done with this race, I thought to myself.

When I realized those thoughts were going to drive me straight to quitting, I had to start talking to myself.

I tried to run. I literally couldn’t. Sometimes I can make my heart do the talking and the work,  but it wasn’t in the cards.

A Swim Bike Dude, named Steve, shouted out to me.  “Get running, Swim Bike Mom! Andy Potts is at the top of that hill.”

“Even Andy can’t make me run today,” I shouted.

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{Plus, like the Potts Head that I am… I KNEW he was in NOLA anyway.}

The support was relentless.  Mile after mile, “Go Swim Bike Mom. You’re the reason I’m out here.”  (In my head I responded, “I’m sorry I dragged you into this CRAPPY HORRIBLE SPORT!”)

Darren. Lisa. Jill. Marty. Christie. Mike. Jennifer. Steve. Chris. Kate. Cynthia. Christina. And many whose names I can’t completely recall. You guys ROCKED out there.

My favorite was one guy who ran past, “Hey, did you write an article?”

I said, “Well, yeah… I have written some.”

He said, “I know it was for girls, but I read it anyway.”

And he was gone.  Ha!

A 70 year-old man passed me.  A man with severe leg spasms. I was going so very slow, and it was the fastest I had in me.

Then I saw him.  Mile 11.

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I turned around and my nemesis was there.  I mean, my husband.  The Expert had caught me.  With a 20 minute head start in the swim and a 12 minute faster bike split, I was set up to not let that happen. But it happened. I could literally smell the dude getting closer to me with every minute.

“I am so happy to see you,” he squealed.

“Yeah, I bet you are,” I said.  The truth of the matter…. I was REALLY happy FOR him.  He had needed a good race. Hadn’t really had a great race since Augusta 2012, taking off 2013 almost entirely for my Ironman support.  So I was thrilled FOR him.  Every bit of me was like, “Good for you, dude!”

But I wanted him to keep going. I wanted him to slap me on the ass, football coach style, and say “Get moving Swim Bike Mom.”

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Instead, he stopped and walked with me about 1/2 mile, telling me about his race.  I was aggravated.  “Will you please go finish your race? I am not a charity case. I feel like crap.”

“I just want to walk with you,” he said.

“GO RUN!” I screamed. “Finish your race! I would hope you would say the same to me. I can’t even keep up with your walk pace. Go!”

He was trying to be nice, but I was so over the entire day at this point.  I just wanted him to go on.  (Here come the blog comments, “Oh my gawd, you are so mean. He’s the nicest guy for wanting to walk with you!”   All I can say is, shut up, you weren’t there.  He was having a great race — he needed to finish it strong. I would be TICKED if I was having a great race and someone wanted me to walk for the sake of walking with two miles to go. That would be selfish of me to not push him. But also, him walking with me felt like evidence of my failure for the day. I had a 32 minute lead on the guy heading out on the run. Then, there he was… wagging the 32 minute lead like a cookie.  Mmmmm… cookies.)

He asked, “Are you sure?”

“Yes go! Please.”

And off he went.  I couldn’t believe how fast he looked going away from me. I was  walking at a 18:00-19:00 minute pace.  It was all I had.

[Like I said, the dude is writing his own report. But he had a great finish at 7:06]

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And a funny compression sunburn to boot.

For me, on the last 3/4 mile to go, I ran into fellow blogger and writer, Hank Hanna (www.businessoflosingweight.com).  We had tweeted each other before the race, and I heard, “Is that Meredith” behind me… and there he was.

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Just what this girl needed on the last stretch.  Blog fodder. 🙂

I told him I was walking through the finish.  He said, “Oh no. You gotta run the chute.”

“True,” I said, “Okay. You say when.”

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We turned the corner around transition to the finish, and ran it in together.

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A good finish.  A well-earned finish. The end of a very tough day.

I came out of this race feeling many things:
1) inspired
2) humbled
3) thankful…

…and sunburned.

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Can’t beat the first three things.

I was inspired to be better. To work harder and really grow. I was humbled by all the support, all the Swim Bike Mom folks out there pushing each other, pushing themselves, pushing me.  And I was thankful to be alive, to have the chance to race, for my family, for my friends, for my able but sunburned body.  So many things to be thankful for.

Especially after the tragic events pre-race at Ironman 70.3 NOLA this weekend.

