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The Ironman Face Tattoo: IM Texas 2016

In light of my last post, I wanted to say thank you all for the wonderful comments and outpouring of “I get it” and “wow” and the like (and some of the not like too…)

As for me, I think it’s okay to admit when we find ourseleves in a place of burnout and need to take a breather.  I am not scared to admit when I am wrong, or when I struggle or whatever. Because I am a human.  And it’s okay.

This morning at Ironman Texas swim start, I figured that I would find myself going, “OHHHHHhhhhhh, I wish I was here and racing.”


And I did.

But as quickly as I said I wished I was racing.

I didn’t.

All the long course racing “glory” is 10000000% percent everything that it’s cracked up to me.  I love long distance racing.

I love the half iron, and I totally love a sprint.  But I do like long course most, for a million reasons. And I don’t regret a second of the day I spent suffering through any of my four iron distance races (three Ironman branded ones (Lake Placid 2015, Coeur d’Alene 2013 and Louisville 2015, one non-IM brand: Beach to Battleship 2014), or my five half iron races (Miami 2011, Augusta 70.3 2012, Augusta 70.3 2013Florida 70.3 2014, Gulf Coast 70.3 2015).  (Oh, and why not:  here’s a small smattering of my dozens and dozens of short races, to name a few:  Allatoona 2015, Allatoona 2014, Women’s Tri 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).

My “best” races  were absolutely the last Ironman (Louisville—not my best 140.6 “time”, but still my best race) and the last half marathon, and the last half iron (Gulf Coast).

I will race again. For sure.

But I am just saying I don’t know when. I am taking a pause and I don’t know how long it will be. I reserve the right to change my mind and do what is best for me and my sanity and my people and family at any given moment, without apologize.

And if I die tomorrow and never have the chance to race again, that’s okay too… because I’ll go out on MY top—the best I could have been at the time—like freaking Seinfeld and Friends.  (Eyeroll. Come on. 🙂 )

I didn’t have the flutter, no, watching the racers.

But as a spectator, I can very much “feel” what it is like to BE one of the racers—one of the swimmers coming out of the swim, and heading into T1, with a WHOLE LONG DAY ahead of them.  Exciting, and I loved it each time I did it (well, maybe not after the Placid concussion. :))…. but right now?

And I am just not in that place.

I do still technically have Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman North Carolina on the race calendar.  I also have a ton of smaller races on the calendar too.

I “could” choose to swing wildly and race them, or one, or none.  I don’t know.

Longtime SBM friend, Debbie (hi Debbie!) texted me and said something about how she bet seeing the people at Texas put the fire in me to push forward with the scheduled races.

Honestly, it didn’t.


And while the midnight (sorta, midnight) finish—I will for SURE be inspired (always am!), I don’t think that will be enough in the place where I am.


Like the part of Eat Pray Love when Viola Davis’ character tells Julia Roberts:  “Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.”

I sort of feel like Ironman or long course is also the proverbial baby tattoo on your face. When you get into your first Ironman race (like with a first baby), you may not be very sure what it means.  But after one, two or three (or four) of these “babies,” you certainly know exactly what it means.


And well, before you take on that 5th baby – well, you think about the pros, the cons, the costs, the benefits, the sacrifice and more… very carefully.

If and when I decide to race another Ironman (or two or three)… I just will make sure that I want the face tattoo.

And if I do decide to race… you’re damn sure that I will be all in.


For now, I am happy to be on this end of things.



  • JSA

    May 14, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I just came across your blog while I was searching for “what to wear for your first tri”. I was very inspired! I came back to your site tonight after being inspired while cheering on all the athletes at IMTX. Was that a crazy storm or what!? Heavy rain, lightening and hail. Unbelievable to see people running in that. I’ve yet to do an Ironman but it’s on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experiences and inspiring people like me.

  • Donna Anderson-Reihs

    May 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Just came across your blog while looking for “what to wear for your first tri”….I’ve done three triathlons, but I always just wore a swimsuit and shorts. I wasn’t really in the know….and it’s been 10yrs since I did my last tri. LOVE your blog, LOVE the clothes. Placing an order for clothing. You are very real and relatable. Thank you!

  • N

    May 15, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I wish I could copy one of your then and now pictures from your Instagram. A year ago pic shows a nice, sweet woman who took REALLY good care of everyone else. Today’s pictures show a strong, take no shit, #badassmom who not only takes care of everyone else really well but takes care of the most important resource a family has. Their mom.

    That swagger, that IDGAF look, the strength in each one of your pictures is the chronicling of the physical transformation of what’s been happening on the inside.

    For the first time ever, You Rule Your World and as Beyoncé so beautifully wrote , Why do girls rule the world? Because
    “We’re smart enough to make these millions
    Strong enough to bare the children
    Then get back to business”

    Continue to do You.


  • Shannon Vultaggio

    May 16, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I did IMTX and with about 2 miles to go I was in a very dark place. It was late, not many racer left and I saw you! I asked if you were Meredith and you gave me a hug! That hug was awesome and motivated me to keep going and hear Mike call my name! Thank you!!

  • Jenna

    May 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Those are my two best friends in those pictures! I was there right behind Cristina and screamed at you as we were getting in the water. Fan girl moment!

  • Carol casslow

    May 18, 2016 at 2:54 am

    Took a break after I DNF’d 2013 Lake Tahoe. Had no business being in that. Anyway, did finish 2010 CDA and 2012 Arizona. Thought I would take a short break….4 years later struggling to get bacK… Hoping to do Kentucky in the future! Sadly have gained 25+ lbs since 2010


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