Wednesday, June 15, 2022




#13 Eagleman.

I did it, I finished.  That was the goal and I that is what I did. I finished, and I finished well.

(Let it settle that I don’t aim to do things “well”.  I usually have great as a goal, so we will get more to that in a minute).

So, my last Eagleman was in 2018 and I walked off the run course and just didn’t finish, did not have it in my heart to even try.  There were mental and physical reasons and I think I honestly made the right choice for me in 2018 by dnf’ing.  And then taking time off of Eagleman.  I promised myself I would NOT sign up in 2019 and then of course came covid.

So, it has been since 2017 since I have finished Eagleman, and that is a long time of not doing this distance.  It was GOOD to get back to it this year.

That being said, I’m going to back up.  I didn’t know if I should register- for covid reasons I was nervous but I also remember how I Just lost “heart” the last time and didn’t want to get there mentally.

I decided to sign up for a marathon in March and then do this in June as 2 goals kind of step-stoning on each other.  I think that worked well to get me back into this long course tri thing again.  After the marathon, I got back to pool once a week and ENJOYED IT!  And since I had been on my feet for hours, being on my bike for longer and longer amount of times didn’t feel too bad mentally as I was just really enjoying the new-ness of it all and even if it was just once/week going longer on my bike, I let myself enjoy that time out!  I really had about 8 weeks of being on my bike, so it wasn’t what I used to do for Eagleman training- which was a FIERCE BEGINNING ON JAN 1st.  I was then going ALL OUT training, and for this, I didn’t want myself mentally to put that much pressure on myself.

Morning of Eagleman had some snafus with me waking up to my car with literally all 4 windows all the way down and sunroof open.  (which I did not leave it like- that is a story for another day), it rattled me then I got back into my headspace and got to race.

Swim:  It wasn’t yet raining and I was thankful to not have lightning/thunder issues, although I was not a fan of the “seed yourself” and go 3 at a time every 4 seconds.  I have a definite dislike to that- not only personally, but I don’t think it is good for crowd control or the safer way AT ALL.  It was a rough and aggressive swim.  Many green caps (MEN…) being aggressive/ not somehow being able to sight/ going zig zag, ugh.  I really wanted to be done with it and was very glad to be seeing the final red buoy to turn.  I really had no idea how I was doing because I was just tired of fighting for some of my space in the water, but I Just tried to stay unaffected and get out.  When I got to my feet and looked down, it was 35 minutes which I was 100% happy with.  I would have been fine with literally 40 minutes, so this was a bonus.

RAIN happening right away, on land, ugh.

Got on bike and knew right away:  #1 priority is SAFETY on wet roads.  I sometimes push literally 9.9/10 on the bike, I do like to get gritty and muscle/power my way through.  Not ever on wet roads though with oodles of people around.  So, I was especially first 5-6 miles with lots of turns and crowds super conservative.  Once I got into the bigger spaces of roads, and the rain and winds intensifying I found my forearms slipping on my wet soaked aerobar pads.  *it reminded me of bootcampers saying their forearms were slipping during planks!  So, I just tried to hold on and feel secure on my bike. I had a focus of also trying to remind myself to drink and begin to take in some calories even though I didn’t really want to lift a hand off of my bike to do that in the wet conditions.  First 20 miles was “fine.” 20 mph. this is slow for me on this course.  But again, it was kind of just what it was.  Mile 20-30, I was feeling my left hamstring doing something odd.  Left side for me isn’t normally problematic so I was like, hmmmm….just something to notice.  Mile 30, I knew I needed to get in some calories, I don’t like to do too much after mile 40 of foods.  So I was doing bonk bar bites plus water.  From 30-40, I definitely had a major issue come up.  All of a sudden- left hamstring was no longer an issue, it was BOTH INNER THIGHS, GROIN, but it wasn’t a subtle feeling, it was like, 9/10 something is OFF.  I initially thought maybe my swim suit was like pushing on some nerve that was like inhibiting my hip flexor inner thigh?  And I could barely pedal.  I’ve had this happen AT EAGLEMAN years ago as well.  The year that it happened long ago, I actually had to pull to the side because I couldn’t pedal.  (I always thought back to that year thinking- was that when I tore my labrum?) So, I was concerned that maybe I Was tearing my hips somehow?  But I was so uncomfortable where the edges of my swimsuit were pressing/ couldn’t get comfortable in my saddle and never had this happen before with swim suit (I had on swim suit plus bike shorts over it).  I actually reached down the pants to try to move my swim suit sideways a bit to see if I could get off of a nerve if that was it?  I don’t know what happened, but we did get a tailwind at like mile 40 that I was SO THANKFUL FOR, and it helped that there weren’t crosswinds.  I still don’t know what the inner thigh issue was, a main cause I am wondering is if because I was maybe gripping with my inner thighs since I felt like I was sliding off my forearm connection to aerobars?  Like maybe I was just holding all those muscles super tight and they just locked up?  (either way- the day after, I can barely walk bc inner thighs are screaming at me).

