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2013 Ironman 70.3 Augusta – The Race Report

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The Race
Ironman Augusta 70.3
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Augusta, Georgia

Swim:  1.2 Miles  (28:22)
Last Year: (29:15)

Bike:  56 Miles  (3:17:12)
Last Year: (3:08:26)

Run: 13.1 Miles (3:05:37) 

Last Year: (2:49:23)

Total Time:  7:03:44

Last Year: (6:36:44)

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Actual race finish time: 7:03:44

Suffice it to say, “I did better last year.”

Oh, the negative self-talk we triathletes say to ourselves.  It has begun.  Maybe if I didn’t do any of the same races twice…  Stop it, stop it, stop it…

And let me tell you… I earned that time. And I am proud of it.

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The Pre-Race Ramblings

Pre-Race Attitude Problem

I have been in a kind of slow burn-out since Ironman.  That ridiculously long race took so much out of me… not as much physically as emotionally and psychologically.  The fact that my body gave up on Mile 13 of the marathon, and my heart and brain carried those 200 pounds to the finish, just in time… well, that means my damn heart and mind are just worn out.

Those two tiny organs… carrying that much flesh to a finish line.  Poor things.

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Coach Monster had envisioned Augusta being my “A” race of the season.  That Ironman Coeur d’Alene was the big race, but Augusta would be the “fast” race for me.  Fast.  Kind of a relative term. I was secretly rebelling against this, I think.  Folks like Monster can have “A” and “B” races.  All of my races are “A” – in that they take ABSOLUTELY everything to ACCOMPLISH. A. A. A.

Ironman was the “A” race. It took everything I had.

Not to mention a 70.3 is still a ridiculously long race. A. A. A.  And really, I felt that I had nothing left for Augusta.  Not to mention all the stress we’ve got going on in life —triathlon aside.  Sheesh.

Admittedly, my attitude stunk a little. But I was trying.  So many friends and SBM army members were showing up to the race – and I wanted to be joyful and put on a good, positive attitude. Plus, a smile never hurt anyone, eh?  🙂

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Also, I had taken the time to get the kiddos some treats to hand out on the course. My race belt was full of candy, toys and harmonicas.  I hoped that handing out goodies on the course like a circus clown would make up for the fact that I missed the kids’ “high fives” on the Ironman finish. #stillhearingaboutthat

The Day Before

The Expert and I drove down to Augusta after the kiddos had their belt test for karate.  We were tired and stressed on the road. The kids were nuts in the car. It was just one of those days as a parent…

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The boy child was seriously thrilled.

We arrived at the race hotel and expo and did the registration thing.  Highlight of my day was this guy. That’s right, Dr. Miracle Man Hands.

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Zoomed through the race expo. I was just a total pre-race space cadet. I didn’t even buy a race t-shirt. I always buy a race t-shirt. What in the…

I did get to spend some time with one of my athletes, Bree. This was her first half Ironman, and I was super excited for her. We had not actually met in person before, so that was very fun.

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Race Morning

The Expert and I had two hotel rooms. Originally, my parents were coming to the race.  But they too had suffered Ironman burn-out and decided to skip the race.  So the Expert and the Swim Bike Boy Kid had a room, and I bunked with my fashionista Swim Bike Girl Kid.  She and I had gone to sleep about 8:30, but I tossed and turned until midnight.  Mostly because the little stinker was snoring.  She gets that brown hair, good looks and snoring from her father.

Wake-up came early. As it always does in triathlon.

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At least 70.3 was a merciful 4:15 instead of 3:30….

I had such a great morning, though.

After taking all of our stuff to transition, the Expert and I parked near the swim start and coaxed the kiddos into having a nap.  We put the boy child in the back with his alligator (toy) and let him roar and bounce around.  The rest of us got a little shut eye.

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We all started off the day tired.

And the Expert… with another round of sherpa-ing to do for the old ball-and-chain… he took a small beauty sleep.

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We all snuggled in the car, and then experienced front row seats for this awesomeness…

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At 7:30, it was time to get out of the car.

My F30-34 swim wave was at 8:52, and there were potty stops to be made, SBM friends to meet (Sara who came all the way from Iowa!) and more potty stops.

