Race Recap – Ironman Maryland 2017

Race Recap

Ironman Maryland – DNF #1. Every race has lessons and this one I think has the biggest lessons of all. Jennifer (@JBirdRuns) reminded that “I took a big risk doing Maryland and with big risk can come big reward and even though it didn’t pay off this time it could have and I know I left no stone unturned”. While this blog post is not the one I wanted to share I think these lessons are also important to share. Because we all have these races – after countless races we all will encounter a horrible race, DNS due to injury or DNF. It isn’t pretty to embrace or experience but we are not alone and it order to be great you must be willing to fail. So here is the long and detailed story of my Ironman Maryland, My First DNF, and the time I choose to do something crazy take a big risk and it failed.

Background Leading to Maryland: 

After Ironman Santa Rosa I was super disappointed in how my season went. I had not had a good race in allof 2017. So I thought maybe redemtion. I started researching various later Ironmans with Ash and then we decided Ironman Maryland was the best option. After recover I started building back up and then on a short run my foot started hurting. I thought maybe it was just plantar fascititis so I rested but it continued getting worse and I finally got a CT and MRI which showed severe posterior tibial tendonitis with a subsquent low grade partial tear at the insertion of the tendon. I figured at that point any fall races were out. I then followed with a podiatrist and PT and they said I could race so I figured I would keep run volume low and then play it by feel. At this point  I was also dealing with Adrenal Fatigue so I didn’t really know how my body was going to hold up. I had good weeks followed by bad weeks. I had moments when I told Ash i just wasnt even going to try and then I would have some good days and reconsider. I finally had some decent 90 min runs, hit all my long bikes, and even had some solid swims so I figured why not. I figured if I didn’t try I would also wonder and regret so I registered. I really didn’t know how it would fare I figure it was a 50/50 shot of greatness or failure. But I had to take my odds and face them but I never imagined it would be the later.

Pre-Race Festivies:

My mom and I drove to Maryland starting Tuesday Afternoon and made it Thursday night where we stayed with one of my close friends just west of D.C. On Thursday we headed into Ironman Village for check-in, Ironman Purchases, and a stop by my favorite RapidReboot. After my mom and I headed to transition area where I did my shakeout swim/run/bike. I started off on the bike and everything felt great a little slower on the out due to the head wind but with an equal tail I averaged 19.1 and was feeling great and then went for a short 10 min run at 7:55 min/mi and was the best I had felt the whole training cycle. After I went in to get a feel for the water. Due to the unusual weather in Maryland in October in the 80s the jellyfish or “nettles” as they call them in Maryland were still hanging around the lake and within 90 seconds of swimming I felt what I through was seaweed but then after 10 sec quickly realized crap I got stung by that nettle. I finished my swim and got out and told my mom dang it I got stung by a nettle only to have my entire forearm break out in hives for the next 12 hours. I thought well at least this happened Thursday lol. We then headed to our AirBnB. We stayed in Salisbury about 45 min away from the race due to lack of hotels around the race course as it is mainly AirBnBs and no hotels in Cambridge. Friday we had breakfast, made out Walmart trip, and finalized all the gear bags and my bike and headed back into Cambridge. We dropped my bike, stopped by Rapid and then headed into town for lunch. They have AMAZING seafood on the northeastern coast – so yummy! Carboloading has never felt so good as pretzels in fresh lump lobster cheese dip! We headed back to Salisbury ordered pizza watched Greys anatomy and went to bed early in time for race day. Ash (@ahappypace) rolled in from Ohio around 2:30AM – Thank goodness for best friends who will drive 10 hours just to see you race and support you. Ash is the BEST best friend!

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Race Morning:

I started waking up around 1:30 and woke up on and off until my alarm at 3:30 AM. I ran out to jump on Ash and tell her I was sorry she had no sleep but I was super excited to have my best friend back again in the same roof! 🙂 We packed up, prepped breakfast and headed to Cambridge only to get 10 minutes down the road and realize I forgot my wetsuit so back we went and ended up getting to the transition area right on time. I pumped up my tires then checked all my gear bags and added in the last minute touches and then headed for the porta potty line. All was going as planned. I had a great pre-race breakfast – Ash told me it was my best yet and I was feeling calmly ready to rock and roll.

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Swim:

As time approached the 6:45 AM mark I said my goodbyes to my mom and Ash and then loaded up between the 1:05-1:10 mark on the swim. It was beautiful morning in Cambridge however it could have been cooler it was already near 70 at the start. The fired the gun and we started to roll in. The water felt great it was around 72 which was the coolest Ironman swim I had done as they had always been around 76 and at the cutoff at Louisville and Santa Rosa and Muncie wasn’t even wetsuit legal so I was like refreshing. The field was only 1400 athletes so there wasn’t much carnage in the beginning like other ironmans. I felt like I got in a good rhythm was sighting well and the views of the sunrising over the water were just breathtaking. I didn’t feel myself working too hard but I knew I didn’t need to push the swim as it was a long day however in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have been so relaxed lol. I made the turn for loop 2 and it got slightly more crowded with the additional athletes being in the water on top of the wind/current starting to pick up but I still felt in control and that I was having a productive swim. No panics, No swimming around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was going in a straight line contray to Santa Rosa where I literally rammed into everything and could not stay straight. So I figured I was winning. Nearing the end of the 2nd loop with maybe 1000 yds or so left I started to feel some tightness in my chest. I have asthma so ‘I thought it was maybe that or the constriction of the wetsuit so I just let it go and figured I was near done. As we made the final turn into the swim finish chute the current was pushing you all over the place and out of the corral but I made it in and clocked a swim of 1:15. This might have been my slowest ironman swim but I was honestly the most pleased with it. It was the most comfortable, composed, and straight swim I had done yet and for me that was a win.

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Transition 1 (T1)

I think I won Ironman Maryland in T1 lol – it was a HUGE PR! Can we count Prs in Ironman segments now? lol. I got out of the water and ran straight to the wetsuit strippers which were not the best and took forever to help me out of my wetsuit but once I did I grabbed my bag and ran into the changing tent where I slammed on my bike shoes, helmet and headed straight for my bike. However with the late sign up I was 1372 which meant I had to run my bike a long ways out of transition but even with that I did transition in 4:03 and thats AMAZING considering I did 10 min in Lousiville and 7:30 in Santa Rosa – WIN WIN WIN!

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Bike:

I got on my bike and immediately started feeling the leg fatigue and the fact I was still not breathing great. I took my inhaler within the first couple miles and started to feel better and my legs started to improve slightly. However I knew this was not going to go well because I knew the feeling in my legs very well – they just felt tired and heavy. During training for this Ironman I would have runs/bikes/swims/etc that I would just have nothing to push nothing to give no matter how bad I wanted it I had no power and that is how they felt and I knew I was in trouble. I kept pushing but around Mile 30 I just was not feeling my best and defeated and everything was burning. I got around to the 56 Mile mark where the spectators were (you only saw them once on the course) and saw Ash and then just around the corner I saw my mom and I stopped my bike and asked her if I quit would she be mad because I didn’t feel good. She said no but that I was in 8th and so I said ok Ill keep trying. But when I exited the halfway mark we were hit with a headwind that was almost non-stop the back 56 miles and it was demoralizing and defeating after already feeling horrible. I couldn’t get my legs to turn over. I couldn’t push gears. I couldn’t get nutrition down. I couldn’t hydrate enough. I was getting sunburnt/overheated and quite frankly really didn’t know how I was going to make it through the bike. The course was out in the Marsh land so it wasn’t like you had ample opportunity to call it. There were aid stations but they are around 15 miles apart which is about one every 45-60 minutes. So basically I just kept pushing but around the 100 mile mark my vision kept going where I would see flashing white in the corners every so often – my neck and back were killing me for aero – I was lightheaded and I was just like dear lord let me make it off this bike. Finally I made it off the Bike in 6:28Far from a PR from my first or second Ironman. Talk about a blow to the heart/ego/soul/All of the Above – I felt like a failure here I bought wheels/tribike/trainer to go 10 minutes slower than my first ironman and I felt like CRAP emotionally and physically.

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Transition 2 (T2)

I got off the bike and for the first time I think in Ironman history there were no bike catchers. I was like seriously? Thats the best part of Full Ironman. So remember how I was way in the back well I just walked my bike all the way back there to rack in and not at a fast pace. Racked it then proceeded to go to the bathroom which I figured I would really have to go to not but then nothing really happened (not a great sign for hydration). I then continued to walk to grab my bag and go in the changing tent. If you know anything about a fast ironman you do not walk the transitions but I was still debating whether I was going to make it out of T2. I got in the tent and volunteers tried to help but I think I was so stoic they just moved on. Finally one nice volunteer stuck with me and got everything out I needed. I put on my socks, shoes, hat, and bib and asked the nice lady if I put my stuff near the bag and she said she would get it all for me and I exited the tent. I kept looking everywhere for Ash and my Mom as I came around to try and explain what was happening but they were waiting on the run course. So I pressed lap and off I went try and run. T2 = 7:28.

Run:

Well usually this is my good portion but I just had nothing to give. I exited T2 and there was water on the left so I grabbed some ice water and felt slightly better and was still searching for Ash and My Mom and couldn’t find them and as I turned the corner onto the road outside of transition area I saw my mom and just stopped and walked and started hysterically crying. I told her I wasn’t sure I could continue and then within seconds Ash ran over and hugged me and said I didn’t owe it to anyone to continue and it was ok if I quit. I just kept crying. I was so disappointed in myself and wanted so much for this all not to be happening but I couldn’t change it. I finally pulled myself together and decided I would try and run. I ran/walked and started to feel slightly better but I just had very minimal physically, mentally to give – but I figured I had to try. I saw them again I was doing better and my mom and Ash were so encouraging. I ran out and around the 3-4 mile mark I started having chest pain. I wasn’t sure it was stress/dehydration or what so I walked a little more in hopes it would go away. However everytime I would run the chest pain would come right back. So when I saw my mom and Ash at just after mile 6. They asked how I was and had to tell them I had to quit and what was happening. Run Time – 6.1 Miles in 1:10 (Slowest 6 Miles of my Life)

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The Aftermath:

When I had to make that decision to pull out I started hysterically crying. I felt like a failure. I felt like maybe I should keep going until I passed out or fell over like those other tough athletes. I didn’t want to have my physician brain talking that you shouldn’t compromise your health for a medal – but it was. I am very much a control freak. I operate well in contained controlled environments where things go the way they were planned. However nothing was going right. I had failed miserably. I DNFd. I literally felt like as I walked away from that Ironman course my body was being ripped in two from what I knew was the right thing and what my heart truly wanted. I wanted Ironman #3. I wanted a PR. I wanted to do well. I didn’t want to find a medic and go to the ER. I kept walking and Ash and my mom said it was ok but I just keep saying it not ok. It wasn’t ok and to be honest it still isn’t ok for me even though I knew it was the right choice. We finally got the medic and the doctor decided with the chest pain that I should go the ER to get evaluated. I got some IV Fluids and labs in which my CK was elevated and my glucose was low but otherwise everything checked out ok and I came in before things were super severe. I felt dumb. Of course you don’t want anything major to be wrong with you but at the same time you think well I could have just not been a drama queeen and finished the damn race then. But then I know in my brain I am much better off physically now that I didn’t considering my partial tear in my foot, severe tendonitis, not including the multitude of things that could have gone bad medically if I had continued. However doesn’t make it any easier. I have since seen my doctor and I have a referral pending to cardiology. So hopefully I will get answers or at least rule out anything severe so I can resume normal life.

