September 25

Ironman Tahoe 70.3

My 9th 70.3 distance race of 2015 was by far the most challenging as well as the most rewarding. Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places there is to train and compete, but you never know what you are going to get with weather.

Ironman Tahoe 70.3 2015, like 2014 looked like it might be threatened with cancellation due to another very big fire in Northern California. I had mixed feeling about racing to begin with as it had been very cold two weeks prior to the race and I don’t do COLD!!! My husband, son and I moved to Truckee immediately upon my return from Cobra and Mount Mayon races in the Philippines so that I could get used to the altitude as well as the cold water and cold mornings. I even asked my husband “when is Santa Cruz 70.3”? Thinking maybe I would go do that race instead of Tahoe…..:-). He told me it didn’t matter because it was sold out. So I guess I was committed.

I have trained hard this year and was very focused the three weeks leading up to the race but the last week for some reason I was doubting if I could conquer this race. I was doubting the swim, the bike and the run and really took a lot of talking with my husband to even get excited about race day.

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I was very encouraged after spending a great evening with the FilAm Triclub group carbo load dinner. I don’t do the carbo load approach but hanging out and talking about races and training and travel with everyone started to get me excited about the opportunity to compete at the first (and turns out to be the last) Ironman Tahoe 70.3 race.

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Our friends Troy and Robin Soares of FCA rented a cabin 2 blocks from the start so we were able to have walking distance access to the race venue. Race day morning I was able to do my stretching and breakfast of Vitargo Post, get to transition and set up my TI and come back home and climb back into bed and warm up a little bit before heading back to watch the swim start of the full distance CRAZY PEOPLE!!

The 70.3 like the full had self seeding for the swim and I may have made a mistake by go with the front of the pack. Things started out fine for the first 1/3 of the race then I got totally rattled and began to panic. This has never happened to me before but every time someone touched me I freaked out, stop swimming and pulled my head up out of the water looking for a kayak. This process continued all the way to about 300 yards from shore and I began to relax a little bit. I am not the fastest swimmer anyway and have got used to having to chase people down on the bike but today I was so discouraged with the worst swim of my career that I almost quit the race. I always hear that you can’t win the race on the swim but your can lose the race on the swim and I was sure I had no chance of a podium after the nearly 36 minutes in the water.

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The first 12 miles of the bike were FREEZING but after passing squaw valley turnoff on the first loop I started feeling great and was counting women as I passed them on the bike. I didn’t know how many were ahead of me but I counted 15 that I passed before the summit on the big climb. My confidence was back and I really began to push for the last 20 miles of the bike. Thanks so much to all of you that were cheering for me and encouraging me along the way on the bike course. It always motivates me when I hear someone yell my name on a course and appreciate it more than people probably know.

TI transition was fast and smooth and I was feeling really good heading out on the run. As I passed my husband at the 3 mile mark he told me I was 4th overall woman and first in my age group. WHAT? I was shocked and excited and tried to get into a pace that was comfortable but also pushing myself. When I passed my husband again at the 5 mile mark he said I had an 11 minute lead in my age group. This made me push even more as I have never been in that position in any race in my career and it felt great. At the 9 mile mark my husband actually stopped me on the course to take a picture. I pushed to the finish and was greeted by many friends that I have met over the past 4 years doing this sport. I crossed the finish line 30 minutes ahead of 2nd place and nabbed a slot for Australia World Championships in the process.

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As always I want to thank God for blessing me with a body to do these races and also all my wonderful sponsors Vitargo, Rocklin Endurance Sports, iRT Wheels, Qunitana Roo, Profile Design, and Death Row Velo. It would be impossible to have the success that I have been blessed with.

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