As we come to transition, I think, how am I going to run 13 miles.  It is for me a mental thing I think, to be like I got this HUGE bike ride done, but Now I have something else HUGE to do.  Plus zero leg function it felt like.  I NEVER do this, but got off my bike and just walked it through transition.  I don’t do that, I am FAST in transition.  Not today.  In facte I leaned my bike against a port a pot and went to pee,.  And then continued walking.  Felt kinda weird.  Typically I think I”d be embarrassed by that but n ot today.

Got my run shoes on and again, I kinda walked through transition.  Now I was maybe slightly embarrassed so I started this little shuffle (because this is where people are cheering/ cowbells and I am looking like a lazy bum walking).  So I was able to shuffle!  So that was great because I honestly didn’t know if I could.  Then it turned kind of into a nice little jog!  Sooooooo thankful!

My run mindset was:  first 4 miles is like a “chunk.”  So I was not to think of anything except the first 4 miles.  Within that first 4 miles, it went from ok that I was jogging to feeling actually kind of good!  Except I did have to stop at like mile 3 to go to the bathroom.  In my mind I was like, OK, got that done..

When I got to 4 miles, my plan was “4-8 miles is next chunk.”  Well, that was all good except those miles were HARD.  I didn’t try to go faster, just maintain what was at least decent effort (not fast, but just running). But.. I also had to go to the bathroom again at mile 6 AND 8.  I had felt a little like I was going to throw up each of those times, I definitely needed those bathrooms and was so thankful they were regularly there at the mile markers.  I was SUPER fast in and out of them, but, that being said, it was at least probably 40 seconds-60 seconds.

Mile 8-10 was another segment.  I knew when I got to mile 10 I was on the countdown just mile by mile to the finish.

Mile 8-10 was the hardest segment energy wise.  I was low energy, feeling like I was slowing down.  I had been taking in alternating pepsi and red bull at the alternating aid stations and then supplementing that with water that I Was carrying.  I did have some stinger blocks as well and needed a few of those, but not as many as I am used to.  I think I was just relying on the sips of pepsi/red bull.  A few times I really could tell that those things kicked in and helped give me a boost of energy. To get me to mile 10, I told myself maybe I could walk 30-60 seconds at mile 10 before the 3 mile push to end.  However, before 10, I had another episode, this probably worst GI of the race and definitely started to worry about what the heck my stomach was doing. BUT after I left the port o pot- luckily it didn’t linger- that was the saving grace- it was like bad stomach, but then after going to the bathroom I was up and good to run.  At mile 11 I took 30 seconds to walk and then I knew it was running it all the way in.  There were tons of people on the run course which was actually HELPFUL.  The run course has been changed so it is now 2 loops beginning about ¾ mile from start to finish, so you have people who are on their first and second loop out there.  Lots of people to see.  I have done Eagleman previously where the run is so far out and back and a DEATH MARCH OF HEAT.  I honestly laughed quickly 2x during the run this year when I couldn’t believe I was COLD.  Yes I was cold, had goosebumps.  (I’m also weird, so there is that).  I was constantly conscious that this lack of oppressive heat was an actual GIFT at this point.  And may never happen again. To do Eagleman without 90+degrees and sun scorching your soul is literally laughable.  I always try to remind myself of the blessings at the time:  I wasn’t dying of heat.  In the times my stomach was OK, my GI system was not in demise.  I didn’t have blisters.  My legs were ok it was just my energy.  The volunteers were amazing.  The other runners were so strong.  Everyone was out there: DOING THEIR THING.  Literally, this is where it is the ESSENCE OF THE RACE.  Everyone in competitition with oneself!  Truly doing all they can at that time. I did notice some people back and forth that looked happy and at ease (relatively).  I strived to channel some of that inner joy and “ease”.  I saw (slight gag) a couple – one on the way out one on the way back- stop to check on each other and have a lil smooch in middle of the road.  Still processing what I think of that and that is just NOT MY CUP OF TEA, but good for them.  Literally everyone was just FINDING WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF.  AND THAT IS MY CUP OF TEA.

And, so I finished.

And, so I have now had 24 hours to finish and figure out what this all meant to me.