Where, Frank Guinn, an Atlanta Triathlete and Fireman was killed early Friday morning while riding his bike in NOLA in prep for the race Sunday. Frank was…a triathlete… but more importantly however, he was the father to three triplet girls. His brother in law, Andy Powell (AP) was also injured and remains in critical condition in New Orleans. Kimberly (Frank’s wife) was at the race start this morning to share some words and be with the triathlon community. She said felt at peace as the pros began their race and headed out on the bike and felt close to Frank in those moments…this is one of the many reasons we all love this sport so dearly. It is not just the sport that binds us and goes so much further than the finisher’s tape.

To that end, and for those wishing to show more support the following gofundme.com pages have been set up for the family:

For Kimberly and their three daughters:
http://www.gofundme.com/89mhhs

For her brother’s family; Andrew Powell:
http://www.gofundme.com/89yriw

(This update was received from my friends at All3Sports.com, and the NOLA Race Director, Bill Burke)

I was reminded, in light of these tragedies, the smallness of something like a race. At the same time, the hugeness of the sport and community.

Yes, there were many obstacles that I hurdled to get to this finish.  I mean, for Pete’s sake, we just moved houses last Friday.  That’s crazy.

But, there is so much more to life than a clock time.

So much more…

During the race, I was not necessarily the happiest to be out there suffering. I didn’t have a bad attitude, but I was just hurting and throwing up and feeling like schweaty balls.

As much as I wanted to… I didn’t walk off the course because I couldn’t.  There was too much joy to be alive. To be out there. To be safe.

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And plus, what kind of Swim Bike Mom would I be if I walked off?

Dear Army,

I quit. But YOU better just keep moving forward.

Love,
Me 

You guys kept me going. I was slow. But I moved. In a forwardly direction.

And it was my slowest and toughest half yet, but when I crossed the finish, I was so glad to have a fourth half Ironman finish in the books. Even though something was missing at this race and I had a sad little hole in my heart because of the events surrounding it.

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Somehow, a finish, no matter how hard the race, is always worth the pain. Because there are lessons to be learned and blessings to be counted–numerous and humbling, all of them.

Thanks for the love, cheers and support as always. Please keep the Guinn and Powell families in your thoughts and prayers…

41 Comments

  • Eileen

    April 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Wow – what a day for you! Thank you so much for taking the time (so quickly) to recap it. I have to admit I was “worried” about you as I read when you talked about how poorly you felt so early in the run and continued. I would be curious to know what health concerns/signs would move you to stop. I doubt I’ll ever do a 70.3 (I’m doing my first Ramblin’ Rose next month for pete’s sake), but just curious.

    Amazing stuff. Congrats to you and The Expert!!

    Reply
  • Stephanie

    April 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Sorry it was a rough day. I’m headed to Macon in May for revenge, similarly rough race for me last year. I was the second to last out of the water and felt like such a loser and threw up first 40 miles On The bike. Glad you made it no matter what, that’s really all that matters.

    Reply
  • CB

    April 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Sweet! At the same time, this ironman was barely able to swim your pace for 400m, ride your exact same speed for 12.2 miles, and walked the first quarter mile of a 5k.

    Girl, you did amazing out there. You left it out there. Even some of last night’s food and the bottom of your feet.

    Amazing job well done.

    Very inspiring for my training but I’m still not doing another triathlon this year… 😉

    Reply
  • Melanie J.

    April 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    See, I read this and all I can think is “Because Florida.” I lived there for more than 25 years, and you couldn’t pay me to go back, where 70 actually feels like 90, people live in air conditioning and wonder why they’re sick all the time, and people lay in the sun and tan because it’s too fricking hot to move!

    Yea, OK, not exactly a love letter, but point is you’re a rock star no matter what, because you finished! When you’ve been bit by the athlete bug, you feed off the motivation of others. I’m there, all 250 pounds of me, and just signed up for another 5K, because I’ll be damned if it’s going to hurt as much as the first one last week did. It’s about being healthy. Celebrate it!

    Reply
  • jamie fortune

    April 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    You continue to amaze and inspire me! I did NOLA yesterday, my first HIM. I reread your book last week and your words were fresh in my mind. I was grateful for all of my blessings and just kept moving forward. It was hard, but I never thought about quitting. Congrats on your race and thank you for making me want to be a better triathlete.

    Reply
  • Jacky

    April 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    You did great! Congrats! I went super slow on my 10K on Sunday as I waited for a friend. She wanted to quit and I didn’t let her so we did it together! Great sense of accoplishment! WTG Meredith! You always inspire me!

