Monday, March 31, 2014

Oceanside 70.3

- I told my brothers and coach that I wanted to hit a :35 swim, 2:40 bike, and 1:40 run. Outcome: 35, 2:43, 1:37 = 5:01 overall and PR
- I told my coach that my teammate and I would try for 1st and 2nd in our age group, we took 2nd and 3rd! So incredibly proud of being next to one of the best triathletes/people I know on the podium, Ola is a huge inspiration to me and she had an incredible race breaking 5 hours!

- 3 am wakeup and bike to T1/T2
- nearly crashed on my bike attempting an uphill climb to T2
- didn't stop shivering until the start of the race
- spent an hour in T1 tucked in a ball inside my sweatshirt for heat
- googled 'How to bike up a hill' because I was terrified for the 14% grade after having to walk up a 12% at IRONMAN FRANCE
- started the swim and halfway I was convinced I had swam in a circle
- was blinded by the rising sun for the second half of the swim
- slow T1 due to struggling packing up my wetsuit and getting my shoes clipped in
- felt so at home on my bike and realized all the 3am bike trainer workouts were worth the sleep deprivation/exhaustion
- thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular ocean views and biking on a military base
- hit a rough patch and thought, oh to bike this for 112 miles in NZ...
- loved that we had to wear bibs so I could cheer for every competitor on course by name
- took it easy in anticipation for the hills
- approached the first hill, said a long prayer and dropped all gears to tackle it
- was amazed that I passed every person on the hill
- shouted with joy at the peak, and glanced at the word "relentless" written on my arm
- got complimented by a speedy female on crushing the hill only to reply that Miami hill training is fantastic
- had the song line "Glory, Glory, Glory to the Highest" stuck in my head all race
- got frustrated by some no pass zones
- tackled the 2nd major hill and marveled at how easy it was compared to the first
- continued to take it relatively easy in preparation for a hilly run
- started the run feeling strong and determined
- saw my amazing cheering section!! Marijo Murphy Clemons
- never looked at my watch, just ran what felt comfortable
- dealt with each hill as it came, knowing I just needed to mentally defeat them
- realized how short 13.1 miles is compared to a marathon
- reflected on how nice it would be to spectate at my next 2 races
- loved the run and the joy of knowing I could overcome my fears
- rushed to the chocolate milk tent immediately upon finishing to chug 3 containers...
- PRed, no regrets, sheer joy

- I only drank 24 oz on the bike and ate 2 clif shot bloks, perfect strategy to kill the run
- I now know how to bike hills and to have high cadence using my small ring
- Racing with a teammate is the best motivation ever
- I finally raced my race and that is a wonderful feeling

Thank you so much to all of my wonderful Wolfpacktri teammates and family, so grateful to you all for pushing me every day to be my best and to conquer every obstacle. I couldn't have imagined a better debut 70.3 into the 25-29 age group. I can't wait to return to the IM 70.3 WC and redeem myself from last year. Thanks to our sponsors, Nuun Hydration,, iRun and Hector Arana, Andreas Ultrabikexstudio, and You all are amazing and set us up for success in every way. 2014 is an incredible year so far...and it only gets better from here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

IM New Zealand

Wow...I want to cry...I can't stop smiling...that was probably one of the hardest things ever, harder than France. I'm overwhelmed right now, all of the love and support is so incredible and my heart is so full it hurts.

I started the day at 4am...walked to transition and checked on my bike and helmet before heading down to the swim. I danced as I strolled down to the swim, I had so much energy and excitement. I got the wetsuit on no problem, watched the Haka to start the race, and when the cannon sounded I quickly started to get in my rhythm, oh I didn't, the entire swim I was getting kicked, elbowed, swam 100 yds my goggles were knocked off and my right side filled with water but I was too stubborn to fix them. Nearing the halfway point a large man literally grabbed me mid swim, held me up like a cat holding a kitten by my wetsuit and cussed me out for pushing him. I shook it off and went back to my thoughts of "grab, pull, push" and keeping my hips high...literally all I thought about. I finished the swim in record time for me and was so excited!! 1:07 roughly, over 11 min better than IM1. I sprinted past people on the 400m uphill to transition and quickly changed for the bike. The bike was two loop so I will go by quarters...quarter 1 I flew, I had a blast and thought of Kona the whole time, despite the roads reminding me of mountain bike trails, imagine gravel and that is pretty accurate, and making it impossible to stay in aerobars at times from intense vibration. Quarter 2, leaving the turnaround, I felt like I hit a wall...the wind coming at us as we went gradually uphill was brutal, combined with the unfamiliar rough roads I struggled to keep 15s...ouch. The views were spectacular, all farmland, and the cows corralled to kick up absurd amounts of dust so you couldn't see the road. Quarter 3, had hoped it would be like number 1, but the wind changed just enough to make it tougher, however I still hit 30s, so that was fun...sadly I started throwing up at this point and had to stop to refill water from my legs starting to cramp after the 45km into the wind/uphill/awful roads on quarter 2, and at one point I nearly got blown over on my bike, FUN. Quarter 4, I pushed on telling myself to hit below 6 hours, almost 50 min improvement from last time, and to get to the run. Another decent transition and onto the run...mile 1 7:05...oops, slowed to 7:30 mile 2 and that was when the wear from the bike started taking effect as we hit slight hills at that point. Perhaps it was mental, but I don't think so, and there was no mustard at aid stations...darn! In an effort to avoid cramping I walked up the hills and through support stations to solidly refuel. Apparently my stomach didn't handle the race course items well as I destroyed the lining of my stomach. I wanted to push hard, but I also wanted to be able to run and hit a PR. I did, 11:27, PR by 1:15 min from IM France...which at this point I would say was actually easier despite the tough bike only for the fact that the run is so flat and the worst of the bike is the first half with the second half giving your legs time to recover. Afterwards, I went directly to the medical tent. Feeling so much better now!!

