Monday, August 25, 2014


This morning my alarm went off at 4:40 am, just like most Monday mornings.  I got up and put food in the dog's bowl (but no sign of dog, she sleeps in these days), put on my swimsuit, collected my things for masters practice, and then quickly checked my email.  And there it was, the email that I had been hoping and working hard for, an invitation to compete this year in Kona.  I smiled.  I told Oscar on the way out the door.  He smiled and gave me a kiss.  I drove to masters.  I had a great workout with my good friend Chad, who I've been doing triathlon alongside for 8+ years.  I talked to my friends and Coach Jen.  I took a shower.  I got in my car to drive home.

And then, unexpectedly, as I turned the keys in the ignition, I burst into tears.  I think all the emotion that I've pent up these past couple weeks and months, finally came bubbling to the surface.  This year is turning out to have some of the very highest highs I've ever felt, but also some of the very lowest, lows.  And while I would never consider my "problems" to be on the same level as what many go through on a daily basis, I also don't want to minimize some of the emotional turmoil I've felt this year.  No matter what it is you are down about, being depressed is a real condition that needs to be treated.  And it's not a small thing.

This morning in the car, I was elated, relieved, happy beyond words, excited, and of course, thrilled.  But mostly, I was so filled with gratitude.  It's a great thing to achieve a dream, but even more wonderful, I'm learning, is to realize just how many people have helped you in doing so.  So above all else, what I feel is thankful.  So very, very thankful for all the people that gave of themselves so that I could get to do this.

So this Kona thing, it's really happening!!  Which means I get to train for another Ironman!  I hear it's a bit hot and maybe a little windy on the Big Island in October, 'eh?  ;)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report

I went to Ironman Mont Tremblant with one goal: get enough KPR points to qualify for Kona.  I knew that placing 3rd (or higher) would likely be enough.  Placing 4th or 5th would put me at a much less certain maybe.

But let me back up a few steps first.  I wasn't supposed to do Ironman Mont Tremblant.  At least at the beginning of this season, this race was not on the schedule.  Of course I also wasn't supposed to tear my labrum and be on the disabled list for 6 weeks (and then be VERY unfit for many weeks after that).  And so I've (re)learned, this season, that things don't always go according to OUR plan, but that doesn't mean all is lost.  So it goes, I went into IMMT with a lot of uncertainty and although I tried desperately to avoid it, self-induced pressure.  Because I VERY, VERY badly want to race in Kona, and it was hard to look past the fact that IMMT was my last shot.

The end result?  I finished in 3rd place.  After a fantastic day of close racing with several other pro women who I truly respect and admire, I made my way down towards the finish line and tried to choke back the tears.  Nope, Ironman Mont Tremblant wasn't in the original plan.  But sometimes the plans WE make are far less amazing than what God has in store.  Will it be enough for Kona?  Well, on Monday (or Sunday night), I will find out.  But either way, I can say, I know I did the very best I could to qualify given the circumstances of my year.  And it's hard to be disappointed in that.

Here we go!  Photo credit: Julien Heon

Time to ride my trusty steed!  Although shortly after this picture was taken, I dropped my chain and then spent the remainder of the race with bike grease all over my hands/face/body.

Running through the village on the mountain was thrilling!

Photo credit: Nils Nilsen

Almost done!

Those checks aren't signed.  :)

I have so, so, SO many people to thank!!  Bear with me.

To CID, Coeur, QR, Rudy Project, PowerBar, NormaTec and Fuelbelt: I am so thankful to be a part of your team.  You make this possible for me!

To Peter and Lorna Bailie: your hospitality and generosity blew me away.  I am so thankful to have gotten to know a little piece of your lives.  Homestays make this possible for me.  YOU make this possible for me!

To QT2 Systems: what an amazing family.  Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

To my friends, training partners and all those that encourage and take the time to send a message or text: it means more than you could possibly know.

To my family: you've put up with more than most would tolerate for YEARS!  Thank you for being there on race day and sharing in my joy, but also being there when things aren't so great.  Your support makes all the difference.

To Tim: when I texted you after the race and asked "who would have thought we'd be here 4 months ago, when I could barely lift my knee to my chest because of my hip pain?" and you simply replied "me" - well, that pretty much sums it all up.

And last but not least, to Oscar: what is left to say?  There won't be enough years in this life to repay you for all you've done for me.  But I'll give it a shot anyway.

The Bailie's backyard served as my swimming pool for the week.

Mont Tremblant has big chairs!

Thank you, Mont Tremblant!  The venue is every bit of awesome that you hear about.  AMAZING race!