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SBM Army members: Sarah, Amy & Kelly… and the kiddos, of course

The Swim Bike Kids totally photo-bombed every picture.

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The Race Report
As an initial matter, I want to say “wow” and “thanks” to all the SBMs out on the course representing.  What an amazing group of women, wearing the SBM kits and visors and supporting each other. Wow.  Even the Expert remarked about how many folks shouted to him.

Our daughter kept asking him, “Daddy, how do you know all these girls?”

You can imagine what he said.  “Oh, the ladies love me” or something to that effect, I’m sure.  Silly Expert. 

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The Swim

If you need a fast swim, Augusta is the race for you.  Wetsuit legal most years with an amazing current, you can’t beat it.  We had the third largest women’s group (ages 30-34).  Last year, we jumped off the dock and swam out and treaded water and waited on our wave start. This year, the current was too strong, so the horn went off and then we jumped of the dock – time started immediately.

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I decided to sit on the edge of the dock and be one of the first in the water. I feel confident in the swim most days, and even when people crawl over me, I would rather the tiny girls crawl over me if necessary… then have the freight train of me crawling over them.

Check out this awesome pic from SBM friend, Kelly… her husband was volunteering on a jet ski and scooted in to take the shot.

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The fun thing: no one crawled over me.  Yay.  Okay, it was still a busy swim. There was a point where I thought, “Okay, this seems like I’m back in the Ironman race.”

And check out this awesome shot. Through process of elimination and based on the fact that I’m the only fool in a full-sleeve in that position, I think…

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Nothing eventful about the swim.   Except it’s a half Iron swim and awesome. And splashtacular.

Staying towards the left side helps get you in the faster current stream. However, even when I start far left… I always migrate far right. Want to be close to shore, I guess. And couldn’t get back over to the left.  Not sure what’s up with that.

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Still had a pretty fast swim in 28:22, and knocking almost a minute off last year’s time.

Out of the water, and into T1.

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T1

I tried to move with a purpose, and I seemed to do pretty well, getting out of T1 in 6 minutes.

I took the time to put on socks because the morning was chilly. At the last minute, I decided against the jacket and arm warmers. I was hot getting out of the swim in the full-sleeved wetsuit.  I would recommend a sleeveless if you have one.  I’ve worn both, and definitely liked the sleeveless better for this race.

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The Bike

I was comfortable on the bike course, and kudos to Augusta for paving some of the roads. Definite improvement in the first 16 miles.

And what a beautiful day. Seriously, couldn’t have been better weather.  Except I forgot sunscreen. Ouch.

Augusta was hillier than I remembered.  The first 14-16 or so miles are relatively flat, as are the last 5-6.  There’s also a good stretch of flat after Mile 35ish.  But in between all that, there are some decent hills.  None of which are close to the easiest that CDA threw at us, but still, a solid, hilly course.  If you are thinking about doing Augusta as a newbie, get in some hill training, for sure.  But don’t fear the hills. Just prepare for them and know they will be there, looming on race day. They are conquerable, but don’t be lazy about them (ah-hem, one of my lessons learned).

At Mile 16, on a climb, I swallowed a large insect of sorts.  Then I started coughing and wheezing.  (“OMG, was that a bee? What if it’s a bee and said bee stung my esophogus and now I am in anaphlactic shock due to my bee allergy…”  …Just call me Positive Patty.)  It took me a good five minutes before I was certain that I was okay.  Lovely.

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Right about this time, a fellow racer passed me on the left and recognized me as SBM, said “hi” and we chatted very briefly. Just enough time for her to pass and me to explain that I couldn’t really talk because I had swallowed some bug.

About 5 miles down the road, I could see the rider was pulled over.

I shouted, “Are you ok?”  She had a dropped chain.

For a split moment, I was like, “She’ll be fine…”  But as I passed, I heard her say, “I don’t know what to do.”  Before I heard that, I thought I’d just keep going… but at that comment, I squealed to a halt and hopped off my bike. No way. Not gonna leave her there.  Got her back moving again sooooo quickly – like 2 minutes max.