    Reply
  • Nikki

    April 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Always look forward to your race reports. Your really inspire so many of us to just keep moving forward!
    This weekend was our community’s half marathon, I did that half last year in 2:56, so I thought this year I could improve my time-but yesterday when I woke up with terrible allergies, and just feeling not like myself. Still I showed up to the race, did the race-walked a lot and finished in 3:12. I wasn’t crazy about my time, but I finished! Sometimes we just have to be ok with our best for that particular day.
    Way to go Meredith, keep on keepin’ on (:

    Reply
  • Christina

    April 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I would totally buy a Swim.Bike.Crap shirt. Well, I really need a Bike.Run.Crap shirt. Make it so.

    Last summer I was 9 miles into an awful half-marathon. My husband, who had been not nice that morning, pulls up in the car and finds us. “Good job. You’re doing great.” I was so angry and NOT motivated. Endurance marriages should come with a “don’t try to encourage me” safe word. FLUGELHORN.

    Good job! Keep inspiring us, even when you don’t feel inspirational.

    Reply
  • Christie

    April 14, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I made the race report!!! 😀

    All fangirling aside, I am so grateful for you and this blog. You are the reason I signed up for a full Ironman (coming Fall 2014) and a huge influence in signing up for this weekends race. Triathlon in general, really. You have a great spirit and I think there are so many other who would also call you an inspiration.

    Ok, enough of the mushy stuff! We did it! On to the next one!!!!!

    Reply
  • Colleen

    April 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Great job battling out there – and it was a battle. Those races mean more in my opinion.

    And for what it’s worth – Tom and I have had the same exchange on the race course. He’s trying to be all sweet and loving and walk with me and I’m screaming at him to go finish his race and actually do well. Humph… I get it!

    Reply
  • Heather

    April 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Congratulations for getting through a tough race day – I see more victory in that than sailing through the ‘perfect’ race, as it is a lot harder to push through the tough want to quit moments than sail to through a perfect race day – don’t get me wrong, yay for those perfect races that we all deserve, but race days that are tough prove you to be a true athlete out there by pushing through to the finish no matter what all the while being grateful for the experience!

    Reply
  • Jesica @rUnladylike

    April 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Congrats on finishing a really tough race, where the easy thing to do would have been to quit. Those are the races that make us stronger … not what we want to hear in the moment, but it is true. I loved reading your recap and laughed a lot, especially when you said you should rename yourself swim, bike, crap. We’ve all been there, and the good news is that the next race will be better. Congrats on finishing and thanks for the honest and real report. xoxo

    Reply
  • Laura Burnett

    April 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing Meredith and as always your a true inspiration. I finished my 13th half marathon this past weekend and worst with belly issues also :(. I so needed your encouraging words to remember it’s not all about the time in which we finish. I’m moved by the people I’ve met and stories since starting this journey. So excited to meet you at Tri Goddess in a couple months! Unfortunately, I won’t be sporting my pretty SBM kit, due to a local sponsorship 🙁

    Reply
  • michelle

    April 15, 2014 at 1:43 am

    My first HIM is in December. My goal is 8 hours. I think finishing no matter the time or how much you did or did not walk matters none. It’s a huge leap just to go out and do a half…you did awesome!!!

    Reply
  • Michelle

    April 15, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Congratulations first off for finishing another HIM! This blog post was spectacular as well as poignant on the subject of what exactly happens in a race. I would rather hear that you wanted to quit, that you felt like throwing up, that you got blisters on your feet, and your hubby annoyed you when he decided to walk with you than a cover on just the highlights of the race. You reported from the heart and it was honest and moving. It is really what us tri newbs out here need to hear, because I will face the very same thing one day. Why will your report matter? It will matter, because it will be the small voice encouraging us women that it is more important to keep moving and finish the race set before us. The biggest benefit of being an athlete for any of us out there is our own health. When we train, when we race, when we win and when we fail we show our families that we are real and we are committed. I don’t see any part of failure in this story and I am only hopeful that when I complete my first Sprint Tri that will have imparted my own motivation to my family and friends to just keep moving and never give up!

    Reply
  • sarah

    April 15, 2014 at 8:09 am

    you rock SBM. I was so looking forward to this race post. Haven’t committed to a tri this season but this movtivated me at least get out there and train…just.for.fun.
    THANK YOU!