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Reflection:

As Jennifer (@JBirdRuns) said that “I took a big risk doing Maryland and with big risk can come big reward and even though it didn’t pay off this time it could have and I know I left no stone unturned”. I have to 100% agree. I could be sitting on my couch knowing what if? What if I had gone? Now I know how the story unfolded. It wasn’t how I wanted and it went worse than I ever imagined but there were lessoned learned. I learned better pacing on the swim. I perfected my transitions. I learned that if you don’t get enough calories in your body you just cant do an Ironman. I got probably 500 calories in on the bike in 6.5 hours and that is just not enough to sustain you. As Ash put it I basically expected my body to run a marathon within eating the whole day before. I can smack myself a thousand times for that mistake but ya know it is all in lessons learned. I only consumed maybe 800 calories in Louisville and did just fine. But Ash reminded me the conditions in Lousiville were MUCH better and I wasn’t pushing I wasn’t trying to compete so the amount of fuel you need is MUCH different VASTLY different. I realize now in Santa Rosa I didn’t get enough food in my body and I know I definitely didn’t get it at Maryland. I am going to work on a plan for next season. I am going to fix my nutrition in my training and racing and try to learn how to push outragious calories even  when I don’t want to. I am so beyond disappointed in the way that Ironman Maryland and 2017 have turned out but as many people have reminded me that is why in sports you have “seasons”. Some seasons are incredible and others well you just want to smack yourself but it is all part of the game. So I am going to be proud of doing something crazy and being brave enough to try because even if it didn’t turn out the way I dreamed the experience could lead to something better than my dreams in the future.

 

With Love and Racing

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

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Ironman Santa Rosa Race Recap – July 29th, 2017

Race Recap

Can I just skip through 2017 and and forget it never happened lol? I mean seriously though I cannot seem to catch a break this year in terms of racing. My training is going well for the most part and for some reason I cannot put a race together this year to save my life. However not all was lost of IM Santa Rosa but it most definitely did not go as planned. We will start from the beginning….

First a little backstory….

So I had talked on instagram that I had ALOT going on here and there outside my little square box. Hence why blogging and instagram have kind of taken the backseat lately just because I don’t have time. Well anyways ALOT going on consisted of coaching 15-20 clients, working FT in the ED, relocating from Ohio to Florida, Buying a House, Finding a new job, getting a new state license while having to do the normal day to day stuff that just seems to somehow fill up all the hours in the day. Anyways all of that came to a head leading into Ironman Santa Rosa Taper. We closed on our house 2 weeks prior to race day which also resulted in the movers coming to pack up my stuff and get out of our rental the 2 days prior to me leaving for the race and me also having to take off 3 days unpaid because these movers dont come on weekends. All of this resulted in a few GI ulcers which I ended up getting on medication for, but basically I was just a hot mess. This just touches the surface of what was going on but basically it was non stop with training, work, everyday life, and all of the above pilled on top that I just well pulling my hair out. I figured you needed to know such things at least Ashley felt I should tell you lol.

Pre-Race

Well in light of my life being a complete cluster and no race going right this year, this one started off no different. I woke up and got dressed and thought I had plenty of time to get to the airport – NOPE! I double checked my flight in the car and it was re-scheduled for 9:00 instead of 9:45 – WHAT?! I most definitenly did not buffer that much time into my flight window and then it was storming and Cincinatti is undergoing construction I was not aware of so basically I was going to miss my flight and be up a creek without a paddle – INSERT STRESS TEARS. Anyways I sped and weaved and finally got to the airport and parked in the parking garage. I was gone for a week so basically that was a hefty parking bill to my already thousands of dollar bills from doing an ironman in napa california lol. Anyways I parked my car ran through the airport and made it to the gate right before final boarding call – phew! When I told Ash the story my only statement was well things are going great but they can’t be any worse than gashing my head open prior to race day – refer to Gulf Coast Recap. I ended arriving to SFO Early and went to the USO to relax while I waited on my mom however I was unaware that instead of waiting the entire hour I should have known that it would also take me an hour to get from the terminal to the rental car locationand to get the rental car so basically I could have done that during my brief nap on the recliner in the USO lounge but hey I had arrived, my mom arrived and things were going fine. We got out car drove to Napa and arrived at our AirBnB. Our AirBnB was perfect and only 2 blocks from the expo and finish line in Downtown Santa Rosa and also on the race course it was perfect. After we headed to the expo for packet pickup and to meet up with Ash (@ahappypace) and Heather (@TriandRunGirl) to chat and meet up with our sponsors @RudyProject, @Zealios, @RapidReboot. After I headed out to my shakeout ride while heather headed back to her hotel to get ready for her meeting for Quest for Kona. After her meeting we did our shakeout run and then changed and headed to dinner. It was so fun to have a family dinner with all three of us and our families it was so comforting having your best friends with you and racing with you. The next morning my  mom and I woke up, went to breakfast and then we headed to T1 at Lake Sonoma for swim shakeout and bike check. At this point I just was not feeling well. I had a horrible migraine and I was having horrible stomach pain and nausea but I figured I was just dehydrated or hungry so I hydrated and ate and I thought that resolved it but not so much. We went to drive the 1st half of the course which included the hills but I couldn’t even make it through 15 miles due to how crappy I was feeling. Thank goodness my mom had Zofran and I had packed my Gastritis meds with me so I popped those and tried to nap thinking that would help. It helped slightly we got dinner and then headed back to the room. I got all my things together for the morning and went to bed early thinking I just needed to sleep it off and I would feel 100% better on race day morning.

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Race Day Morning

Well I woke up race day morning and I was still feeling less than ideal. I popped my Gastritis medications and then we packed up my food and headed to the start. I drank my normal coffee, powerade combo on the way there and ate my Bagel (it was a 30 min drive). Once we arrived I checked my bike tires, topped them off and then we all met up at the VIP area as Heather’s husband Trevor and my mom had passes and utilized the VIP potties for the pre-race ritutals. We chatted and ate our pre-race essentials I tried putting more food in my stomach but definitely wasn’t going down as well as I had hoped. I popped a Zofran and settled for that and then had my mom help me into my wetsuit. If you have never put on a wetsuit that is an Ironman in itself – ITS SO FREAKING HARD and takes SO LONG to get it “right”. After we took the 0.5 mile walk down to the start down the 8% grade boat ramp – #FunTimes and lined up for the start. I said my goodbyes to my momma and Ash hugged me and told it was my time and to do my best and then they left us to secure their viewing location and heather, matt and I headed to the swim start.

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Swim

The day prior the swim was borderline wetsuit legal so we weren’t sure if it was going to be a swim skin or wetsuit kinda day but it ended up being Wetsuit legal at 76.1 I am not so sure about that but hey Ill take it. So all was well initially. I had a goal of being around 1:05-1:06 as I swam a 1:06 at Louisville with the current assist and I was swimming faster this year so I figured I would match it without a current. The course looked promising a nice calm lake and such but it was nothing of the sort. First, it was 2 loops and you had to get of the water step of the timing mat and get back in (added time) and then the swim course was more turney than Louisville with about 4 turns per loop where louisville only has 1 turn for the out and back.

Loop 1 went pretty well. The 1st 500 yds were the best as I was near the front with serious swimmer not much of a crowd and clear conditions however as the loop progressed a dense fog started to roll in making siting less than ideal and basically I couldnt really geat a sense for the bouys. I had a couple people do the kick, nudge punch thing but nothing to serious and it went as well as could be expected but I figured Loop 2 could be better as I already had a sense of the course. I came out of Loop 1 around 33 and change and thought that was good I would be around 1:06-1:07 which was great. However Loops 2 was utter chaos as I was entering the water for Loop 2 they had just gotten all of the swimmers in the water which means Sub 1:10 swimmers mixed with 2:20 swimmers – back strokers, breast strokers, mass crowding – you basically couldn’t move without getting punched or kicked and were constantly weaving around humans while trying to spot the bouys. Not to mention the fog has now cleared and was replaced by blinding sun – yep awesome! Anyways I finally finished I think I counted about 4 kicks to the face and about 10 punches some where or another. I had also swallowed at least a quart or so of water which was awesome for my already nauseaus stomach. I exited the water and looked at my watch and realized it was already on biking – “great”. I figured maybe it “autolapped” during the lap 1 and 2 or possibly someone kicked it in the about 15 times I got hit/kicked. So I literally had no clue my time but I figured it wasn’t fantastmic but I had to move on – more work to do.

Swim Stats

  • Time: 1:12:28  // Pace: 1:52/100m (6 Min Slower than Lousiville)
  • Placing: Division – 9th // Female: 22nd // Overall 300th

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Transition 1 (T1): Swim to Bike

T1 was approximately a 0.5 Mile long – excessive don’t ya think to get to a changing tent and your bike but no add in the extra boost of having to climb the 0.3 mile 8% grade boat ramp  in a wetsuit to the list of fun things to do when your already diorientated coming of the water. If you havent done a triathlon think of the diorietation as the feeling when you played Pinata and they spun you an then you had to hit the pinata thats how it feels when you come out of the water. Regardless I am the most proud of this transition I improved so much from Lousiville. I completed T1 in 6:50 including the climb up the boat ramp changing and grabbing my bike and at lousiville it took me 10:30 without all the “extra” of Santa Rosa. This was a HUGE deal b/c Ash and Matt had to like baby me through how to accomplish transition like a serious athlete. The key – minimalism!

Bike

So you load the bike and immediately go over this tall bridge over Lake Sonoma have a small climb then a major no-aero bar descent. It was awesome to get the descent in the beginning to loosen up your legs and body but I just couldnt seem to get a rhythm. My cadence was in the high 70s when it is usually in the high 80s. I tried downshifting spinning up and gearing up but I just couldnt get it to turn over. After the downhill you turn to the start of the climbing with the biggest hill in those initial 10 miles after the turn. Somewhere around mile 10 on one of the small hills where it flattens out I went to shift rigs from small to big and my chain dropped. Which meant stopping and time off the bike. I had fixed it before so I thought no big deal however when I got off the chain was not only dropped by jammed and it took me a solid 5 minutes to get it off not to mention the time lost stopping and starting back off. At being only 10 miles into a 112 mile bike with a techical, crappy swim, and feeling overall crappy I was just so over this race already. I comtemplated for the next 20-30 miles just dropping out but I kept pushing on and putting a smile on my face. My pace had come from close to 19 to around 15 during the technical so I had a lot of time to make up and time I just didn’t have on my side. I kept trying to get down the fuel. I did 2 bottle of liquid nutrition of 500+ calories each and thank goodness for that because I was barely able to get that down as I kept puking it back up in my mouth. Fun Times. Around Mile 40 I took the Zofran my mom had given me in my bag and hoped that would help get me through the remainder of the bike. I was still fighting for dear life to hold a rhythm and I just could feel my lack of experience on the hills especially the non-rolling kind kick me in the face and I was just dying mentally and physically during the race. Not to mention the roads were less than ideal so you were dealing with that factor which attributes alot in terms of speed on the bike. At around Mile 60 you hit town and you do 2.5 loops on flatter terrain but the road conditions were horrible and with every loop it got more and more crowded with more and more unexperienced cyclists. This meant having to be extra cautious on the bike because you had to ensure they were doing everything correct b/c this race also didn’t give you much room to negotiate as they left almost all the roads open to traffic.  I made up quite a bit of time about 0.5 mph on average during the 2.5 loops and finished strong on the bike and was more than thrilled to hand it over to the bike catcher and move forward to the marathon portion.

Bike Stats

  • Time: 6:08 (10 Min Improvement from Louisville) // Pace: 18.2 mph
  • Place: Division: 10th, Female: 84, Overall: 655

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Transition 2 (T2): Bike to Run

This was another LONG transition about 0.3 Miles of running of a very narrow path to the tent and back it was about the size of a bike lane on a highway to give you perspective for 2 way runner traffic lol. I grabbed my bag headed into the tent changed and went potty and headed out on the run. I should have realized at that point I was dehyrated because I barely urinated at all and I had not gone to the bathroom all day but of course thats overlooked until you are finished. I ran out saw my momma and then started booking it.

