Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation


Get Psyched Songs

Between all the pacing I’ll be doing as I pack this weekend and all the lonely hours on the road as I drive up to Lake Placid (about 10 hours) on Wednesday, I’ll need some good tunes to keep me going! So, let’s get this song list started! Based on some great mixes from friends for when I trained for the AIDSRide and Kilimanjaro, here’s the starting list for the IMix.


  • Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
  • Start Me Up (Rolling Stones)
  • St. Elmo’s Fire
  • Hella Good (Madona)
  • Rudy Can’t Fail
  • Knock U Out (LL Cool J)
  • Sweet Child o’Mine
  • Get Right (Jlo)
  • Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
  • Gotta Understand (Jurassic 5)
  • Ladyfingers (Luscious Jackson)

What would you add? C’mon, think back to all those bus rides to games, late nights after kickball, or road trips to the beach? My friend just recommended some great mash-ups!

What are your all time favorite psych-up songs?



A Few of My Favorite Things

When I first started this blog, I had this idea to highlight a product of the week as I discovered more and more items that helped me get through all the training. But alas, training got in the way! So, here are a few of my favorite things (to be hummed to a tune you should know!).

Gu Gels on bike rides and Shot Bloks on long runs
Tight Orca tri tops and neutral light sneakers
Post run recovery with Vanilla Endurox
These are a few of my favorite things

Community bike shops and the DC Tri’s Forum
Run shorts and tri shorts with pockets for Gu!
Vaseline that covers blisters on feet
These are a few of my favorite things

When my stomach growls
When my body aches
When I’m feeling drained
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad!

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Confidence and Terror

Besides tapering, eating well, packing, and sleeping this week, I’m spending a fair amount of mental energy on vacillating between fear and excitement over IMLP. As Jim told me, “I waffle between holy **it I have to do an IM race in a week and OMG I’m going to be an IM in a week. Sometimes, I can’t figure out what the difference is between the excitement and the anxiety!”

I guess this feeling is pretty common! I received an email from the Ironman Community Fund that called out this strange bi-polar feeling and how to cope with it:

Congratulations on making it this far! Many times the most challenging aspect of Ironman racing is merely making it through the training and arriving on the starting line in one piece. If you’ve made it this far, the battle is more than half over. As we watch athletes go through the usual waves of confidence and terror that precede an Ironman, we want to remind you of a few things which may or may not help you.

I am Terrified of:

  • The Swim Start (see above – that’s 2,000 people all at once!)
  • Flat tires on the bike ride
  • Stomach problems on the run

I feel Confident knowing:

  • Never in my life have I been this fit
  • I have a nutrition plan
  • Team RA3 will be there with me
  • My family and closest friends will be there cheering (in matching t-shirts, no less)
  • I’ll have support from many, many folks from DC to California to Singapore and Japan

Have you ever had that nervous excitement? How do you deal?


What Will I Do With My Free Time?

Between tapering this week and thoughts of life post-Ironman, I can’t help but think about what I will do on July 21st and every day after that.  Jim and I spent a fair amount of our Sunday morning run from the Capitol to Georgetown and across the river wondering just that.  Will we keep training?  Will we do another Ironman?  Or will Jim return to his focus on running, me on swimming, and so on?

Thankfully, those long rides and runs provide plenty of time to dream and plan away!  So, here are a couple of my post IMLP plans:

  • New Jersey State Triathlon July 27th – Don’t worry, I’m just racing the swim portion of an Olympic Relay!  I’ll spend the rest of my time there volunteering and cheering on the 200+ DC Tri Club participants!
  • Recruit volunteers and assist with the volunteer coordination for Nation’s Triathlon in DC, September 14th.  You should volunteer!
  • August/September backpacking trip in Boulder!
  • September cycling trip on Martha’s Vineyard!
  • Throw some dinner parties
  • Visit Ann Arbor

I’m considering doing one more race too.  Maybe an olympic or sprint distance? Any suggestions for one in late August or September?


Great Advice

Do you ever get advice that is just absolutely perfect? I recently reconnected with my high school swim coach and aquatics director of the Albany Academy pool, Bonnie Morse-Gillham, who also happens to be a triathlete! Given Bonnie’s experience (Nationals, World Team, and Hawaii Ironman!), I figured she would have some good advice – and she did!

Here’s what Bonnie recommended for my first Ironman:

“My advice to first timers is: ALWAYS KEEP SOMETHING IN RESERVE…..ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF THE RACE…….AND COME ACROSS THE LINE WITH A SMILE!! This advice has worked for everyone. It’s the athletes who go out like a bat outta hell that end up on the DNF (Did Not Finish) list…so don’t be one of those. Really get into it, talk to spectators, other athletes, officials, etc. High five people along the way…it is an awesome accomplishment, something you will savor for the rest of your life.”

I’m definitely going to keep Bonnie’s advice in mind on race day. I think my “team” (Mom, Dad, Seth, Sharon, Evie, Sherry, Mona, Andrew, Beth and Darcie) will be a great help too – especially with the t-shirts they will all be sporting on race day!


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Finally Full

I wake up hungry. I have no need for an alarm clock – my stomach gurgles and aches without fail between 5:30 and 6:00 am. The hunger pains are so strong, I feel like my stomach must be ready to eat my other muscles and organs. I think about food constantly – what will best keep me going on an 80 mile ride or even through a long meeting at the office after an hour and a half morning swim? I found myself ducking out of a meeting at work this week to “use the restroom,” which actually meant stopping by the kitchen to scarf down half a turkey sandwich!

Eating every two to three hours is a necessity for me. While nutrition experts are debating about the need for carb-loading, there’s no doubt I need lots of food, all the time! So, I’m pleased to report that the 4th of July was the best training day yet – and not because of the 50 mile Seneca training ride with the tri-club! I ate enough for the first time this week to sleep more than 5 hours! Thanks to Stephen for hosting a rooftop bbq where I filled up on 2 cheeseburgers, potato salad, cucumber salad, a hot dog, and lamb skewers! Oh, and making and bringing these two desserts – a nectarine-rasberry crisp and celebration cake – definitely helped! I didn’t even have to have my usual bowl of grape nuts or cheese stick before bed!

Given the remainder of my workout schedule for this weekend, I doubt my stomach will remain satisfied. What is your favorite late night snack to curb hunger and get to sleep?