Two things that impacted me most:

1) I was ashamed that I thought for even a second not to stop and help. Of course, I should stop! I’m not qualifying for Kona here. She’s one of us!  I was telling the Expert at dinner, “I’m sure someone would have helped.” And he said, “You don’t know that.”  And that hit me like a ton of bricks.  His words, plus the experience of helping someone on the course, impacted me big time. I will ALWAYS stop.  What is a few minutes?

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2) As we were getting her back on the bike she said, “Fixing my chain was the one thing I didn’t practice.” Which I loved about her, because she was a good student of triathlon. And that’s awesome. We both rocked. I can say that with pride. Even as she blew by me on the run and I said, “I help you with your bike and you crushing me on the run is the thanks I get?” She laughed and I was glad to see her again. 🙂  #GoUs

As far as the hills, if I could count the number of real climbs, I would say there are 5 “good” (or bad) ones.  A few where you’re like, “Alright. Time to stop all this climbing nonsense.”  The course is hilly, but it’s manageable.

Half Iron is about the slow burn. You can’t go balls out as a beginner. You must go slow-ish, and keep the ability to finish strong. It’s a tough place to be. I think you earn it or lose it on the bike.  Still a great bike course.

T2

Glad as always to get off the bike.  I moved a little slower in T2.  My nutrition was not super on the bike.  And I wasn’t feeling that great.  I was also beginning to feel very hot.  I hadn’t bothered with sunscreen.  Not sure why. I am pasty by nature, and I know better.

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The Run

Augusta has one of the best run courses out there.

As I looked back on my time for the run, I fell out of my chair when I saw my first mile was a 10:12 pace.  I wasn’t trying to run fast.  (And for the record, 10:12 may not be fast for you… but 10:12 is like a world record for me).  Of course, this speed drastically fell off the planet pretty quickly…

On Mile 2, I had a bit of a problem.

My attitude.

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Despite the smiles in most pictures, I was kind of a crab.

During this race, I wasn’t very… me.

I didn’t feel super excited. There was none of this “yay, I love triathlon” and “wahooo, I love this stuff,” and little “yay, swim bike mom.” Instead, I was having more of: Why in the hell am I doing this?  I hate this. I am miserable. I hate this. I HATE THIS. 

At that time, someone ran by me:  “Swim Bike Mom!  You’re the reason I’m out here doing this! Thank you!”  I smiled and hugged her and thought, “Crap. I have to keep going. Me and my stupid blog.

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This happened over and over again.  I would start to hate every second, and someone else would call out to me.  It was incredibly humbling . Incredibly humbling. And motivating. The “Army” reached out and held up its so-called Fearless Leader.  I was weak, and you guys got me through the race.  And I am thankful.  So thank you.

I actually stopped no less than 10 times and walked/hugged/cheered/greeted SBMs on the course.

It was so awesome. SO awesome.

I have no other thoughts about the miles….

Brought the run home with a huge relief, and a third half Iron under my race belt.

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The Lessons

1) Attitude of Gratitude:
The positive self-talk and outlook really does matter in a race. This might be the first race where I felt terrible and negative inside my head, and man, it made the race that much more difficult.  Why not err on the side of gratitude? A question for myself.

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And you can see the sunburn happening here. Lawdy.

So much to be thankful for…

2) Hugging the Family:
While I may have finished 10-15 minutes faster without stopping and hugging and handing out treats, I am pretty sure no one out there is trying to let me onto their Pro Team.

The few moments I spent with the kids – I think they’ll remember that. (“We went to Mommy’s race and she stopped and gave me a giraffe!”)

At least I hope so. Augusta had FIVE times for me to see the munchkins and Expert on the run course. And I stopped each time, and hugged and talked and handed out fodder from my race belt.

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Was totally worth it, and what a boost I received!! To get kid kisses in a race?  Awesome.  Especially when Stella goes, “Mommy, you look good, but you kinda smell bad.”

Then, I loved when people shouted out, “There’s the Swim Bike Kids!”  Hilarious.

3) Listen to the Lessons:
My son, James, was so impressed with this triathlete’s “robot legs” and Stella could not stop talking about him on the way to school this morning. What amazing lessons triathlon can teach.