Run

I was feeling strong but that slowly faded once I hit the “trail” portion of the marathon. I had thought the trail was going to be like packed dirt like in Arizona but it was more packed rocks and it did not agree with me. I am not a trail runner and I have never ran on anything but pavement except maybe 5 times so this was uncharted territory and my body was not in favor. Additionally it was supposed to be a “downhill” grade out and a “uphill grade” back nothing serious but around 1-2% grade but the “downhill” on the trail side was almost non-existant. The run also included alot of  turn and twists to go over and under the bridges to avoid traffic – it was a mess. The run consisted of 3 loops. Loop 1 went pretty well and I was averaging 8:30s with walk breaks but it slowly declined on Loop 2 and by Loop 3 I knew I was serious trouble. I was cramping so bad despite trying everthing – water, gatorade, coke, hot shot, salt, fruit at every single aid station and I just felt super light headed and nauseus and off. I wanted to quit after loop 2. I really didn’t know if I could finish the 3rd loop but I knew I could walk and run as much as I could. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty and I am sure all of you tracking just assuming I gave up but I really was just in a really bad place physically and mentally at that point. There is a video Ash has on her phone when I saw her going into Loop 3 and I said something like “I am having a really bad day”. I really meant it I was on the verge of tears. I had trained so hard and I was literally tanking and knew I was barely going to pull out a PR if I did at all at that point. So here we are on loop 3 basically dying a painful Ironman death march and I remember stepping on this HUGE rock when I was actually running lol and rolling my foot. The next day I tried putting on my tennis shoes and it hurt so bad and I noticed a bruise and thinking oh that is from the rock no big deal – well here we are 4 weeks later – its a BIG DEAL as that rock caused me to have a posterior tibial tendon partial tear. Things are just getting better and better haha. Well I finally started nearing the finish line and dying and they ended up adding an extra 0.2+ miles at the end of the course around the portapotties – fun times – as if there wasn’t enough added mileage on the course already with the extra long transitions. But I was there I was at the finish line

Run Stats

  • Time: 4:18:51 // Pace: 9:52 min/mi (9 min slower than lousiville)
  • Place: Division: 10th, Gender: 60, Overall: 325

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The Finish

After my extra long amazing tour of the portapotties and the santa rosa downtown parking garage I finally made it to the finish line in 11:51:21 basically dead on from Ironman Louisville in 10th in 25-29, 53rd Female and 350th Overall. I crossed the finish grabbed my gear (Tshirt and hat), took my photo and looked at my mom and pointed to the med tent. The stupid nurse looks at me and is like “you’re fine” and I was like I am about to pass out in this chair and she got smart and is like “is the room spinning” and I was like look can I just lay down on one of your 10 open cots and you can take my vitals and then determine if I am fine. So she did and she thought immediately after completing an ironman vitals of 100/60 and 60 bpm are “normal” and at that point I just said skrew it and left and told my mom I would walk to the room in which I spent the next hour sick in the bathroom – fun times not even realizing that Matt and Ash were waiting at the finish line even after Matt came back from the hospital after his crash. Talk about feeling horrible I am still so so sorry for that. However I was just not in a great place physically and was sick not thanks to any help of the ironman medical tent lol.

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Post Race Feelings/Thoughts

Well I am sure from reading this recap you can get the gist of my thoughts haha – it did not go well. However I did buy myself a finisher’s jacket b/c I was damn proud of myself for not giving up when I knew I wasn’t going to get my goal or when I was feeling sick or when my bike broke – I just kept pushing despite all the odds. As Ash put it I should be so proud that my best day just 9 months ago is now my worst day on a much harder course however it doesn’t make the blow any easier. However I am proud of myself I took 17th in my AG in Lousiville and 10th in Santa Rosa and that is an improvement. I know that every race teaches you lessons and not every race can be a PR, especially in a race that is 12 hours long – you just don’t know what is gonna happen. However I know I am stronger and faster than an 11:51 and I will prove it to myself and give myself another shot. I am not going to say I am not sad and disappointed because I 100% am. I put countless hours into training, thousands of dollars into the race, and pushed other PRs to the side to make Santa Rosa a priority all for it to end no where close to where I had imagined. So theres the appreviated as I can short and honest recap of the race. I am kinda sorry I cant write something similar to 2016 recaps where I was so happy and proud to be honest I wish I could write something like that for you guys too – hopefully sometime soon

Special Thanks

I want to say a special thanks to Ash and Matt for being my best friends and side coaches throughout this entire experience and their unwavering support. My momma for being the best sherpa ever and never missing a race no matter the vacation days or the cost. Additionally I want to thank my sponsors Hyperthreads for their amazing kit, Newton for shoes, Procompression for socks, Rapid Reboot for recovery, Zealios for Sunscreen, Rudy for Helmet and Glasses, and JayBird for Music to Train. Without you all I would not be where I am at so thank you!

With love and racing

❤ Kindal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half Ironman 70.3 – America’s Half Triathlon Muncie, Indiana – June 9th, 2017

Race Recap

This race recap is a little late but better late than never I suppose. I have just had alot going on with training, work, moving, new job, buying a house, the list goes on and on haha. Anyways I signed up for this race after Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast did not go as planned as a tune up/practice race for Ironman Santa Rosa. The course was close to home about 90 minutes away and it was a small race with not alot of pressure. I figure it would be a perfect race to get a lake swim, practice transitions, wet suit removal, and then Ironman pacing. But most of all it was an opportunity for me to have a good race and build some confidence that I indeed had what it takes to reach my goals at Ironman Santa Rosa. Luckily for me my dad was nice enough to come up and visit me for the weekend and Matt (Ash’s husband @MattydTri) agreed to join me in the adventure. Ash was out in Utah and totally SMASHED her Half PR at the Drop 13 in a CRAZY FAST time of 1:28:30 (6:45 min/mi)!

Race Day Morning:

  • Morning Wake-up call came early, we met at Matts and left around 4AM to get there at 5:30 so we would have enough time for bathroom, transition, shakeout, bathroom again, sunscreen, packet pickup etc. When we arrived it was like we were the only people in the area and we automatically were like well we are quite early. We grabbed out packets – we were the only ones in the line haha then started out pre-race routine. It ended being pretty awesome being there early though because we weren’t rushed in getting anything together and had plenty of time. At the same time Matt and I realized in pure Ohio fashion that the weather channel who was saying there were 5 mph winds was 100% wrong. The flags were whipping around in the air  and there were white caps on the lake and I knew once again we were in for a rough day.

Swim:

  • We lined up for the swim and they asked all the “elites” to line up in the front so they could mark down all of our numbers for timing. In small races I guess I am “elite” haha. I kept looking at Matt who is actually “elite” and being like umm but he said I deserved to be there so I sucked it up and realized I am fast enough in a small race to contend a spot. You realize outside of Ironman braded events just how unorganized things can be and you get what you pay for out of Ironman and its 100% worth it. When we lined up at the swim it became apparent that the outward bound bouys were no were to be seen and thats because their boat broke this morning and was unable to get them out so we had to spot 1 bouy and a dead tree at the tree line for the out of the out and back – ok fantastic lol. Then we were delayed for like 30 minutes because the volunteer kyakers lacked all ability due to the wind – in there defense as stated above it was VERY WINDY with white caps but still talk about the nerves. Matt and I’s googles kept foggying, my wetsuit was stangling me, I had to go pee again haha. Ya know all the things…Anways once we finally got the go ahead you start by a canyon which no one actually gave us a 3,2,1 because know one knew exactly when it would blow and we all did a mass run into the water. I don’t know why maybe it was the long wait, the nerves, and crowd of highly fast swimmers, my wetsuit being tight (I hate wetsuits b.c they are tight around my neck and I have a chocking phobia) but I had my first panic attack in the water. I was probably maybe 200 yards off the shore and I was like omg omg omg and I started doing the breaststroke I am kinda fast at it so it wasnt the worst case scenario and then I decided to just rip open the top of my wetsuit snap so it wasnt as tight around my neck and see if that help and it did and settled into my pace. I am not sure how this whole process lasted but I could feel my time goals slipping away but there was nothing I could do but just move forward. So I continued swimming which was hard because you had nothing really to spot so it made it extra difficult. Then when you got to the end you had to go up toward the point like a roof of a house but the olympic distance did more of the square so it kinda got confusing on the which way do I go thing but I figured it out. Once I made the turn around the roof of the house portion you turn to head back to shore and I remember this from Ironman Muncie 70.3 you go straight into the sun so basically no boys to site again b/c you can’t see them. I felt at this point i was settling more into my stroke and picking up the pace. However everytime you would breath you were get some sort of smash from the waves and it was pushing so holding a straight path was somewaht more difficult that I would like. I also still really had to go pee but could not seem to get that done in the water so therefore I had to hold that for the next 5 hours lol. Anyways finally made it out of the water in 33 Minutes which was a solid PR from 37:30 last year but that was non-wetsuit but still improvement given the cluster f*ck of this swim.

Bike:

  • Welcome to Stage 2 of why not to do Ironman branded races lol. The roads for this race were TERRIBLE. I felt horrible b/c I told Matt there were not because last year on the Ironman branded race it was an awesome bike course on really great roads except for small stretches here and there well turns out those small stretches here and ther was the majority or 80-90% of the course we had to make 4 loops around – whomp. Not to mentioned when you hit the good pavment it was an out and back with a sharp turn around where you almost had to come to a stop so basically not great. Then remember the wind I was talking about well in Ohio it only gets worse as time progresses so you would be going 20 mph then all of a suddent you would be going 12 mph and it was exacerbated by the crapping roads because how fast you go on your bike has ALOT to do with road conditions. Either way I went into the race to focus on effort so I focused on giving a solid effort that would be equivelant to what I could hold in ironman vs a half ironman after all I was using it as a training day and I wasn’t tapered. So I focused on holding a Zone 2 Effort throughout the ride and focused on trying to fuel better as I am not the best at that. Also this race really taught me some great bike handling skills with the wind, multiple turns and crappy roads I felt it was great practice even if it wasn’t going to be my best bike split of my life. I ended up finding one girl on the bike course I kept seeing she had a Cervelo and was wearing a pink Rudy Helmet she would always be near just a few bike lengths away on the other side of the turn around of always around my shoulder. At one point I was having some issues on the hard part of the course with the headwind getting my nutrition/water bottle out of the cage and back in. I was really struggling lol and she passed me and I was like ugh I was just getting my nutriiton settled lol. Then I finally got the bottle back in and we went around the turn and boom I was back in front. I may not be the fastest cyclist in the world but one thing is for sure I am very consistent. Anyways was holding steady coming into T2 and in front when I asked where to turn once again – non branded race problems. The T2 stop was on the road not well marked and then the entrace was through a ditch in the grass back up to transition. Well I asked where to stop and they said keep going and I was like umm no I am done so I turned around and well by time I was in transition pink rudy helmet girl was in there in front of me – ugh!!! My husband was standing near transition on the other side of the fence like “you’re doing great” but “that girls is putting her socks on faster than you” and “I tried to yell at you were to start” and “omg she is almost done” and I was like OMG BE QUITE and then I could hear her husband being like you got this babe run fast and I was like UGH!!!! Anyways finally got my freaking shoes, socks, grabbed my bib and hat and booked it out of T2 with a Bike Time of 3:01:56 – definitely not a PR but not a horrible time given all those circumstance.

