Thursday, November 6, 2014

Third Time's a Charm?

Last week I registered for Ironman Louisville. My third Ironman, third time at Louisville.

The chance came up to do this race a third time, and I took it. I vowed after the second time I finished this race that I would do another Ironman before coming back to this one. My second Ironman Louisville left me a broken woman weeping in the shoulder of my best friend. 

After finishing in 2013, in so much pain
The first time I did Ironman Louisville in 2011, I had that beginner's naivety. I had finished my first sprint triathlon only 11 months prior, and Ironman Louisville was my 8th triathlon ever. No tears at that first Ironman, I was in complete shock I finished, I crossed the finish line in 14:17.

On the bike in 2011

On the run in 2011
crossing the finish line in 2011, in total shock
2011, wondering if this really just happened
When I returned for a second time in 2013, I had a different kind of naivety. I thought my fitness I had built up since my first Ironman would bring me to the 13 hour mark I was aiming for. Still living in the vast flat-ness of Coastal Georgia as my training ground, I trained hard but was still missing a vital part of what is necessary for a good training cycle for Ironman Louisville, hills.

At 2013's Ironman Louisville, I burnt all my matches on the bike. I still didn't know gearing for hills and I did too many tough climbs in the big ring. I wasn't patient and I took too many risks. I did the bike portion 30 minutes faster than in 2011, but I payed for it on the run, oh, did I ever pay for it on the run. My legs were done, toasted. The run was a complete suffer fest. Indescribable pain. My heart and will to finish go me through it. I crossed the finish line in 14:16, feeling completely broken, I couldn't even crack a smile for the finish line camera, I tried but it looked more like a grimace.

on the bike in 2013
On the run in 2013, feeling like death
Finish line in 2013, I really did attempt to smile, but the pain.......

2013, happy it was over
After that race I told Joel and Loraine (my best friend) that I would not do that race again until I lived somewhere where I could realistically train on hills. Well out of the blue in June, we found out we would be moving back to Northeast Kansas ,which is the hilly part of Kansas. Shortly after that Ironman made the announcement that Ironman Louisville would take place in October instead of August. I was really starting to consider the race.

We arrived to Kansas in early September. After realizing that a 25 mile bike ride gives me about 1400 feet of elevation gain, I realized that training for Ironman Louisville here would be very realistic. The 50 meter pool at the natatorium on post just adds to that.

I feel like I have everything I need to achieve my goal for this race. Everything fell in to place. Mentally I feel like I need to conquer Ironman Louisville before I can move on to another Ironman. Joel is behind me, he wanted me to go for Ironman #3 next year. My new doctor here gave me her blessing, and all my lab work I had to do for being five years post op gastirc bypass came back normal with no deficiencies. Several of my teammates from the Swim Bike Mom 2015 Ambassador Team are doing the race as well. Its going to be epic.

Sub 14 is the goal

Thanks for reading!


  1. You will see 13:XX as we scream and cheer you down 4th Street. Your environment shapes you. Although I can't even begin to compare myself to you, one thing I can vouch by living in Louisville, KY is that when you run on an opposite surface that you normally train on, it hurts! Aka.....I ran a 10K on a pancake-flat course and it hurt. A half-marathon full of hills? It felt good. Your training environment in KS will have the same conditioning effect and these hills will be a welcomed site. Can't wait to reunite and meet the SBM 2015 team as well.

  2. Wow what a great journey you have been on. I am in way close to even half a ironman but with cycling and hills have youbtried the sufferfest videos on spin bike, definitely helps with climbing fitness. Looking forward to hearing his the new environment helps you. Have fun!