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I love the Expert for taking this picture and taking the time to explain to the kiddos what an act of awesomeness they witnessed.

I was on Mile 8 when I had the pleasure of seeing this amazing paratriathlete.

And it made me reconsider the constant whining that had been happening in my head.  Seriously reconsider my attitude.  And I turned it around right then and there. Perspective is a hard thing to learn and keep on a consistent basis.  But it’s so necessary to try.

4) Respect the Race:
I harp on this all the time.  And I failed to respect the race as much as I would have liked to respect it. Now, trust me when I say that I did not underestimate the pain/distance/horror that is 70.3 by swim, cycle and foot.  But I didn’t give the distance the reverence and pre-planning that it deserved.  Which is because of the next lesson….

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5) Respect Yourself:
I had spiraled into a good, solid few weeks of self-sabotage.  I wasn’t caring about my diet. I wasn’t caring about my attitude.  Just a bad few weeks.  Which we all have, from time to time.  And I am learning that a few bad days/weeks is okay. That it doesn’t require, “Meredith, you are a big fat sad sorry stinky loser.”

I deserve more than that.

We all do.

It’s about the journey and the steady progress over time.

The Expert likes to remind me of this… he being a scientist and all that… and the fact he likes graphs.  He is forever “plotting” my progress on imaginary graphs in the air, and making me look at them.  Yes, I ate crap and didn’t do so great for three weeks.

But I also failed to respect all the hours and days and weeks of hard work that I have put into triathlon for three years. I was like, “Eh, I blew it.”  In three weeks. Because I didn’t bother to respect myself and my journey … I carried the yuck into my race, which impacted my respect for the race.  I almost felt as if I hadn’t trained for the race and didn’t care.  Horrible.  And I know better.

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So much of my self-worth is wrapped up in what I ate today.  And yet, I’ve never in my life been thin and super-fit and 145 pounds. EVER.  So basically, I have spent my entire life beating myself up for… being me. 

And I can’t acknowledge that I look just fine as I am, and I can do half Ironman races, and that’s pretty damn awesome. It’s a battle and I want so badly to get over it.  So part of my next lesson is to do that…

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Multi-Ironman Jillian…and a photo-bomb from the boy child

6) Breathe:
I have never been capable of acknowledging when it’s time to step back and breathe and take a break.

Augusta taught me one big lesson:  it’s time to step back and breathe and take a break.  I need to figure out what I want out of my life, out of triathlon and find a balance.  I want to spend some time supporting the Expert in his goals. I want to take my kids to some kid races (Stella is stoked about racing; James, not so much. But either way, it’s a good lesson for them to see these types of things).  (As of tonight, I have already a GREAT one planned with the kiddos- super excited!!!) ….but, I want to find a happy place within myself, my inner yoga room, and stay there for a while. I want to live in my own green grass and not give a crap what’s happening over in Green Lot #45 next door.

For instance, today I had the day off work.  And I didn’t touch the laundry.

I came in from Augusta last night at 8:30 and jumped immediately into laundry and cleaning, and then I thought, “WHAT AM I DOING?” Take a damn break, Mere.  Breathe.

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So today, I did.

Woke up. Put on dirty clothes. Took kids to school. Came home. Formatted photos, worked on race report. Had lunch with Sweet Red.  Came back and worked on my race report. And had dinner with that handsome man of mine and the kids.

I’m slowing down. Period. Somehow.

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Like this. Conked out kiddo.

7) Nutrition & Hydration:
I didn’t do a great job on this Sunday, but that corresponded to my failure to fully respect myself or the race.  “I feel like a loser, so I will deny myself Salt Sticks.” Idiotic, I know.

8) Finding the Happy Pain Cave:
One of the best places in any race, for me, is when I start to hurt so badly that I completely disappear inside my brain for a span of time. Then when I emerge, often several miles has passed. I call it the Happy Pain Cave.

When I saw the amazing paratriathlete on Mile 8, I was able to find my smidgen of good attitude and go in to the Happy Pain Cave.  I emerged around Mile 11.  Holy Smokes, only 2.1 miles to go!