Run:

  • Going into the Run I had looked at the race day stats from last year and like no one ran under 2 hours so I figured well no one can run right? Nope! Pink Rudy Helmet took off and all of a sudden I look at my watch and I am running like 6:45 – 6:50 min/mi and I was like WHOOA. First off I have not ran that fast in a hot second unless you could the 400m repeats Ash and I had done Tuesday prior to her leaving so I was shocked my to see that time on my watch out of the gate. I held 6:50 – 7:00 for the first 0.5M or so and then I hit the first hill and decided ugh time to walk and take my inhaler (I have exercise induced asthma, it can be pretty severe at times. I don’t talk about it much but it definitely affects my performance in humidity, high intensity races, top end speeds aka track workotus etc). Any took inhaler and then thought well there is not way I am catching this chick. It was HOT, Humid, and this course was hilly. If you have done Ironman 70.3 Muncie it is the worst part of the course and you do it twice so I wasn’t expecting any miracles to happen haha so I just let her go on. I continued my race plan of run when you can and walk when you cant. I was holding pretty good split and staying steady as I said for one thing I am consistent. I made my first loop around and as I was coming up the big hill for the turn around my dad and husband were yelling “CATCH HER CATCH HER” and I was like nah I am just gonna run my race because for once I was having a good day mind you it wasn’t like I was running crazy fast or breaking records here but I just felt, good strong and confident that this was something I could reproduce on Ironman Day and I didn’t want to burn anymore bridges. I needed to continue to train after this race so that meant I had to let it be just a training day and leave my A Day for my A Race. Anyways I made the turn around and continued on my steady pace of running strong when I could and then walking when I felt my form failing. At this same point I saw the girl starting to fade she was only about 1 min maybe ahead of me and she stopped walked and but her hands on her knees and then she continued running. I wasn’t blamming her I stopped and walked as well up that hill but I knew at that point I was closing the gap because while I was walking I wasn’t hands on knees beat up. I continued the climb up the hill until you make the right turn and its a rolling “downhill” section if there is one thing about me you should all know is that downhill running is my thing lol. Anyways I took this opportunity to close the gap and I started running solid 7:30 min/mi and passed her. I think at this point she was beat because she didn’t really try to fight to catch me we both said our great jobs as we had been playing the passing game all day. I kept my run/walk game up but really tried to walk less and run more and hold as strong as I could because I was almost done. I finally made it to the last turn around and they had popicles. If they could add this to the ironman list of amenities that would be awesome because that was the only fuel I used on this run and thank god it worked otherwise I probably would have bonked crazy hard. You have alot of climbining on the back end and the out is mainly rolling “downhill” and the back in all rolling “uphill” lol. So I just kept chugging and looking over my shoulder expecting her to catch me. She wasn’t far off so I kept pushing pushing pushing the best I could but never overdoing it reminding myself I had nothing to prove on this day except to have a good race. I came to the final climb and like a lazy bum I walked up the last hill its cruel its such a big hill into the transition lol. Then I made my way to the finisher chute and ran in with the 2nd Overall Female Finish. It ended up I was only ahead of her by 1 minute even though I finished more than 1 minute in front her on the run. It funny now with chip timing because you never know where someone sits in overall time until its over because it all depends on when they start. Final Run Time was 1:51:58 and I was pretty pleased because it was almost dead on with last year and given this course was harder and I wasn’t “race” racing it.

After Thoughts:

  • First after the race I found Matt and I had to find out if he thought that was as crazy hard as I did and he 100% agreed and for that I felt I was out of the dog house as far as not going super fast when reporting back to Ash lol! Spoiler Alert – she was so freaking proud of me – she is the BEST best friend EVER! Anways between the lack of bouys, white caps, swim panic attack the crazy wind and very poor road conditions and the hills and heat and humditiy of the run I felt like that course was super rough mentally and physically and I was glad Matt agreed with me. Given all those things this race gave a PR of 5:33 and also the knowledge that on a day that a 70.3 is my A Race and I am tapered for it to be my goal I can go much faster. It also gave me the confidence in my legs that I can still run and run well off the bike, something that I was beginning to doubt sincerely after Boston and further after the disaster of Gulf Coast. This race allowed me to have my dad get to watch me succeed and podium for the first time and even though it was a small race it was such an incredible feeling to feel like your racing and to come out of top. That coming out on top feeling led me to feel more on top of my training and has propelled me to become such a stronger athlete in the past 4 weeks time and for that I am grateful!

Final Stats:

  • Swim: 0:33
  • Bike: 3:01:56
  • Run: 1:51:58
  • Total: 5:33:09 – 15 Min PR!

So there you have it the Race Recap that took forever to write haha. I am such a bad blogger lately, but at least this race recap isn’t super debbie downer and sad as the previous have been right?! Maybe soon I will be writting big things down on this blog of how awesome Santa Rosa goes – I sure hope so! Thanks for following my journey! There is some photos below from the race – not many as the “free race” photos never got posted again non-branded races lol.

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With Love and Racing

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

 

Gulf Coast 70.3 (69.2) Recap – May 13th, 2017

Race Recap

Gulf Coast Recap (just a little late)! Gulf Coast was a race Ash and I planned for fun for a little beach vacation to escape from a hard winter as well as Mother’s Day. My mom lives in Florida and drove up to join us for the fun in the sun. What we didn’t expect was just how hard Boston recovery would be given all the unfortanute circumstances around the race so this race always had LOTS of “????” around it. But I figured at least I could get some great swim and bike effort in even if the run completely fell apart (which it did haha). Anyways here is how it went.

Wednesday: 

  • Ash I left Wednesday Evening to drive down to Florida. We gain an hour of time in the drive so we figured we would drive until 1-2 AM our time so 12-1 actual time and then stop for the night, sleep, then head to the beach. Everything was going swimmingly including my million bathroom breaks (I had to go more than her 2 kids – lol – great hydration). Until we landed in Birmingham to stay the night. We unloaded the car got the kids to bed and then I went down to get my suitcase out of the trunk and then… BAAM! If you saw instagram dumb butt me slammed the trunk closed not thinking about the 50lb bike rack on the back and slammed it down on my head. At first I thought HOLY CRAP OUCH until I stood up and saw all the blood. Anyways here we were 2:30 AM and I realized I needed to go to the ER to get staples in my head. So I looked up the closest ER which was UAB ED and headed over. It was about a 6 Mile drive so nothing serious so I told Ash to stay home with the kids since it was late and I didn’t want them in the ER. Probably not the best call on my part b/c “head injury” but overall I was fine. I work in the ED everyday as a Physician Assistant so this was nothing new to me. I arrived in the ED and luckily they felt sorry for me driving myself with a head laceration to the ER so they got be in and out in about 1.5 hours with 5 staples and an ice pack I was on my way. I was grateful for them feeling sorry for me since the ER was FULL and I wanted to get home to get to bed. Arrived back at the hotel at 4AM EST (3AM actual) and then went to bed.

Thursday:

  • Basically I woke up and was like WHAT THE F DID THAT HAPPEN? Then I touched my head with my 2 goose eggs and now red/pink hair and the blood stain on my pillow and thought yep. It all seemed like a dream I mean we left the hotel at like 9AM so that was not much turn around. I had a bit of headache for the trip but I applied the icepack and took some ibuprofen and we headed to Florida. We arrived to Panama City around 1PM and my mom met us there. We unloaded all our stuff and headed to the Expo for Ironman checkin. Ash and I immediately felt at home in the Ironman atmosphere. We got to check in as AWA (heck yes) we were 66 and 67 which is unheard of to have rack spots next to your bestie. However, I could tell my body was just not having it. My legs had felt heavy all week, I had strep in the beginning of the week, and with the head injury I was just way far from 100%. However I was not doubting for a second I was going to give this race my all.

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Friday:

  • Ash and I woke up and she went to pick up Matt and her brother Christian from the Airport while I watched the kiddos and enjoyed some coffee. Once they got back we had a pancake breakfast and then headed out for our shakeout bike/run. We all 3 enjoyed the beautiful day biking 20 minutes around 19 mph (for me and Ash, matt goes faster lol) then followed by a 10 minutes run at 7:20ish. Matt kept telling Ash and I to SLOW down as we were flying giggling and dancing at sub 7 or 7 min/mi which gave me hope for the next day’s run. However, in the back of my head I knew from my HR things were not going well internally. It was in the 170s in the bike and run despite feeling “easy” so I thought maybe my watch is off but i found out the next day it wasn’t. After Ash and I headed to take some beach photos then we headed to the beach for a fun day in the sun. Ash and Matt went for their shakeout swim, I had to stay back due to my head and not risking infection. A storm was rolling in around 6PM that night so you could see the swells starting to kick up. Ash and Matt reported it was going to be a rough one but we never imagined what we would wake up to Saturday morning. After our beach day we headed back to our hotel, weather proofed our bikes to the best of our ability and then checked and racked out bikes. We then went back to the hotel and had Pizza (race day tradition), organized our race day fuel, and of course relaxed a little bit in our Rapid ReBoot compression boots before heading to bed for RACE DAY.

Saturday: RACE DAY

Race Day Morning:

  • We woke up race day morning and you could hear the ocean with the sliding doors CLOSED. I steped outside and saw a rare sight for the gulf, propably close to 6 ft swells. We started to prep for the motion sickness – took 2 dramamine and headed down to transition to load our fuel, water bottles, and set up our transition. However when we arrived WAY EARLY btw they annouced the swim was CANCELLED. I was bummed. I am not an amazing swimmer but I do well in triathlon because I am decent at all 3 sports equally and I love swimming especially in a wet suit in salt water. However, I knew the call was the right call from the race officials it would be unsafe water conditions for the athletes. Then they annouced they would do a Time Trial start basically starting at Bib #1 all the race to 1500. Ash and I were 66 and 67 so pretty good for starting point but poor Matt registered late and his bib was in the 1400s which meant he would have to pass 1400 people during the race since technically he would have been seated in the top 3 for the race had he registered early being an AWA Gold. Either way we pumped up our tires and headed back to the hotel to finish getting dressed, eating our breakfast and relaxing before heading back down to start the race.

Swim: CANCELLED

  • So with the TT we were lined up at the start mounted our bike and off we went.

Bike: 2:50:59 // 19.7 mph

  • Since the run was questionable at best as to how it would go and the swim being cancelled I figured out of the day the best thing to do would be to get a solid bike out of the race. I wanted to know how I set compared to last season with all the indoor interval training and my new bike investment. However, if the ocean was 6 foot swells you know the weather outside wasn’t awesome either. There were 20 mph winds with 30 mph gusts on the bike and due to the storm the already HOT Florida weather was now extra steamy factoring in a high dew point and 100% humidity. All these factors were not fun given Ash and I were not heat adapted, I was still in long sleeves prior to leaving for Florida. Additionally I have exercise induced asthma which occurs in extremes (cold/hot) and the worst factor humidity. So ya conditions were not looking favorable combined with the head laceration, hematoma on my helmet line, strep, and my achy legs – basically HERE GOES NOTHING lol! 🙂
  • Basically the route is a Flat out and back with one causeway and a few extra turns for a re-route due to road construction. The race started out over a small pediestrian bridge with multiple sharp turns and speed bumps so that first mile was basically a slow annoying wash. I was 66 so I started just a couple minutes ahead of Ash but she caught and passed me right away and I definitely could not keep up – she is a speedster. But my goal was just to give it my all. The out we had a cross-tail which gave some assistance, but not enough to coast, you still had to work for it, and by Mile 20 I knew I was really going to have to fight due to my heart rate. My heart rate started off at a calm 138 bpm average and slowly increased to 153, 165 and by Mile 20 it was a 170 bpm average and it stayed there for the remainder of the bike so 36 more miles (UGH). After we circled the turn around I took a deep breath and realized it was time to really fight hard as now instead of a cross-head the wind was becoming less cross-head and more head-cross (Fantastic). It took alot more effort for me to maintain the pace I had held on the out and at one point I was pushing quite the effort to just go 13-14 mph – I thought to myself seriously I thought we had moved past this lol. Once we turned off the highway we got more a cross and I was able to speed back up slightly but I was just so tanked from fighting the headwind and my legs, specifically my butt was on fire. Additionally my GI system doesn’t do well when I am pushing effort so I could barely tolerate my liquid fuel let alone my solid fuel so I probably didn’t get in as much calories as I should have and defintely not as much liquids as I was loosing more than usual due to not being head adapted. I felt like I couldn’t get enough water in my body and was constantly thirsty – I think this was exacerbated by all the salt and wind in the air but who knows. Anyways when we pulled back on to Beach I tried to push into the gate but my legs were tanked and I figured well now I know what it is like to bike ALL OUT but this run is going to be a disaster considering my HR coming into transition was still 170 bpm, not exactly much wiggle room but that was what it is. I pulled into the bike dismount line into T2 at  2:50:59. I missed my goal by 59 seconds but I PRd my bike split from HIM Muncie by 20 minutes in much harder conditions so you can’t complain.