I didn't hit my goal, but perhaps on further assessment that goal was unreasonable for me on this course. But throwing up 8 times, drinking 4 liters of water and still losing 3 kg bodyweight, cramping on the run, and killing my stomach shows me I still have lots to learn, in particular about nutrition. In less than a year at the beginning of my tri season and the end of the Aussie/Kiwi season, I killed my first IM time and I know that I will only get faster from here. To PR all of the disciplines/race was amazing and I am so blessed to be in NZ. Thanks to everyone who watched me and cheered me on. I ahooed for the pack multiple times I am so lucky to have the world's most incredible friends and I am so happy that at 24, I have now completed 2 ironmans. I will get to Kona one day, I will just keep working my butt off until I do. Now, time to shower and relax and enjoy the rest of my trip before I focus on 70.3 Oceanside.

Thank you Joey Perez for all that you did to prepare me for this, thanks to Gladys Liehr for helping me so much on the swim, thanks to Wolfpacktri for being the best teammates ever who I love with all my heart, thanks to Tom Anderson, Kevin Anderson, and Heather Anderson for being the most amazing siblings. Thanks to Ultrabikex KB,, Nuun,, Rudy Project, iRun for being incredible sponsors. Thanks to Terry Rogers Anderson and my dad for being phenomenal parents, I wouldn't be who I am without you. Thanks to IM Nutri-Grain New Zealand for putting on an amazing race and for the crowds that carried me when my legs and stomach failed. And finally, thanks to work for allowing me to come to this!!!

Happy, blessed, emotional iron(wo)man.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Life Is a Gift

Life is such a beautiful gift, I cannot get that thought out of my mind.  No matter what journey you may be on, it is important to remember to enjoy every moment.  We don’t have preset lengths of time for every stage we go through, nor do we have defined expiration dates.  But, when it comes down to it, we are each allotted time and we need to take advantage of it.  I don’t mean to abuse it and to use it to do harm to others or things that may be deemed to be less than satisfactory.  Rather, take that time and dedicate it to the Lord and the things that in turn make us happy.  It isn’t a selfish dedication of just pursuing what you want, rather it is a Holy dedication in which we listen and pray and ask God what he wants from us.  Too often, we lose sight of the higher power that exists, a presence that yearns for us to reach all of our dreams which are also the dreams He has laid out for us.  It took me a long time to come to know my God, for He is mine just as He is yours.  But, now that I recognize Him in everything, I feel the tears welling up in my eyes in humble appreciation for all that He has done for me that I failed to give Him credit for.  I can continually reflect back on my life to times when I was down or times when I was elated, and in doing so I realize how big of a force He was all along.  I  am so grateful that He has shown Himself to me time and time again, and that finally, I see and acknowledge all that He is.  These tears fall down because I am so absolutely full of love for Him and the love that He fills me with is so great, I cannot seem to contain it.   

Saturday, March 8, 2014

No limits

At some point in our lives, we each realize what is and is not important to us. We accept the past and restructure our future accordingly. The topmost items are often called dreams while the subsequent items are often considered limiting factors that we cannot change. 

Today is the day to make your dreams priority. Turn those limiting factors into challenges that can be overcome or support networks. Live YOUR life to the fullest. Let go of the idea of impossibilities and embrace opportunities. Live and learn, but, most importantly, grow so that the stars become within reach. If you believe you can achieve something, no person nor thing can hold you back. The only limiting factor you truly have is yourself.