I used to have a big mental focus and fierce hold on my goals.  This year it was lightly held and “it is what it is.”  I thought maybe when I finished this race that I would think- ok, now I could end Eagleman without it being a DNF- I finished, I persevered, I fought and I found what I was made of again.  But… even within an hour or two.  I don’t know that I am done fighting.  I love the essence. Literally, I love the shitty shit part where you scrape your inner inners.  Your soul is scraped.  Your heart is pissed at you and exhilarated at the same time.   Ahhhh CRAP.  I am so sucked into this stuff.  I love the training, and then I love the racing- even when it is rainy, cold and not even FUN.  I love the humanity.  What I learn about myself, about where I am in my stages, what it means to me, what my values are, where my heart is.

As the time goes on, I struggle a bit with how to reconcile this race in m­y head and heart.  Finishing was obviously good, but of course… OF COURSE…. I fall into the trap of wanting to be better/faster/ more fit.  I Have to remember, in all honesty, I trained really for this actual result.  I didn’t train to be FIERCE as I used to race.  I trained to come back and finish.  My days were not full force focused on Eagleman for 6 months, as I used to really set my sights on this as my REASON, A RACE, #1 priority.  So, it is a question I need to settle on—am I okay with finishing this way, or do I want more, and am I willing to do that work?  When I think of it logically, I am kind of happy with the balance and effort I put in to my training.  I trained enough to do this big event and finish without injury, all while being pretty balanced in life and being able to do other things that mean a lot to me, including be restful and SEATED at times😊!

I do feel this lingering “pang” of anxiety, or unsettled itchiness, of still needing to let this settle and be good to myself, which I know it will.  All in all, isn’t this one of the main reasons we race- to learn about ourselves, to ask questions and be curious if we are living in alignment with our values, doing what we ask of ourselves, whether that means attack something full force intensity, or maybe learn to practice being okay with being more moderate.  (I’ve never been awesome at moderate).  So, I think I’m in a good place, happy that I completed an Eagleman.  I won’t be there next year- I know it’ll be too much with Phoebe graduating and I don’t want to take anything away from that for my family with me being too busy, or myself, with myself just having the time to enjoy the landmark of that excitement to come.  But I do have some other big goals on the radar for that year already which will fit in nicely to the big plan.

Monday, June 6, 2022

EAGLEMAN 2022- 6 days to go



Eagleman ½ Ironman is one week from today.  I write this Sunday night- in one week, Eagleman will be done!  I’m taking time to mentally prep, and it has always helped me to go back and read over some of my past race reports.  Well, my last Eagleman was 2018 and…. It was my only Eagleman DNF.  If you are interested, you can read that race report at this link:


So, I’ve taken off 4 years from ½ Ironman distance.  And it has been a GOOD THING.  Covid- basically took 2 years also off from triathlons! Also—in all honesty, a good thing.

I did a marathon in March to get back into a goal, a challenge, and I LOVED IT.  Then, I began getting on my bike a lot more, and once/week committed to getting into the pool after the marathon, and it was SO FUN!  It all felt new again, and I was HAPPY to be doing these things.  Swimming, biking and running were bringing me JOY and a sense of playfulness and I LOVED how I was feeling.  I think the marathon was helpful to get me back into this “long” way of thinking- like being out there for a LONG time and suffering, so when I began getting on my bike for 2+ hours, it wasn’t too bad since I was coming from doing long hours of work.

So, that being said.  I’m NERVOUS.

I’ve had some great workouts.  I’ve had some (yesterday) where I have felt like utter crap.  Heavy. Barely moving.  Grunting. Lately- for about 2 weeks kind of a mental issue of these bad head games and anxiety and irritability of worrying.  This is my reminder of my tendency.  My tendency is to get into a workout or race, and think of the end result.  I want to finish the plan. I want to finish with my goals.  So, I keep thinking about my goals.  And not just think on them, but OVERTHINK, and FIXATE, and TIRE MYSELF needlessly with mental annoyance.

I am realizing that in the next 6 days, it is the mental game I must prepare for.

I am ready physically.

Mentally, I must prepare my mindset.  I must prepare to SUFFER FULLY, however not fixate on the suffering.  I’ve noticed, and it is fine- but when I am out there literally at like a 9.5/10 on a training session, if I’m on a path or road all by myself and at this 9.5/10 effort level, I grunt and make a noise or say some choice words.  That is fine to do.  However, what I take from that and my RESPONSE will be the result. If I hear myself grunting and start telling myself a story of how bad I am suffering, I will be leading the way to places that aren’t productive.  If I do that same grunt and let myself know that I am taking this difficult place and the grunt was my “fight” and will and commitment to STAY, that is a different result of my race.

I have a tendency to when I feel terrible, think that I need to escape it, that I need to solve it and fix it and have a plan to get out of it and make it better.  Instead, I need to calm down.  Calm down and go with it, through it.  This is how it is at Eagleman, it is only THROUGH the shit moments that you finish.  Each race always has a lifetime of stories of how it comes to be that you survive… at least it feels that way.  And that is part of the huge draw and lure of doing it.  How do you find something within that you didn’t know if you actually had?  The only way to find that is by not escaping, not forcing the bad stuff away, because that just means giving in, walking, quitting.