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T2: 0:02:11

  • Basically this was uneventful except for the fact that I missed a turn and had to take the long route around with my bike so I think I probably could have at least taken 45 seconds off this time. Bike shoes off, Run shoes on, helmet off, hat on, bib on and go out of transition I went.

Run: 2:02:47 (9:22 min/mi)

  • Ugh it pains me to talk about another failed running event but here we go, I have to be honest with the ups and downs. I ran out of transition my mom was there yelling for me I tried to look strong but I knew this was not going to be pretty. The start of the run was straight up that pedestrian bridge – first thought “Is it acceptable to walk straight out of the T2 Run shoot” haha but seriously I made it the first mile trying to just run and sustain an acceptable pace and Mile 1 ticked off at 8:05 min/mi and I thought to myself thats the last one of those and started to walk even before the 1st water stationed. I was HOT, tired, sore – you name it I had it. So I figured best thing was to walk/run. I thought walking would help with how hot I was feeling but it didn’t and by Mile 3-4 I was contemplating if I was going to have to drop of the race. I am from Florida/Arizona and I have never been that hot before in my life. My skin was on fire like a a fever and my body was trying to break it but couldn’t. I am sure if I took my temperature at that time it would have been well over 101F. I knew as a PA that medically that was not a good situation to be in. So I continued walk/running and dumping water, ice, sponges anything I could find to cool myself off but it just wasn’t helping. I thought there is no way I could finish 2 more laps in this state. However at Mile 4 I turned onto loop 2 and for once I was grateful in a way for a headwind, as even though it slowed down my already turtle pace combined with the ice and water it finally dropped my core temperature to a manageable degree and I was able to regroup. Meanwhile I figured any moment Ash would just lap me and I would have to explain my sorry ass state lol. After Mile 5  I was able to pull myself back together still in a run/walk motion but I could run longer than 2 minutes at a time so that was progress. The 2nd 4 Mile loop went much better and by the third loop I was passing some of the people that had passed me in the beginning but I was still no where in the glory zone I was defininetly in the sufferfest. My heart rate thoughout this run at 170 to 200 bpm, and while I 100% believe in running my feel and not focusing on outside factor i.e. HR during race day I definitely felt that heart rate and my body was just not having anything of this run. So finally after 13.1 Miles and close to probably 30+ walk breaks I headed to the finish line.

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Finish: 4:55:57

  • I headed towards the finish and made sure to walk up the pedestrian causeway so I could look somewhat put together on the red carpet. I put a big smile on my face and ran the red carpet like a champ. After all we pay to do this and my mom and baby nephew were cheering. So I waved my hands up high and cheered for HIM #2 Finish and thanked God I made it though that in one piece lol.

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Post-Race Thoughts

  • I am not sure really where to start on this. Lets just say 2017 so far has not been the year for unlifting post-race thoughts. I have really not had a good race this year which is totally oppositie in comparison to 2016. It is so easy to write recaps and talk about races when everything goes right but it is so much harder to put it out there with the surrounding disappointment. I will not lie in that I was glad that race was so far over. I had goals for this race and they were big and I really in my wildest dreams did not believe it was going to go as bad as it did. I shed quite a few tears after the race and while I wasn’t angry I was truly just so disappointed and upset. I felt that while I had a 20 minute Bike PR – I thought to myself if that hurt that bad for 56 Miles how can expect that somehow I can handle a similar pace in an Ironman in just 12 short weeks. Ash and Matt reminded me those conditions and wind were rough and not typical and that in different circumstances it would be easier to keep the pace. I am trying to accept that reality but in the moment it is just so hard to grasp. Then the run – oh gosh. After the blow of how bad Boston went to have another run go to the tanks and even worse was just so disheartening. I am beginning to think my running legs will never come back and here I am having invested all the time, energy not to mention thousands upon thousands of dollars into IM Santa Rosa for what – to totally tank it. Obviously this was 3 weeks ago and my thoughts now 3 weeks removed are still there in the forefront. My body is just not jumping back the way I had wanted. In the back of my mind I always feared this would happen I am not one to do back to back big races. I usually give myself 12 weeks recovery before attempting a smaller race like a half after a marathon so doing an Ironman after a Marathon is just way out of my comfort zone. However, I am not giving up on 2017 yet! We are 8 weeks out from IM Santa Rosa and I am going to give it my all and hope my body just peaks into the race! There was my feelings, there were alot of disheartened disappointed tears involved but I am not one to dwell on it, so I am moving on. However, as always I use this blog to document my true feelings and I share my life honestly with you all. So thank you for reading and being part of my journey!

With Love and Racing,

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Race Recap: Boston Marathon April 17th, 2017

Race Recap

Eighteen Months in the Making for this very moment.. 3, 2, 1…START

The Attire:

  • Ash and I had custom tanks made for us by Hyperthreads – if you havent heard of them they are an awesome company based out of Utah that makes custom Triathlon, Cycling, and Running Gear – High Quality and Super Comfortable and Flattering and did I mention CUSTOM! We went with Tri Tanks because POCKETS and let me tell you every marathoner should now wear tri tanks because it eliminates the whole where to store your fuel thing ;)! Rudy was also kind enough to give us a pair of matching Sunglasses to Sport for the Race there were the perfect shade of blue to match out outfits perfectly! We paired the combo with the tried and true Lululemon Black Speedshorts, White Procompression Socks and Newton Running Shoes of Course and we were on our way to the Boston Marathon!!!!

Fueling:

  • I opted to carry 3 Huma Plus Gels with me and then substitute with the Clif Vanilla on the course. Additionally Tam (@Tamarynnleigh) saved the day and sent BaseSalt Tubes with Ash’s Mom from Utah who flew in just for the race. So THANKFUL in the hot and humid conditions that Boston blessed us with on marathon Monday those Base Salts SAVED my butt and life and is one of the reasons I did not end up in the med tent – I LOVE YOU TAM!

Music Choice:

  • Ash had decided she was going to use headphones during the race. I usually race marathons without headphones so I was like how are we gonna run together and use headphones – pouty face emoji lol. Ash decided for her it was a must so I figured well I mise well too. So then I was liek well what do we listen to becuase it has to be the exact same if we are running together for the marathon and she responded “The Hamilton Soundtrack” and I was like what is that?! haha. Needless to say I downloaded that soundtrack Sunday night and you better believe we listened to that soundtrack until Mile 20 of the marathon. I actually LOVED it and I think forever forward it will always hold a special memory in my heart 🙂

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Pre-Race/Athlete’s Village: 

  • Ash and I woke up got bagels and Tess kindly drove us to the bag drop and bus check. We made it just before they closed the roads (2 minutes) and she got us right next to the gear check tents and I was well that was pretty AWESOME. After we checked our bag we went to load our buses and make our way to Hopkinton. It takes about 1 hour to get to Athletes Village. By this point I had downed my breakfast, coffee, and a large powerade and really regreted not going to the bathroom prior to our bus loading. Needless to say once we got there we hopped off the bus it was right into the bathroom line. Ash found the shortest line and people were nice enough to let us go ahead as we did the potty dance. We figured we needed one more round in the bathroom prior to the start so we made our way back in line then sat beside the front of the line until we got the “urge” lol. We chatted, ate some fuel, took photos then went to the bathroom and on our way. They had been calling the White Bibs for a while but I did not anticipate the walk to the start was SO FAR AWAY. It is a good mile or so from the athletes village whoops. I now see why people were running. Needless to say I am pretty sure we ended up starting with the White Bibs in the Last Corral by time we made it to the start line because we were late – whomp. However to be honest this isn’t unusual we were late starting Tuscon as well and Ive been late for almost every Phoenix Start soo. By time we made it to the start line which I didnt even realize Ash had to shout this is it start your Garmin and it hit me HOLY CRAP thats the Boston Marathon start line!!!!!

Mile 0-4: The Beginning of the End…

  • Ash and I crossed the start line in our matching attire smiles galore – OMG WE ARE RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON! We started off right around 7 min/mi which felt very comfortable. I am use to running downhill and so is Ash so that doens’t bother us. The key is just to maintain an even effort and that was our plan. Then at the 0.25 Mile mark BOOM we hit the wall of humans – SO MANY HUMANS! Ash bolted to the side and we tried to weave the best of our abilities to maintain pace but it was a constant going from 6:50 – 7:00 min/mi to complete stops. We were on the side rails so the terrain was changing as well – asphault, grass, curb, dirt, gravel, etc. Our first 4 Miles were 7:17, 7:19, 7:20, 7:17 – so not horrible and conservative my most standards since we were aiming for around a 7:00 – 7:05 min/mi for the first half but in order to make those splits happen it was a horror story of the fly then brake method due to the large crowds and the weaving. I knew our goal of a 3:12 (7:20 min/mi) was long gone at this point for me and with the headphones and being just behind Ash due to the crowds I couldnt get a sense of how she was feeling. However, things were going south quick. I couldn’t figure it out – I had hydrated, watched sodium intake, I took my Inhaler (I have exercise induced Asthma), and it was hot but I wasn’t dying (I am from Az and Fl originally). I mean in my head I was dumbfounded – “My Race” is the Marathon and especially downhill marathons (I suck at short distance running in comparison) so how could I be bonking at Mile 4 in “ideal” race profile minus the heat. Later on that evening Ash figured out the mystery it was the braking and exerting all the energy and side weaving going around the humans that did it however at the time I just couldn’t grasp that concerpt myself. I couldn’t for the live of figure out HOW IN THE HELL I WAS HITTING THE WALL AT MILE 4! WHAT THE HECK! I told Ash to leave me I figured I was just having an AWFUL day and I didn’t want to bring her down with me. She kept urging that I could do it – we could do it – but I just kept thinking there is no way I am pulling off a 3:12 or even a PR of 3:16 at this point and I thought she was doing GREAT. Needless to say she wasn’t I found out later but either way I told her to leave me as I didn’t want to hold her back. We pulled over gave each other a hug and off she went. This is where I made the objective decision to pull WAY BACK and raise my hands high for the all that is glorious “WALK BREAKS”!

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Miles 4-10: Yep its Gonna be a Long Day….

  • I helt a somewhat respectable pace for beginning of this stretch after I left Ash but then I just basically threw in the towel. I knew I wasn’t planning on coming back in 2018 so I knew a BQ was pointless except for my pride in the big picture with my IM and HIM quickly approaching. The heat was rising and I knew it was going to a rough day managing it so I just decided to enjoy running the Boston Marathon and not tax my body more than I needed to. I texted my Mom and Tess around Mile 10 saying it was going to be a much longer day than anticipated –  I remember I walking over Lake Cochichuate. I never take my phone out during a race but I also didn’t want them to worry that something terrible was happening to me as they tracked behind a computer since I was so far off my goal. After I put my phone back in pocket and went back on my way towards Boston…

Mile 10 – 16: Enjoying the Ride

  • At this point I was maintaining a steady 8:20 – 8:30 min/mi and just enjoying the race. I stopped at every aid station and grabbed one cup of water to drink and on cup to pour on my head. I took my time, I took walk breaks, literally took all the pressure off myself. I actually ended up malfunctinioning my JayBirds due to all the water douncing so I had to drop the headphones right around Mile 14 after going through Wellesley Scream Tunnel. No need to worry though you could hear those girls from a mile away. I couldn’t help but not laugh and smile at the signs they are quite creative and a riot to read. In some regards I am glad I wasn’t taking running seriously at all at this point because I really got to soak it all in. My Mom and Tess were texting me uplifting things the whole time while I was running and Tess and Christian (Ash’s Brother) made a surpise stop at Mile 15. It was such a welcomed surprise. Nothing better than seeing your best friend when you’re having a crappy marathon day. It really gave me that push to smile and move forward. I mean I was running the Boston Marathon!