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Interestingly, I made the discovery that, in order to get into the Happy Pain Cave, one is required to pay a toll.

And the toll?

Gratefulness.

Once I recognized the good things and the blessings… the Happy Pain Cave said, “Thanks for your deposit, and you may now enter.

9) Enjoy the Finish:
Something about this finish was equally as sweet as Ironman.  I think because I remembered to stop and hug the kids. Which was the sweetest thing ever.

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But also, because this final race of the tri season represented a heck of a year —-not only for me—- but for my entire family.

We have experienced everything from job loss, moving (twice!), litigation, a hell house, maritial difficulties and more.  To cross another finish of a 70.3 was a nice, solid exclamation point on the year. And as the Expert said, “Continuing to do triathlon amidst the difficulties is what makes the real life changes. That’s what the kids will see and remember.”

Gosh, he’s a wise one.  Dude needs to write a book.

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10) I’m Sorry:
Finally, I apologize if this race report is less than inspiring or stellar. Working through stuff in my head is tough when I want to say happy things.  I am proud of my finish. I still think 7 hours to travel 70.3 miles is super great. So I am not discounting that. Trust me.

I love you guys and I hope you know that I am working through my negative nellies.

And YOU ROCK!

“You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away…

….Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way

…Dream it anyway…”

-Martina McBride

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Everyone has a story.

Thank you ALL for the well-wishes, the inspiration and the support.

And CONGRATS to so many of you out there on the course… fighting the good fight and your own battles and reasons for tri-ing.  What can we do? Oh that’s right…

Just Keep Moving Forward.

44 Comments

  • Debbie

    October 1, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Inspiring as usual! Yesterday I ran 10 miles for the first time ever, and it was easy and fun and I felt like I could have run further when I finished. But last week my 9 mile run was tough. In wondering what made the difference- perhaps nutrition played a part for sure; but I really think my mental attitude had a lot to do with it too. I dreaded the 9 mile run for days, and even in the first several miles of it. But for the 10 mile run, I was eagerly anticipating it for 2 days ahead of time. Weird. This really is a mental sport. As always, Thankyou for sharing your journey!

    Reply
  • Brittany

    October 1, 2013 at 7:51 am

    This brought tears to my eyes! I’m the one you stopped and helped when my chain came off on the bike route. To just say thank you for not only helping me get TO Augusta, but to thank you again for helping me get THROUGH Augusta, seems so inadequate! Your ups, downs, and complete honesty were such a motivation to me before the race. I must have quoted Swim Bike Mom 100 times before the race even started! I was so excited to see you on the bike course! But when my chain came off and I just COULD NOT fix it, you were my “angel unaware”. Thank you so much for stopping. If it weren’t for you, I don’t know that I would have finished, because I’m with the Expert– I’m not sure anyone would have stopped. Plenty blew by me before you did. Congratulations on another 70.3. And I will always be grateful that you stopped for a fellow racer! Lesson learned- know how to put the chain back on!! : ) So appreciate you! You Rock!!!

    Reply
  • Courtney

    October 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

    No need to apologize for your report. Honestly, it is inspiring, just in a different way. I’ve had races where the negative self talk invades and it can absolutely kill any race. Learning to respect yourself and what you’re capable of, being grateful for it, is difficult to do. I constantly work on it and no one is perfect. We will all have those kind of races at some point and it’s important to remember why we do these things, to show the gratitude and be humbled by our own abilities. Your report is still inspiring. I have my first 70.3, Ironman Syracuse, in June and I’ll keep your words with me as I prepare for it. These are important lessons. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Laura Walls

    October 1, 2013 at 8:35 am

    As always, I learn something new from you……you are so human and have the humility to acknowledge it……THIS is what is so inspirational. Kudos!!!

    Reply
  • Beth

    October 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Meredith, you are my hero! Love your blog. I was also at Augusta. I missed you on the course, but I was so excited to recognize the Expert on the sidelines! What a great race. I will definitely be back next year.