    Reply
  • Laura@SneakersandSpatulas

    April 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    You rocked that bike ride! Can you give more details on going through aid stations on the bike? I’m doing my first HIM and wondering how it all works if you keep moving. What’s your process? Do you keep your bottle and refill it or just toss it aside and get a new one, etc.?

    Reply
    • Stacy

      April 19, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Throw your current bottles before you get to the actual volunteers. There will be an area designated for this and it won’t be considered littering. Slow down, make eye contact with a volunteer and reach out and grab the bottle. Say and you and keep moving. You should practice this before race day so that it happens easily and safely.

      Reply
  • Lindsay

    April 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I’m so sorry that you got sick during your race and struggled on the run, but once again you have inspired me so much and really given me hope that I can finish my first HIM despite a big training setback. I will be doing HIM Syracuse in June and have a stress fracture that will likely not allow me to run prior to the race and maybe not even during. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish it if I had to walk the entire run leg, but after reading this race report, I know it is possible. Thank you so much for sharing every aspect of your journey. You are such an inspiration to me and I don’t know if I would have ever found the inspiration to become a triathlete if it weren’t for you.

    Reply
  • Amy Dvorak

    April 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    You. Are. So. Awesome!!!! I can only imagine how much you wanted to quit and it is truly amazing you finished. As always, you are a huge inspiration to all of us and for that, I am grateful!

    Reply
  • Tommy

    April 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Great job! Just finished my first 70.3! Honestly, I thought of you in the water (creepy, right??). My brief race recap is on my blog…you’ll understand why I was just trying to keep moving forward!!!

    It says a lot to just finish in the face of adversity. I don’t know you, but I applaud ANYBODY for carrying that kind of attitude!

    Reply
  • Margaret Lumos

    April 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I have been lurking on your site for months! What finally has brought me up to the light – the very tragic situation with Frank. As I donated I saw your name come across. As so many have put it – the triathlon community takes care of it’s own. While within the community at large we don’t know each other – we all do feel a connection – through race reports / recaps, training updates and a general sense we glean from the person writing. I love reading your race reports. The are real not manufactured. I’ve biked 50 miles and run multiple half marathons, but I am a tri newbie. I didn’t know how to swim until December of 2013. I could no longer allow myself to wait on the sidelines – stopped by fear. You helped me get overmyself and get going (moving foward). My first tri is in a couple of weeks – a super sprint – (200 yard pool swim, 5.5m bike, 1m run) – but as a professional lurker(!) of your site I know you started with the – “last chance triathlon”. I’m feeling inspired, motivated and mostly humbled – as you so often state. I’m going to pencil in Frank’s name on my bib so he will cross the finish line with me …

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  • Miklbeck

    April 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I know I am two weeks behind but I wanted to say that you inspire me. I ran (well I walked) a half marathon on the same weekend with friends in Raleigh, NC. Someone said it was a flat course! I have completed absolutely zero hill training this year (Chicago dweller, its been cold) after mile 6 I was ready to quit but I thought of you and I remembered to keep moving forward. So I did. And I was slooowwww. But I finished and I would have never forgave myself if I had not. I was not capable of running up any more hills but I know my body can complete the distance. Congratulations on your race. I think you are amazing.

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  • Lexie

    May 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Well done on sticking it out to the end!! The first loop up that nasty hill was quite something and all I could think of was”OMG- this is going to be fun….not”!! It was a great day in Haines and even though it was tough the feeling of accomplishment was fantastic.

    I somehow found your website today and you are truly inspiring…… and it’s your”fault” that I’m seriously considering to the full IM next 😉 Keep moving forward is going to be my mantra from now on. Thanks a lot for sharing and I’m looking forward following your endeavours! Lexie xx

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    • Swim bike mom

      July 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Yes, Cheryl. This is my fourth half Ironman and I am training for my second full 140.6. I’m sure you are far more awesome.

      I know who you are- keep your trolling and negativity and lies off this blog. You are not welcome here. Period.

      Reply
  • Liela

    April 8, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Omg! I’m so glad I came across your blog! I loved reading it! I’m doing my first half ironman distance in FL this Sunday and I’m hoping that it will be wetsuit legal this year too!! A little help will help me in the swim, I have such bad anxiety! Yikes! I just want to finish. I’m not so worried about the time. I want to finish – uninjured! Again, thanks a million for sharing your experience!

    Liela

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