Mile 16 – 21: The Newton Hills

  • Mile 15-16 you make a steep decsent into the Newton Lower Falls before hitting the hills. I took that downhill with stride and then really embraced the walk breaks lol. I met a fellow instagramer @gypsysoul_runner around during the Mile 16-17 who was nice enough to say she followed me and how much of an inspiration I was. I said thanks but thought to myself “wow I am such an inspiration phoning in the boston marathon”. She looked strong so I told her to keep going and she had this but I was gonna take another walk break haha. I basically ran/walked the entire Newton Hills. I ran the downhill then ran/walked the uphill. I actually ran into one of my clients around Mile 19 at the Nuun booth and gave her a hug and thought wow this looks horrible watching your run coach walk up the Newton Hills and tank her Marathon Goal Time. She didn’t disown me thank god lol. I made my way thought heartbreak – saw the infamous no stopping Mondays sign and really soaked it in. I was on heartbreak hill. I felt no pressure, no time goal, no nothing just soaking in the Boston Experience as if I was on a long run by myself on a calm Monday except with thousands of people around – it was kind of surreal. I crested Heartbreak and knew it was downhill to the finish.

Mile 22-25: Downhill to the Finish…

  • I’m not gonna lie I ran walked these too – I figured at this point I had nothing to gain  from going any faster or slower lol. These miles seemed to go by rather quickly. I dont remember anything of interest, you get a good decsent off of Heartbreak and if I was having a good day I would have loved flying down the downside of that hill guns a blazing but that didn’t happen. I remember looking at the train to my left and thinking of the history and the people that used to take the train to watch the marathon and how that was how the course was created. I watched as people carried their friends, solidier in full uniform, amputees running strong, I felt like I really got to sit back and watch the marathon unfold from a different perspective than when you are gunning hard for a PR. I remember seeing the sign for Brookline and thinking OMG we are almost to Boston – YAY and then you have the Citgo Sign in sight and you know you have almost made it!

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Mile 25 – 26.2: The Citgo Sign and The Finish 

  • You hit the Citgo Sign at Mile 25.2 and there is a line across the ground that says one mile to go as well as little Citgo signs. It was so neat to finally experience being at that infamous sign. In my head after the countless walk breaks I told myself ok Kindal you can probably run the last mile, but then I remembered that little bitch of a hill I read about on the underpass before the turn on Hereford. Anyways I hit that hill and figured well no gain now and walked up the little blip then started on my way again – I remmeber looking at my watch and seeing 7:30s (insert face plam emoji) lol. I made the right turn onto Hereford and it is a very slight uphill gradient and I remeber thinking I really want to walk to this but then I smacked myself internally and was like YOU CANNOT WALK ON HEREFORD lol! I finally made that Left Turn onto Bolyston and there is was – The crowd, the Fans, the Finish it was amazing and everything I dreamed. I had enough in my tank to really enjoy the moment – to run full stride toward the finish and embrace every single moment of that last 0.25 Mile. I crossed the finish all smiles – I was a BOSTON MARATHONER!

Post Race:

  • After the race I headed over to the med tent to assess my situation. My legs were cramping more than usual especailly considering the lack of effort I exerted. I figured I could probably use an IV or something. She said I could talk to the physician. I told her I was a physician – she wasnt impressed lol. Either way they told me I looked too good for the med tent and I was sent away – I told them “No Fair that’s what they said at Ironman” haha! I headed to grab my drop bag and get my things and then tried calling Ash several times as I knew she had finished but she wasn’t answering. Finally I got ahold of Christian (Ash’s brother) who told me she was in the Med Tent they sent me away from by the Finish. Truth be told I never even go near med tent but obviously my intuition was saying go in that med tent and now I know why. I made my way back through the crowds where I met the same nice lady (insert face palm emoji) and she instructed me that I could not go inside and had to walk all the way around to the family meetup zone to try and get into see her. She asked if I had her bib and I pulled my instagram and was like see here she is with me and her bib! They finally located her and whomp she had been discharged and Ash called and was now down getting her bag – lol. We finally met back up took our post race photos then headed to Panera to meet our family. They were the absolute best support crew. The post race freezing began I was never so thankful for our space blankets. We took our group photos then headed back to our car. Once we got back to Tess’ house we both showered changed and Ash headed out to do some touring with her family before they headedout at 8:30 PM and Tess and i went and got some post race celebratory drinks and tapas at her favorite restaurant and caught up like old times. Adulthood is hard sometimes especially with friendships but I am lucky to have friendships that stand the test of time despite not seeing each other for 2 years 🙂 After we got back , packed up our things that now barely made it into our suitcases with all our purchaes we laid in bed and started recapping our Marathon Monday! Ash and I sat up in bed like 2 Elementry/Middle school girls having a slumber party until 3 AM when we had to wake up at 6 laughing and giggling about our Marathon Experience and the “Wall of Humans” at Mile 4. We laughed at the fact that we had grabbed extra treats and aid from the exact same spectators on the course and even used the same fueling/hydration/cooling techniques. It was as if we had ran together the whole race but 15 minutes apart lol. It was a beautiful and wonderful ending to Marathon Monday to just laugh and giggle and smile with your best friend – it was as if time never stopped.

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Tuesday 4-18-17: “Medal Tuesday?!” 

  • Ash and I had planned to do a short walk/run by the beach before flying out to shake our legs but we both woke up and in the tin man walk struggle bus and decided NOPE and headed back to bed. Tess then took us down to Bolyston which Ash and I were shocked to find was completely torn down from the day before. Newbie mistake. We walked around and took a few post-race celebratory photos in our jackets and then made our way to the airport in just enough time to grab some breakfast and load the plane. Our layover was in LaGuardia and it was 2 hours. So we got lunch and then found what we thought was our plane and hopped in our boots. Once boarding was called for the last group we were like oh crap and started trying to pack our boots as quick as possible – imagine trying to deflate a twin air mattress while the last boarding call is being done – OH SHIT! haha. Anyways we give the lady our tickets and she was like you are in the wrong airline and Ash looks and is like Oh Crap yes our plane doesnt board last call until 20 minutes so we finally walk to the other side of hte airport to find AA and they are like oh you need to get on a shuttle and were like what?! THERE WERE NO SIGNS! They quickly got us on a tram and I got my first ever airline phone call of we are boarding last call where are you lol?! Ash and I made it barely in time – boarded the plan and made our way to Columbus. We took turns laughing about the race with ladies on board and explained our irrational anger towards the crowds and how we hit the wall at mile 4 – lol. The other runners said they did too which was reassuring lol! We took turns using the Roll Recovery R8 – great plane tool then arrived to a warm and sunny spring Ohio!

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Garmin Data: 

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Post Race Feels and Thoughts:

  • This blog post has been hard to write if I am being honest I have such mixed up and down emotions regarding The Boston Marathon 2017. I had waited 18 Months for a moment that went no where near how I had planned. I had an AMAZING Boston Experience – It was one for the Books it was absolutely perfect minus the Time on the Clock. I enjoyed every mile after Mile 4 of the Boston Marathon and feel like I really got to soak in the experience. However, I cant help but feel the clock disappointment. I had done it all this training cycle – freezing temps, winds, outdoor tempos, track workouts, high mileage, and even gave up Ironman Training High Volume in order to obtain a PR on the Boston Course. I was ready for a Sub 3:12 I knew it I felt it and to wind up with a 3:44 is disheartening. I ran my 3:16 on minimal marathon training and now with giving these 16 weeks my all I fell way short of my goal and fitness level. Boston was the only marathon I had planned on running this year and I wanted and needed it to go well and it didn’t. Due to Ironman Goals it will be a full year before I have the chance to redeem myself in the Marathon Distance and for that I am sad. I know I have nothing to prove to others and I know good and well a 3:44 is an amazing marathon time – heck less than 2 years ago my PR in the marathon on my first BQ attempt was a 3:48 but I also know in my heart I didn’t give that marathon my all or even half of it. I phoned it in. While I made that conscious decision and I know it was  the Smartest and Best descision for me that day in regards to my future race goals it still weighs on me. I think it is ok to feel disappointment, its natural and normal. But you also have to move on from it. At the end of the day I am a BOSTON FREAKING MARATHONER no matter the clock time. So with that I am going to take all my hundreds of dollars of Boston 2017 Gear and Memories with my Unicorn Medal and Charish it for a Lifetime because you never get your First Boston Back and for me despite the Clock I can say without a doubt the whole experience was absolutely PERFECT.

With Love and Boston,

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Pre-Race Recap: Boston Marathon

Race Recap

At the end of the Day the Boston Marathon is more than just 26.2 Miles it is a full experience and I have to say I think I may have had one of the best. I got to stay with my College Best Friend and also Traveled and Ran Boston with Ashley – It was the absolute Best! Here is a little recap of the pre-race activities! 🙂

Friday – April 14th, 2017

Ash and I flew out of Columbus to Boston and got in around 1PM we made a quick jot to my friend’s house changed and then headed straight to the expo to knock that off our list. We knew the further we got into the weekend the more busy crazy it would become and both of us thought NIGHTMARE. We walked in grabbed out bib without line and thought “wow that was easy” snapped our bib photo (Got yelled at on Instagram) then headed to the expo. We had some instagram obligations to attend to at the expo and then wanted to search the goodies. We of course stopped by the Boston Gear and grabbed ourself some staples for our shakeout run on Saturday and post-race and loved every bit of the fact that we LOVE to Twin at every occasion possible – we are like 3rd graders with BFF heart necklaces (and yes I would buy them if it was totally cheezeball – maybe Erica Sara ones haha). After we fininished up at the Expo we headed to the mall to check on the lulu gear for the race – wasn’t impressed – but we found FroYo which was more impressive then headed to Rudy to say thanks for our awesome sunglasses and ended up being able to attend the Women’s Running Talk and banquet with Strava which was pretty awesome. We then made our way to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox with Tess (my best friend who lives in Boston). We splurged for good seats together and ended up on the 3rd base line which was pretty incredible. I feel like we picked the best night – it wasn’t too cold or windy and also they were playing the Tampa Bay Rays which is my home team. I am not a sports fan and NEVER make it through any sporting event so I was proud that I made it through this one for Ash who used to work in sports marketing. It was definintely so fun and you should definitely put it on your “To-Do” Boston Marathon List.


Saturday – April 15th, 2017:

Saturday was the absolute BEST! Ash and I slept in and then we made our way down to the waterfront for our Shakeout Run. Tess lives a block from the water in South Boston and it was so dreamy especially after being stuck in dreary Ohio to have a gorgeous 60 degree breezy sunny beach run. We our course twined in our Boston Gear and did 3 Miles with 0.25 Mile Repeats at 6:40 – 7:00 at a 7:31 min/mi average. However the run took more like 1-1:15 because we had to stop and enjoy all the photo opportunities. It was an absolute BLAST and we actually ran out of time and was like OH CRAP we are gonna miss the WeRunSocial Meetup – oops. We then went to the Runner’s World Pop-up shop for the Meetup and to meet all the friends. Jennifer (@JBirdRuns) had come to meet me there and I was so excited to see my other bestie for the first time in over a year! I’m telling you BEST WEEKEND EVER with all my Best Friends! We had the meetup with Bart Yasso who is amazing and Procompression and then headed to Adidas RunBase for a little bit to see what that was all about and snapped a photo and chatted with Run2PRs who did incredible in the Boston Marathon despite the heat and recently racing and breaking 3 hours at Huston in January. After we made our way to the finish line and walked up to dead silence and realized we had walked to the finish at the exact time and location of the booming in 2013. It was a very surreal moment and I am glad we accidently got to experience it and it was very sombering and humbling to think of the events that went down on April 15th, 2013. After the moment of silence we took our finish line photos (It was CRAZY busy) and then headed back to get ready for the Boston Movie Premier and Clif Party. Clif was nice enough to give Ash 2 Tickets to the Premier and it was INCREDIBLE! We got all dressed up in pretty dresses and got to watch the Boston Movie in the Wang Theater which is breathtaking. The whole experience was phenomenal and you felt like a red carpet star. The movie was so perfect to watch before the marathon because we you were done watching it you wanted to go run a marathon right there and now. It shows the true beauty of Boston and the Marathon all in one.