    Reply
  • Jacky

    October 1, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Loved it and has made me hopeful! Thanks Meredith! Flying out to NY (from Barcelona!) to run the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 3rd, any chance you’ll be around????? I injured both my quads (big time) Sunday at a trail race but this ain’t gonna stop me… oh no!
    Think about NY, ok? 😉 😉 😉
    Hi from Girona, Catalunya! Did you hear about the human chain we did on the 11th? 😀

    Reply
  • Traci

    October 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

    OMG… this post, as many of your others, had me in tears… and laughing! So inspiring even when you are not feeling so inspired yourself!? Always feel/see so much of me in what you say (only you say it much better than I ever could… and always have pictures to go along with the story!! lol)… #5 particularily… 100% me… “so much of my self-worth is wrapped up in what I ate today”… uggh…we need to fix that !!!

    Your Swim Bike Family is beautiful and amazing!! LOVE Stella’s outfit! OMG… she’s rockin’ that mismatched look and is simply adorable!!! And they don’t care what your time is or that you were slower than last year… the lessons you are learning are things you can pass onto them!!… and the things they are experiencing -WOW… the picture of Swim Bike Boy watching the paratriathlete says it all.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your posts! Don’t stop! but please do breathe! Take a break… you have earned it this year for sure = )

    Reply
  • Helga

    October 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Thanks Meredith! I’m grateful for you.
    I did my first Olympic Tri 2 days ago. Next one, I’ll be wearing a SBM outfit.
    I’m glad you are “real”.
    Big virtual hug to you,
    Helga

    Reply
  • Becky

    October 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    The paragraph that starts “So much of my self worth is wrapped up in what I ate today . . .” made me cry. I have spent my whole life beating the hell out of myself for not being better. I needed tomseemthat expressed in words, so thank you for that. Even though its 8am and I’m sitting at my desk a hot crying mess.

    And here’s my other thought – Dude. Take a break. You DESERVE it. It’s been a helluva ride for you this year. Also, since you mentioned it, maybe pick up some yoga. It has helped me become more respectful of what my body is saying to me.

    Sending restful thoughts.

    Reply
  • Beth

    October 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    No need to apologize. This is about as real as it gets, and it’s what most triathletes feel at one time or another, but don’t want others to know. I’m sorry that you were fighting your mind in the race, but I’m glad that you realize that you need a break. I think it will do you a world of good! Hang in there, and thanks for always been honest.

    Reply
  • Lori

    October 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    It was great to see you out on the course during the run. I’m not sure if you remember seeing me, but you were on the other side of the street when I yelled hi to you and you asked me how I was doing and I said that I was in pain but I would finish and you said you felt the same way. This was my first half and I’m just so happy that I finished!

    Reply
  • Jenn graham

    October 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

    So funny, I saw your husband and kids before the race and it took me forever to place them….I was on the docks about to swim and had the “a-ha” moment…..Like a celebrity citing! Nice race, I think repeats are VERY hard b/c we always want to improve and as my coach has beat into my head you just can’t do it…too many outside factors can change….It was windy Sunday, much more so than in the past and hotter than last year as well. And the crowds on the road were another factor in my opinion too…either way, we all got out there and carried ourselves through a challenging day…and made it out! I’d say we deserve a pat on a back and a “atta girl” for doing that! 🙂

    Reply
  • Christie

    October 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Your honesty and candor is what I love most about your blog, no matter how positive or negative. It is posts like this one that remind us all to be grateful for what we are capable of and to always remember that. I think it is tough for a lot of us athletes to take a step back sometimes and realize that we are burned out and need a mental and, sometimes, physical break.
    You continue to inspire me everyday as a person and athlete. Because I found your blog about a month or two ago and was seriously motivated by it, I can say that I completed my first sprint tri this week in Miami. So thank you! I fully intend on doing Augusta 70.3 in 2014 and I can thank you for giving me the confidence to do so! Congrats on another accomplishment 🙂

    Reply
  • esw

    October 1, 2013 at 9:33 am

    This is a real race report. How many of us can’t say we censored the “unpleasantness” out of our race reports to make it seem like we were the bomb and the day was perfect, or whatever such nonsense. So appreciate your honesty and your openness to truly share your experience with the Army. Enjoy the time away from racing for a bit, and relish the craziness that is everyday with the family! Thank you.

