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The Calm before the Whatever is Coming

The weather for Sunday in Coeur d’Alene looks beautiful.

I spoke with one of my girls from the 12 Week Mentoring Program today, and she asked me how I was feeling about the race.  Then I talked with Coach Monster a bit.  And I realized that I am actually in quite a calm place.

I’m not sure if that’s because I know that I must remain calm at this point, or I will completely burn out before Sunday.

Or, if I really am calm.

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When I was in weightlifting, I would get so nervous before each event, that I would be sick to my stomach.  I haven’t experienced that in triathlon, really. I get a tad nervous, yes… but it’s more of a good-nervous… like “yeah, let’s get this show on the road.” And the way I see it, if I waste energy being nervous, I’m going to have less to give during the actual race.

Well, that’s my story for now.

Father's Day Excitement

Father’s Day Excitement

Another theory is that I have made peace with the Iron Child 

For a while, I have looked at Ironman Coeur d’Alene training and racing —- as pregnancy and childbirth.

When you sign up for the race, you are all, “Oooh, let’s have a baby!” excited and thinking it’s the best idea ever.  Then the pregnancy starts.  The early training is not so bad… maybe some issues with a few things, but really, not until that last trimester do you start to pull out the ice picks and poke yourself in the eyes.  The last 12 weeks of training? Ice picks.  Race day?  Well, that’s labor.  A really long day full of sweat, pain, cursing and heavy breathing. And the finish?  That’s the sweet pudgy-faced newborn baby.  [The post-race pain and can’t-move-my-body issues?  Oh, that’s life with a newborn.]

So I am ready for my day of labor on Sunday.  I labored drug-free for like 48 hours or something with my first child… at least there’s a time limit on Ironman labor. That’s a bonus! Wahoo!

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I had my last brick yesterday.  A 24 miler on the bike and a 2 mile run. I ran the two miles like a bat out of hell. Really, I did. At a 9:40 pace. Not sure where that came from… Holy cortisone shot.


When I am asked how I am feeling pre-race, I find myself saying, “It is what it is.”  Because well… it is.  I told Coach Monster that I was reading over my training schedule and all the workouts I have done since August last year.  I was checking on my hay.  You know, all the hay in my barn.  He said, “You have lots of hay.”


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Little Miss Priss at the lake yesterday. Fun time doing a video shoot for a “Get Addicted to Swimming” campaign for a cool (and delicious) brand… the scoop is forthcoming.

In truth, I do have much hay in the barn. Something like 300 hours of training since January.  I can’t even count the miles.  If I had been religious about my Garmin or Daily Mile, I would know.  But what does it matter? Tons of miles. That is all.

In six days, I’ll be in starting one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I will have my parents, kiddos and the Expert there with me.  I plan to soak it up. Because I’m not sure that I will ever have another moment as crazy, interesting and full of love as this.  I have understood the draw of Ironman for awhile, I guess. But the emotions and feelings right now… all over the place.  And in a good, calm way.

Yes, calm.


  • Carie Arnett Vercelli

    June 17, 2013 at 11:05 am

    So excited for you and for me what says you are ready the most is that you can Rock the braids like no other! I’m jealous that you have a 12 week mentor, I’m thinking of getting a 6 month one for my marathon training, my child who is nonverbal offered so I took him up on it and now for 30 min a day he will rub my feet as I tell him all my training concerns and then he will probably spit on me and I will know how supported and loved I truly am! Good luck, your favorite stalker! Carie

  • Adrienne

    June 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    So excited for you! Love following your journey. I have less than 30 until my first 70.3. I am training with a team and feel as if I am the only calm one in the bunch. I love the calm, but excited feeling!!

  • K Smith

    June 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Hooray for Iron Babies! Think of how many ‘Aunts’ and ‘Uncles’ it has! And I’m sure you’ll name it ‘Victor’ or ‘Victor-ia’… 😉 We’re all so excited and happy for you. Remember to ‘breathe’ – heeh heeh hoooo (not sure how to spell that). Don’t forget to holler, ‘You did this to me!’ at the appropriate people (at the correct times), nor to squeeze the life out of someone’s hand when things get tough. The best part is that you DO know something about birthing these ‘babies’! 😀

  • oldmotherrunner

    June 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t know you except for this blog but I am so PROUD of you. You are ready; enjoy the calm. Will be following your adventure this weekend as I recover from my first ever sprint tri – which you inspired me to do. P.S.: I agree; name this baby ” Victoria”!!!!

  • Cheryl Donnelly

    June 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    It’s funny, when I spoke to you this morning, I was thinking wow…she really sounds calm. Then I asked my self, Is she really this calm or is because she is “mentoring” me she is supposed to portray that she is calm. I can learn a lot from not being “nervous” before a race, that it is wasted energy. You will have to remind me of this the week before my first Olympic when I am “Freaking” out! You are SO READY for this, I can not wait to watch just how amazing you do:) Thank you being such an inspiration to all us Tri mommies out there trying to Do it all!

  • Allyson

    June 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Saturday night I start my triathlon season on my way to a half IM at the end of Aug. Your blog and book have helped and I can not wait to hear about your success. All the best!

  • Mariah

    June 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    You have completely inspired me…have your book next to my bed and the blog up on my IPad. You should be incredibly proud of yourself…for not only training and racing this Ironman but for the way you have been able to push and inspire women (like myself) out of their comfort zone…and being completely honest through the whole process. I am so glad I found you (thanks AMR) and look forward to lots more inspiration!

  • Ed C.

    June 18, 2013 at 12:53 am

    This just means that you are well prepared! Before IMAZ last year both my daughter and I expected to be totally stressed out but we found a strange level of calm and excitement at what was to come. When it was time to get in the water it was like it was just time to get to work, no fear. You will be amazed at hiw ready you really are. Enjoy!

  • Dianne

    June 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I have been following your site, read your book and it is such an inspiration to me to continue to do triathlons. When you talk about putting the body you have to work – the training – it tells me I can do it. I am a weight battler – all my life – and at 61 I still battle. But I completed my first triathlon at 58 – loved every bit of it – even working through the pain. Now almost four years later – I am still at it – still a weight battler – but I have learned you can accomplish anything – I don’t give up. I don’t know if I have a 70.3 or an Ironman in me – but I will keep pushing myself and reading your book. Congratulations!!


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