Sunday – April 16th, 2017

It was Easter Sunday so we slept in , Tess made us breakfast of Pancakes and we headed to Church. There was already a stark temperature difference from the day before and it ended up peaking at around 85 for the day in Boston and I started to realize this heat issue might become a problem because there was no cooling off overnight from this. After Church we decided to do the Trolley Tour around Boston and Tess met up in Cambridge and we made our rounds. It was an awesome way to experience the city before the race with little to no walking. We made our final trolley stop at Boston Harbour and made our way through Quincey Market (grabbed some Regina’s Pizza), Bostonian Socity Building, and Paul Revier’s home before running out of time again for dinner. Tess was nice enough to offer to grab a bite with a bunch of anxious marathoners before Boston – she said she learned “alot” about running lol. It was perfect though – a beautiful meal in The Historic Fairmont Copley with the best running instagram friends around and a great end to a perfect pre-race weekend. 🙂 But of course at the end of the night Ash and I had to Twin in our Rapid Reboot Boots – Because Priorities! 🙂

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Race Recap to Follow….

With Love and Boston,

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Phoenix 2017 Half Marathon Race Recap

Race Recap

Another Phoenix Half Marathon in the Books! When I started my Journey to Boston 2 years ago it was at the Phoenix Half Marathon. I told myself if I could go Sub 1:50 at the Phoenix Half I would set forth on My Journey to Boston and I finished that race not only Sub 1:50 with a 1:47:23 but a PR that I hadn’t broke in 6 years! I ran the race last year in my pursuit to break 1:40 and finished in 1:38:42 and then this year I am not going to lie I wanted to break 1:30 but I ended up coming down with the flu 3 days before the race and even with ideal race conditions my body just wasn’t up to par  and was worsening the closer I approached the race. I still walked away with a PR and a SOLID effort on my part and I left everything out on the course and finished in 1:32:46 and a 6 min PR from last year and a 2.5 min PR from Tuscon in December. So I guess while I was disappointed in how the race ended up going I can’t be disappointed too much because those are BIG gains!

Pre-Race (Friday):

  • Jess (@marathoner_jess) and I flew out from Cincinatti at 12:30 on Friday and arrived in Phoenix a little before 3PM. We had a little trouble with the Lyft/Uber situation and then finally made it to the Expo just in time for the WeRunSocial meet-up at 4PM and by barely made it I mean we swung in with our luggage just in time for the group photo-op lol. After I met around with all my favorite people we toured the expo and loaded up with race day fuel and goodies. After Roxy, Jess and I headed to Walmart for throw away sweats and then to dinner. My go to is most definitely Pizza, Bread, Pasta – ALL THE CARBS. After we headed  home and laid out our race day attire and tried to get some sleep (approximately 3 hours) before the 3:30 AM wake-up call!

The Outfit: #FlatKindal

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Race Day Morning:

  • Race Day Morning came pretty early after going to bed after 11PM and a restless night of sleep of sweats from the flu and a wake up call of 3:30 AM. I woke up got dressed and made my pre-race breakfast of Blueberry English Muffins x 2, Coffee, and Powerade Zero with BCAAs. We planned to leave at 4AM which would get us to the buses at 4:30-4:40 and give us 1 hour to spare before the last bus. Everything went as planned I had my English Muffin, Coffee, and was sipping on my powerade when we hit the exit for the race. We spent close to an hour on a 1 mile stretch. To say I was STRESSED would be an understatement. I was scared we were going to miss the bus completely and thus NO RACE. Additionally once we entered the line Jess realized she left her bib at home and if you know most races no bib = no bus. But we improvised and made her gear check sticker into a bib and boom problem solved. Once we got to the bus line I was in DYER need of a bathroom. So I ran to the closest hotel and when I went to get up from the bathroom it hit me like a ton of bricks my back completely spasmed up to the point where I couldn’t stand and I was like OH SHIT! I was gonna miss the bus as Jess was calling saying we were to the front of the line so I sprinted back and sat on the curb hoping it would pass. Once we got on the bus it took almost the entire 13 Mile ride for the pain to go away but I was still anxious about it. Once we got to the start we waiting in the potty line again for Jess and I to use the restroom. I generally have to go at least twice before a race start. At this point I hate half of my 2nd English Muffin and split Jess’s HS Waffle and went to go line up with the 1:30 Pacer. I searched for Keenan (@Keenforarun) at the start but couldn’t find her as we had planned to run together  (she got stuck in the bathroom). After the national anthem I stripped by extra layers, put in my headphones, and thought ok you’re gonna have to fight for this.

The Race:

  • Usually my strategy in this race is a negative split. It is a negative/even split course with very little variability. But today i was not sure what I was gonna have so I just started off with the 1:30 pacer and tried to hold as long as I could which ended up being up until Mile 4-5 then I watched him fade into the horizon. I set my watch to show time, mileage, and pace. Usually I watch my HR but during this race I thought it would just be pointless. It obviously would have been (see below) my HR was SKY HIGH for me! I have to say I had to fight for every single mile of this race. It was hard from Mile 2 onward. Everytime I would see my pace dropping on my watch I would try to push with all I had in me just counting down the miles one my one. It was emotional. I felt like I was fighting for paces that in training had come so much easier and I could hear myself wheezing in between the songs but just tried to ignore it. I felt like throwing in the towel. But I realized I had to give all I had and hope that was enough. So I just kept fighting mile my mile marking off the aid stations and the mile markers.  I know the course well as this was my 4th time running (1 Full, 3 Halfs) and just counted down the landmarks in my head until it was going to be over. It was hard because I could remember feeling so much stronger and having so much left those final miles in the past 2 years and this year I just was fighting tooth and nail with everything I had the last half of the race or to be honest since probably Mile 2-3. The final mile is downhill and then flat with a couple turns into the finisher chute. When I hit the final turn for the 0.1 I checked my watch and saw 1:32:00 and was like ok pull your crap together and do everything you can to get under 1:33 and BOMB 1:32:46. Keenan came in shortly after in a time of 1:32:43 she automatically said we would have ran the whole thing together if it wasn’t for the portapotty situation but to be honest she ran a much smarter, better race than I did. But I was so proud of her finally get a PR she deserved on an ideal race day and she looked so strong and happy! Jess (my client and friend) also nailed a HUGE PR and pbroke the 1:40 barrier in 1:39 – heck yes!

Race Day Stats:

Post Race Feelings:

  • I think this why I have been avoiding this recap. I don’t want to sound whiney but I also just want to be honest. You think with a 6 min course PR in a year and a 2.5 min Half PR in 2 months I would have been over the moon but instead that wasn’t exactly my feelings. I crossed the finish line sat on the curb and silently let a few tears of disappointment role down my cheek while I texted Ashley saying sorry I sucked. I wanted a Sub 1:32 and really I wanted close to a 1:30 based off my training and tapering I knew I had it in me or at least a very good shot at it. I felt like I had fallen short of my goal and even though it was a PR it was probably one of the worst races I have ever had emotionally and physically. I have had crappy races but not on this course. This is my course where I feel strong and just plain happy and on race day I had to fight tooth and nail for every mile. I was fighting for paces that I held in training with much less effort and  way lower heart rate. Obviously I was sick and that plays a role and probably shouldn’t have been racing period if I was being honest but I felt like my will and my watch were just not matching the whole course. I just felt defeated and quite honestly still do. It sounds whiney especially with the outcome and it most definitely was not a bad race but I just didn’t feel strong or in control and felt like my goals at Boston were shattered on the Phoenix Half Marathon course. I want BIG things at Boston. I want to be able to keep up with Ashley and run the whole marathon hand and hand stride for stride and make it the experience of a lifetime but in that moment crossing that Phoenix Half Finish line I felt like I had lost all hope of that happening. Obviously Ash had other things to say to me that were definitely not along the lines of all those thoughts – her words were more “you’re amazing” and “that race should give you all the confidence”. But still sitting here 2 weeks later I can’t say that it did and I am still left empty from a race despite a great PR. Dont get me wrong I am super thrilled with what I accomplished I willed by body to do something it couldn’t before in a condition it was unfit to do so. But in the aftermath I also trashed my body leaving me with nothing left in the tank after the race and recovery that seemed to drag forever. Anyways those my real and honest thoughts – no bs no fluff. I know its probably not inspiring and quite frankly a little whiney but when I look back years from now reading this recap I want to know the raw honesty I felt in that moment and see how far I have come. There are always more races and each race we do from a 5K to Marathon to an Ironman molds you into a better athlete and different person. The Phoenix Half Marathon 2017 has definetly changed me. It taught me I am capable of pushing my body mentally and physically even when I believe I have nothing left to give but it also taught me disappointment and the ability to pick myself off and move on when races don’t exactly go the way I had wanted.

Official Race Photos

 

With Love and Racing

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Cincinatti Cyclones Frozen 10K Recap – February 5th, 2017

Race Recap

First Race of 2017 was a Success! When Ash found this race I thought it was the perfect race as it was the same weekend as I ran a 10K last year so I culd accurately compare how far I had come and additionally I wanted to see how my legs would handle speed at the end of a high mileage week. Overall it was a success!

Pre-Race Details:

After getting home from work at 10:30 PM and prepping for the next day I got a late start heading to bed and we had to wake up early as the race involves road closures and we had to pick up our packet. So my alarm went off at 5:45 AM (EEK) to pick up Ash at 6:15 AM to head to Cincinatti as it is about 1 hour and 15 minute drive. We got there right around 7:30 and headed to packet pick-up and when we got out of the car I was in shock by the weather. It stated the day before it was supposed to be between 25-32 degrees during the race however when we arrived it was 11 and I was like Oh Crap I did not dress properly. IT WAS COLD and I was wearing the thinest leggings I owned (Lululemon Align Pant) and a Swiftly long sleeve. Now I prefer to not be hot when I race so I usually will under dress but it was cold and I was concerned. So we got out packets and then went straight back to the car and the heater. My client/friend @Marathoner_Jess met us at our car and raced the 10K as well. We contemplated our lives and outfits and then pinned on our bibs and headed back to the bathrooms and then to warm-up. We warmed up for about 10 minutes – 1 Mile easy jog with strides and stretches and then headed to the start line. I was so cold I couldn’t feel my hands and they were hurting from how cold they were despite gloves and mittens but there was no turning back now. We headed to the porta potties one last time and lined up at 8:57 AM at a warm 14F and then promptly the gun went off at 9AM.

The Race:

The 5K/10K start all at the same time so Ash and I got to start together and broke away from the pack early and were surrounded by all the men. The 5K and 10K Stay together for the first 3 Miles and then split. During the first mile you we all went under a tunnel and my Garmin lost satellite and all accuracy of pace and there were no mile markers so I had no clue where I was at. My watch beeped for “Mile 1” and said 7:40 and while I couldn’t see Ash anymore I wasn’t far behind her in the beginning and I couldn’t imagine she was running a 7:40 (she is fast lol) so I just kept pushing and trying my best despite my watch. Up until the 5K/10K split I was really doubting my abilities as there were no mile markers and I had no clue where I was at pace wise since my watch wasn’t reading correctly. Luckily by Mile 3 they had mile markers for the 10K runners and I checked my watch and saw I was Sub 21 so I thought well that’s a good sign. The 10K was sort of hilly especially the 2nd half with the out and back nothing drastic but some rollers (Garmin said 125 ft Gain). I tried to maintain an even effort throughout the race and not get to comfortable but embrace the uncomformtable. I felt strong the last 3 Miles and my splits were dropping on my watch so I knew I was holding an even effort. As we crested the 6 Mile Mark I looked at my watch and saw I was Sub42 which I thought was a good sign however the last 0.2 was all uphill (whomp) and poorly marked and also packed with the walkers from the 5K so I had to push through a wall of people the final 0.2 Miles because they wouldn’t move over (insert eyeroll lol). As I rounded the corner to the finisher chute I saw Sub43 was out of the question but was super proud because it was a huge PR and Ash was waiting at the finish line!!! Official Time was 43:32 and I was 3rd Female Overall and First in my AG. I consider myself winner of First Overall “Normal “Runner because 1st Overall ran a 35 minute 10K (5:38 min/mi) and 2nd Overall ran a 38 Min 10K (6:08 min/mi)! SO FAST!!! Ash of course told me I nailed it as her goal for me was Sub44 and totally crushed that! When I asked Ash how she did she told me she won the overall in 19:10 which was a CRAZY PR from her 5K PR last year of 20:59 – SO FREAKING FAST!!! I could never keep up with her lol! Somehow she thinks I am just as fast as her – I think she is cray cray lol!