    Reply
  • Missiemom

    October 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I saw you on the course Sunday and it felt really full circle to run next to you for a few even if I told you nothing more than “keep moving girl! You got this!” This was my first half and while it felt amazing and I would sign up for another one the time has come to officially add MOM to my resume. I will sit out the next season or two and play Sherpa for my husband and volunteer in chatanooga hopefully but I will keep moving forward plotting my return to tris. Keep up the great work Mer!

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  • Denise

    October 1, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Mere, you are soooo real and awesome! I LOVED this race report! First of all I remember thinking, “Wow! She’s doing a half ironman so soon after doing a full?? What is she crazy?!” I think you needed more down time after your first full ironman but what do I know, I’ve never even done a half! But still, we are REAL women with jobs, families and we are not 145 lbs or less so I give you GIANT KUDOS for even completing your 70.3 given the timing, heck for even BEGINNING your 70.3! Second, I have been beating myself up for gaining back 20 lbs of the 60 lbs I lost four years ago and even bailed at the last minute on my only Sprint of the year in part because of not feeling ready for it despite having done a bunch of Sprints and even an Oly in the past. The other reason was my Mom was in ICU and I had been up the whole night before but still I am feeling bad I didn’t do it. To be honest I have been hating on myself for gaining back some weight and my poor eating/exercise habits compared to what I did to lost the weight. I am back up to 175 lbs and I am SO MAD at myself about it but I am not putting in the work to take it off. Well thanks because after seeing how HUMAN you are and similar to my mindset I am not going to let my Mom’s death last month be my excuse for gaining back all the weight I lost and for giving up on triathlons.

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  • Michele @ Micheleontherun

    October 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I love that you are honest and raw. This IS inspirational! Your journey during the 70.3 is what teaches you and so many of us the lessons we don’t seem to see during our busy, crazy lives. It’s amazing how many revelations you have while out there… I can’t wait to experience that (at least I hope I do!) I’m hoping that my start in Tri’s this year will allow me to move to 70.3 and beyond next year. Thank you for your honest reflections!

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  • Belinda

    October 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    SBM, you are beautiful – inside and OUT. I know it doesn’t matter what anyone says (all that matters is what you think inside of you), but you wear 200 pounds REALLY well. You look stellar and so strong.

    Thank you for stopping for Brittany on the course. This was my first season tri-ing. My first race went SO smooth. My 2nd I got a flat. It took 3 cyclists to change that darn flat tire. And I am SO grateful for those that stopped. My 3rd, my chain fell off, and my hubby was riding a few minutes behind me and helped me put it back on. I will be paying the kindness forward of those who stopped for me and will stop and help others when they need it – even if it’s just an extra set of eyes or a semi-stable hand.

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  • Jess

    October 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I LOVE this race report. Your honesty is so refreshing and inspiring. I’m in the middle of listening to your book (I listen to it while I do my long marathon training runs) and it’s freaking amazing and I think you’re right… the Expert needs to write a book too 🙂 I love how you both work through life’s difficulties and make time for triathlon. Absolutely inspirational. Way to go on an exclamation point of a race! And you look awesome by the way 🙂

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  • Janice Caruso

    October 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I thought this was such an inspiring post…it was real. That’s what makes you so great Meredith. We can all relate to you in one way or another because of your honesty and candidness. You make me feel like we know each other.

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  • Leanne

    October 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    My training partner and bestie have been waiting for the race report–you continue to inspire us, all the while telling it like it is! It is so refreshing to read your posts and be a part if the SBM army. Enjoy your post-race relaxation, and be well!

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  • Sara

    October 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I am so happy that I got the chance to meet you this past weekend! It was worth the trip from Iowa!! You are so real and can just tell it like it is! You have made my tri’ing much easier than it has been in the past. You have taught me many things along the way through your book and your blog. Augusta was a fabulous experience for me and I look forward to doing another half next year. I now proudly display my swim bike mom sticker next to my 70.3 on my back window! You have taught me to breathe, relax and always Keep.Moving.Forward. I am honored to be part of the SBM Army! I also want to say thank-you to another new SBM friend I meet this weekend, Kelly! You rock!