The essence of a race is get out there and “get it done.”  However, again, this mindset of too much focusing on the finish will be counterproductive.  I have to be in it for the PROCESS and JOURNEY.  It is not about a time, a finishing place, but if I can look back and know that I dug into the deepest fibers of my being, learned about myself, got all of the elements of myself to work together to eek out the strongest physical and psychological performance I could on this day, then it was worth it.  I will commit to being open to the process, the long haul, and all in for the entirety of the race.

Friday, June 3, 2022




Last weekend, I had my longest bike training workout before my half Ironman (Eagleman) next weekend.  I was doing a 60 mile ride into a 2 mile run.  This really isn’t much longer than my other rides I’ve been doing, but I wanted to go a few miles OVER the distance, and of course get a small transition run in afterwards. 

The day before, I had done my last long run of 13 miles, and I should add in that these days were about 90 degrees and 1000% humidity, so it was glorious training practice for what is a typically hot and humid race day condition, but of course it was not easy at all and I knew I was starting the bike/run workout already a bit fatigued.

I had planned to warm up, do about 20 miles at effort, and then take the pace down a bit and just get solid work in the legs to the finish.  The EFFORT when I started just FELT harder than it should have, like it wasn’t producing much power, and the WORST PART, was my MIND.  I’ll admit, from the beginning of the workout, I was in this big mental fuss inside my head. I don’t honestly know the entire issue I was having- part of it was that my whole day was this busy schedule, so I Knew when I was done with the workout, I had one million other things to fit in.  I’ve had the luxury lately of actually having some TIME on the weekends and to be able to come home, and not be RUSHING for minutes and stressing about being late to something I Need to be at, appear normal and not crushed physically.   I continued to have this inner anxiety, frustration, worry and honestly just LACK OF LOVING being on my bike for the entire effort part, and once I started the rest of the ride, I realized I needed to STOP IT.  I had a little internal meeting with my self and said this is not sustainable or enjoyable.  LET GO.  Let go of the rigid, fearful, tight grip on worry and paces and all the things….. and JUST RIDE YOUR BIKE!  And APPRECIATE EACH MINUTE you are out here! It is hot weather! Yea! I have this time, YEA!  I am trained as much as I can be at this time for my race, YEA!  ENJOY!  And I was luckily able to really turn off my anxiety and just get into this calm groove of being IN THE EXPERIENCE WITH NO AGENDA!  I just enjoyed riding my bike!  I let myself notice the things I was seeing, I saw a baby deer on the path, had to slow down for it because it didn’t really know what to do!  I saw a huge bunny cross my path, and I just enjoyed the miles, the time to myself, the feeling of cycling without pushing my max, but just being in it, keeping myself hydrated, being in the work of it all😊 WHAT A CHANGE IT MADE for me to have no agenda, no GOAL, and just be in the place of enjoying the ride for the sole purpose of being in the moment.

I ended up using this as a little “theme” or mantra/intention for my yoga classes this past week- of having no goal, no agenda, and just being in the moment.  As I am about 1 week away from Eagleman, I am reminding myself that it is also this very thing that sometimes gives me the hardest time during my race.  I have this tendency, because I am RACING, to think about the END. To think about how to get to the end fastest.  And while I do want to do well, I need to let go of that rigid, gripping, anxiety producing mindset and be fully in the moment just for that moment. Be in the mile I am in.  ENJOY THE TIME ON THE ROADS! I always say that race day is a party on the road- you’ve done the hard work, now settle in and enjoy your time out there!  While there is no way to “enjoy” maybe every minute (there will be MAJOR SUFFERING, I am well aware, during Eagleman), I Have to remind myself to at least be able to begin, and have as my “base mindset” a total enjoyment and passion for being out there, in the air, the sun on my shoulders, riding strong on my bike, taking the time- not thinking of the end, but being in the enjoyment of the moment.

Likewise, I find myself realizing this is a similar thing I find my headspace going to on a daily basis.  There is so much to do, so many angles of life pulling at us all the time, that it can feel like this overwhelming, almost sense of panic.  But as always, if I remind myself, that right NOW….. it’s all good….. I don’t have to think of everything all at once, I don’t have to be everything all at once, I don’t need to think BIG PICTURE.  Just be in one thing at a time, one moment at a time, let go of the things pressing down on me, and be in the ability to enjoy the thing I am in at the moment, it makes a world of a difference.  If you ever find yourself feeling these similar feelings, maybe this will help you also😊