Post-Race Thoughts:

I am super impressed with how this race went for me. I was on my highest mileage week at 58 Miles and additionally had hit some killer speedwork that week PRing my 400, 800 and Fastest Mile so I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic. My PR a year ago this time was 46:16 on a pancake flat course with 30ft of gain so I’d hoped I would beat that. I had raced 2 10K s since – one 3 Weeks before Ironman in 46:16 and then I raced another one 1 Month post Ironman in 45:50 which was my current PR. My goal for this race was to break 45:50 in the 10K but Ash’s goal for me was Sub44. I am really bad at short distance races compartively to the marathon in terms of PRs . I think my body is more suited for that aerobic running haha. I have exercise induced asthma and humidity and cold makes it exacerbate and it gets crazy bad when I push threshold paces so I usually don’t feel comfortable in those zones and my short distances PRs show. So while a 43:32 10K is not breaking any records for me IT IS FREAKING AWESOME! Additionally my HR average during the race was 149 bpm which I was actually pretty shocked about because I did feel like I was pushing but at the same time I did feel controlled in the pace. The fact that my HR was on the lower end for a shorter distance race and at that pace on high mileage gives me faith that hopefully there are some half and full marathon PRs in the future.

Race Day Photos:

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With Love and Racing,

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Race Recap: Tucson Half Marathon: December 10th, 2016

Race Recap

Hey Guys! I figured I would touch base on the Tucson Half Marathon and my recent PR. This trip had been in the thoughts for quite some time probably even before Ironman. Ash (@ahappypace) had this on her radar for a fast half or marathon after Ironman and a bank for a BQ – while I played along I was always questionable. To be honest I know the marathon was never in my cards I just cannot come back that fast and even questioned my ability to run a hard half after the Ironman. My body is not one of those that bounces back readily, let alone an Ironman. I would say it generally takes my body approximately 3 months after a solo marathon to get back to Half PR shape and a good 5-6 months for a Marathon PR so this being my first ironman recovery I really had no clue what to expect in terms of recovery time.

My recovery from Ironman has seemed to drag. Everyone talks about the post Ironman fatigue that lingers for months and man it had affected me 100%. I would say though it hads gradually improved but at a slow and steady rate. The bonk started at 4 miles after Ironman then progressed to 6 then 8 and now I am at 10. At 10 mile my heart rate goes BOOM and skyrockets. Nothing changes pace wise or effort wise but its like a wall and my body is just like no more. So I hope that progression will continue to improve as we head into this Boston training cycle. That is just a little background but I figured I would share as it definitely played a role in this half marathon as you will see. So here is the Recap.

Pre-Race

Ash and I flew out of Cincinatti and into Phoenix on Friday morning. It was a quick trip but we were happy to see the sunshine and we got the round-trip flight for $85 so you really can’t beat that. We left Cincinatti at 7AM and arrived in Phoenix at 9:30 AM – yay time change. We hit up the USO at the Phoenix Airport loaded up on Diet cokes, bars, and snacks and then headed to the Lulu outlet because priorities. I loaded up but had to stay within limits because we traveled with only our Ironman backpacks since we flew Frontier. After we finished shopping we headed over to my favorite breakfast spot in Phoenix – Butterfields (my standing post-race ritual). We both indulged in breakfast omelets and then headed to Tucson. We arrived in Tuscon right around 5PM grabbed out packets and took our pre-race photos and jetted out. The expo was very small and to the point. They had a few booths for quick grabs like gels, gloves, hats, and such but nothing huge or spectatular as it is a small race. One we left we headed to Walmart to purchase some cold gear waiting essentials, played in some fun onsies, and picked up some bagels and gatorade for pre-race fuel. Of course after this we were hungry AGAIN because metabolism and carbs so we decided MOD pizza for a quick in and out meal before heading the hotel and it hit the spot! We ended up staying at a cute little hotel that we scored for $55/night called the Red Lion Inn and Suites which was perfect as it was only 5 minutes from the bus parking in the morning. Once we settled into the hotel we layed out all our race day essentials took our #FlatKindal and #FlatAsh photos and headed to bed after watching a little reality TV.

Race Day Outfits:

I had bought Ash  Procompression socks for a gift so we knew we wanted to rock the twin look for the half marathon. As well I have been giving Newtons a try lately and she is an avid ambassador so we figured we would twin out!

Shirt: Lululemon Sculpt Tank (Black) // Shorts: Lululemon Speedshorts // Socks: Procompression Marathon Neon Yellow Swirl // Shoes: Newton Fate II // Headband: FitandFaithful

Race Morning

Race morning came pretty quickly with a 4:25 AM wake-up call. Bus loading was between 4:40 and 5:20. We woke up got dressed prepped our bags, throw away gear, and breakfasts and headed out the door. I made a quick stop at McDonalds for some pre-race coffee and while in line I realized opps we are running late. We made it to the bus with just about 5 minutes to spare but we weren’t the last ones in line so we were all good. We loaded the bus and it took about 30 minutes to get to the start. Once we arrived the bus driver nicely said to a surprise ok you can go use the porta potties and then return to the bus to stay warm – HALLELUJAH – this was the ultimate race perk because no one likes to be freezing their butt off before a race. So we went in the porta potty line #1 then returned back to the bus warmed up and ate our pre-race breakfasts then returned to the porta potty line #2 and well …. we cut it a little short. But I mean this isn’t the first time this has happened to me or Ash – thank goodness for chip timing ;)!

Race Goals:

Ash is recovering from a knee injury from a mommy accident post-Ironman where she tripped after little Jake accidentally fell from the bed and well I am still nursing my post-Ironman journey. So we had some goals but also knew we could only manage the best we could for the day. My A+++ Goal would be a 1:30:00, A Goal: Sub 1:32 (NYC Qualifying Time) – B Goal 1:35:xx – C Goal Sub 1:38:42 (My PR)

The Race

The Race is advertised for a downhill half and it is downhill but it also has a lot of false flats or gradual climbs at a low grade mixed in there. Additionally the last 3 miles are a mix of abrupt climbs but overall a great PR and Half Marathon Course. Our goal was to hold around 7 min/mi for as long as possible – so that is what we aimed for. Ash’s Garmin was accidentally left on all night and was dead by race day so I was given the task of pacing – to be honest I was like oh goodness because I wasn’t sure I could hit these paces to begin with. We held close to 7 for the first 7 Miles then started to fade slightly from 8-11 and miles 12, 13 were rough for me. But overall I laid it all out there. As I mentioned earlier my body has been bonking at walls in mileage and for me it was around 10 Miles that it really hit hard. My Garmin was in the repair shop so I wore my TomTom here is the the data.

Race Mile Splits and Stats:

Offical Race Photos

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Post Race Fun:

After the race Ash and I did what any normal person would do and went hiking lol. We figured this was the last time we were going to see shorts for a while so why not spend it outside. I took Ash to the iconic Camelback mountain and got to see the spectacular views of all of Phoenix. I can’t ever complain about that hike being worth it. After we headed snuck into a local marriot hot tubed for a bit ( are we grown ups? – lol). Then we headed to Scottsdale Quarter for some post race dinner. We decided on ZinBurger one of the best local places in Arizona. Ash got a burger and I got the Ahi Salad and we split the Zucchini Fries (they are seriously THE BEST). Then we headed to my friend Nicki’s for a sleep over and an early flight back to dreary Ohio land and when we arrived well it was cold, dark, and rainy (what a shock lol).

Post Race Thoughts/Feels:

Overall I am 100% thrilled with how the race went. Up until Mile 10 I was holding a steady 7:05 min/mi average and I wasn’t really working too hard and then well 10-13 it kinda fell apart but I held a Sub-8 min/mi and was able to pull back sub 7 for the final kick so overall I cannot complain its was a 3.5 minutes PR from February just 2 months after Ironman. However I will admit I really wanted a Sub 1:35 or really a Sub 1:32 but man did my body revolt at me at Mile 10 it was a like I hit a WALL. While it sucked I wasn’t 100% not expecting it -this has been happening to me in my previous races at earlier miles since Ironman it is like my body just can’t handle pushing harder than a certain amount of mileage. I also cannot really complain because I didn’t expect to “race” at all until February at Phoenix. I had the WDW half on the radar for January but expected to take it easy until then and then use that as a gauge for how my body held up after Ironman. As usual I can thank Ash for the push in the positive direction to push my body and see what I am capable of and as usual it was capable of much more than I imagined. Cannot wait to see what Boston Holds – TMinus 16 Weeks from Monday!! EEEK!

With Love and Racing,

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)

Turkey Trot 10 Miler – November 24th, 2016

Race Recap

 

Hey Guys! I wasn’t going to write a race recap because well its just a Turkey Trot but I felt now that maybe I should share a little on this race.

Background:

  • I started running this Turkey Trot in 2011 and have ran it almost every year since (except 2 of the years when we were in Arizona). The course is an out and back and the terrain is slightly winding with rolling hills – nothing major but definitely not flat. It is through the Florida countryside in a very small town and I have always enjoyed it and looked forward to it on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Turkey Trots hold a special memory as my old Half PR was ran on Thanksgiving at the Outback Classic in Jacksonville in 2010 in 1:47:30. I thought that PR would stand the test of time for my life 2 years ago. 2 years ago I had little faith in myself or my running – I remember telling my dad looking at the Thanksgiving PR on the computer that those were the good ole days and they were long gone. Little did I know I just needed to have a little faith.

Previous 10 Mile Turkey Trot Times

  • 2011: 1:40:13 (10:01 min/mi)
  • 2012: 1:24:59 (8:30 min/mi)
  • 2013: None (working in Arizona)
  • 2014: 1:45:49 (10:35 min/mi)
  • 2015: 1:20:00 (10 Miler in Arizona)
  • 2016: 1:13:57 (7:21 min/mi)

Goals for this Race: 

  • As you can see from the progression my worst time was 2 years ago at 1:45:49 (10:35 min/mi) at this time I was dealing with a pretty severe ITB which ended up sidelining me for 2 months. But even up this point my progress in running was significantly stalling and I had no faith in myself or running. After the injury I came back to running and progressively have gotten faster – this is also when I started my Instagram to document my journey (who knew it would grow so much lol). Anyways going into this race I had something to prove to myself – I called it my redemption race! My goal was to go Sub 75 Minutes – I knew it was possible but also was unsure as my body still feels the fatigue of Ironman (I don’t bounce back from races easily). I wanted to prove to myself how far I had come and I was not disappointed in the result.

Race Day Outfit:

Race Course Elevation Profile: 


Race Day Splits/Stats:

  • Heart Rate: Average 141 // Max 169
  • 5K PR: 21:56 (7:04 min/mi)
  • 10K PR: 44:52 (7:14 min/mi)


Final Results:


Race Day Bling:

Final Thoughts:

  • I am super proud and excited about my PR. I did what I set out to do and crushed my goal! I am so amazed at how far I have come in 2 years and literally could have never imagined that girl is me  – but it is and that is Amazing. I am not going to lie I had a little bit of remorse thinking I should have been faster as I compare my paces with others who I have similar Marathon PRs too and they are running Sub-7 or close to but I realize this is my journey and mine alone. So for now I am proud of where I am and how much I have grown in 2 years and the past year and cannot wait to see what this next racing season has in store! #BostonBound!

With Love and Races

❤ Kindal (RunningWithStrength)