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  • Em

    October 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    “So much of my self-worth is wrapped up in what I ate today. And yet, I’ve never in my life been thin and super-fit and 145 pounds. EVER. So basically, I have spent my entire life beating myself up for… being me”
    I will reiterate what others have already said, this paragraph REALLY struck a chord with me. I will admit I too was in tears at my desk this morning as I read. I am sick and tired of fighting this battle with myself. This time I waste on obsessing about my body could be spent in so much more productive ways.
    Thanks for your honesty!

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  • Sil

    October 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Congrats Meredith!!! You conquered another hall-ironman! That’s amazing!
    I was expecting you’re report, since it’s always so inspiring. We will always have good races and some not so good-as-we-expected ones. But we learn form them, so we can “keep moving foward” and that’s so awesome! Thank you and have a deserved rest!

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  • Kelly

    October 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I love you for much more than your looks but every time I see pictures of you, I think “Meredith is so pretty and she is rocking that triathlon body”! You are beautiful inside and out.

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  • Heather

    October 2, 2013 at 8:06 am

    My husband, Dave, and I meet you at the finish line and it was truly a great pleasure! I learned about your blog a couple weeks before your full Ironman and love reading each post. I am impressed by your tenacity to keep going during your crazy life adventures. As a spectator, it was inspiring to see you throughout the race course knowing all the ups and downs you have faced during training. Every race is your “A” race because you are AMAZING!!!! Thank you!

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  • Sil

    October 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    You posted more pictures!!! I like that! I was thinking…she is so tired, she probably won’t post for a while…And you surprised me! 😉
    BTY, maybe you didn’t feel positive the whole time, but you managed to smile in all the pictures, you look great and happy!!!

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  • Sarah

    October 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    (1) Miracle Man Hands – Agreed. I heart him.
    (2) This – So basically, I have spent my entire life beating myself up for… being me. Rings loud and true for me. I’ve spent much of my 34 years beating up on myself for being me. That naysayer voice was there even in many of the races and training days I had leading up to IM. I’ve been working on it, but man, I get that struggle.

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  • Kristen

    October 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Congrats! Hey – I’m not sure if you got to meet “robot legs” but he lives in my area (Charleston, SC) and I have raced several sprint tris with him (I don’t know him outside of tri, but he does the same sprint series I do). He always passes me on the run and is always the most positive, supportive guy out there. And he inspires me. So, you can tell your son that not only is he amazing because he does what he does with different parts than the rest of us have, but he is also a positive role model and super nice guy. Thanks for continuing to share your journey. 🙂

    Reply
  • Frank

    October 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    SBM,

    Love your race report. I raced with you in Augusta, and had been looking forward to meeting you! My only disappointment about my first trip to Augusta and the race is that I did not meet you.

    I had a great race, a PR. Weather was great. Crowd was great. Keep racing. Keep writing. You are a white, athletic Oprah. (I am from Chicago. It is a huge compliment.)

    Best,

    Frank

    Reply
  • Morgan McClelland

    May 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

    HEY! Just wanted to say awesome words of wisdom! I’m currently training for the baby of all tri’s the sprint triathlon! You are so motivational and I hope one day I can reach the half iron man point in fitness! keep being awesome and hope to one day be a fellow triathlete to recognize you at a half iron!
    YOU ROCK!!!

    Reply
  • Lani Faulkner

    September 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Hi SBM, just reading this as I prepare for the 2014 Augusta 70.3 this Sunday. It is very inspirational to me as I fractured every bone in my foot in April causing my training to be different than the first time I did this race in 2011. I’ve tried to train smarter this time in preparing for my nutrition and lots of biking and swimming and not as much on running. I have a huge problem with doubting myself and reading this makes me know, I cannot take that self doubt and negative thinking with me on race day. Thank you for sharing this great blog! You are one tough triathlete. So glad I found your blog. I’ll be talking nice to myself and abot myself for the next 7 days 🙂

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  • Wendy Rose

    September 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I’m reading this now as I prepare for Augusta, my first Half-Iron, and your words are inspiring, helpful and more! DON’T apologize for being you. You are amazing and by sharing your experience with people like me, you are a confidence builder as well! Thank you!

    Reply

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