The swim began about 10 minutes or so after the professionals. The start for the age groupers was around 7 AM. I started with the one hour and 10 minute group and finished one hour and 17 minutes. This was a good time for me and my fastest Ironman swim. The swim started at dawn, I could barely see the buoys because of the darkness. This was an overcast day which really kept the temperatures low and made for a fast race.
My bike transition was around seven minutes plus, pretty fast for me. I did all my changing out into my cycling gear outside on the grass. I have never found the tents to be conducive due to the darkness. Everybody sitting on chair, it just has a depressing atmosphere for me.
My ride went smoothly. I did not have any mechanical problems, and enjoyed the out and back in both cases. The officials were all over those competitors who were drafting. I've never seen so many people waiting at the penalty chance to complete their five-minute penalty phase. I understand by others that I was photographed a few times, I can't believe that he could have been drafting ha ha!
There are three loops for Ironman Arizona.. They are each about 37 miles. The air temperature was 72° and we had a 10 to 15 mph headwind going out and making a gentle climb. There was a wind at our back on the way down which made for incredibly fast times on the return of the three of the three loops the second was the most difficult for me primarily due to the mental aspect of heading out into that headwind. For reasons I can explain the third loop was much easier.
My transition from bike to run was less than five minutes. I felt like my transition was smooth. I had a good plan and definitely had motivation to not walk. Mentally it helped me to give myself permission to walk through the aid stations and hydrate myself. I mostly stuck with Gatorade and water. What I found my time slowing I transitioned over to Redbull. This proved to be a mistake since it acted as a diuretic. So my Redbull days are over.
My marathon was a little over five hours which makes me shutter a bit. I never thought I'd run that slow ever. However it is a long race after a very long bike ride. Early on I had delusions of running a four hour marathon. This is still a go for the future and I need some improvement in speed, so speed work is high in my agenda for 2017, next season and I hope to run 3×70.3 at least in one full Ironman race with the date still to be determined.I echo the sentiments of Trev Dakan, I agree that I am quite lucky at my age to continue to race and do something I love so much. Go RTB!
In March of 2007, I sat down with Patty to discuss RTB. At the time, I had been swimming with RTB for almost a year but had never done a triathlon. I had spent that year stalking the RTB website and finally joined the team that spring. I was a mom of a 7 and 4 year old, looking for something to do in my few hours of “free” time. And I had mentioned to Patty that I would love to volunteer to help her with RTB if she needed. Patty and I had only met a year before when I signed up for swim, so we were just getting to know each other back then.
We sat down in her kitchen in March. She handed me a document that was called “Raise the Bar in a Nutshell”. The four main aspects of RTB were training, team, projects and office. I remember her carefully explaining each of those parts and then asking me what I thought I would be good at. We came up with a small list and she hired me to work 12 hours a month. (Yes, a month).
I remember my first job was to order car stickers for the RTB car, the white Escape the Swedbergs still drive around. I pretty much failed at that job. I don’t remember exactly why but those stickers never ended up on the car.
My notes of that first year include sweatshirts orders, bike rental program, swim workout pricing (it has only gone up $1 for team members per workout in 10 years), newsletters, bios (remember those old RTB members?), Lake Meridian training, end of the year party with an auction, website changes, spin classes, race calendars, race results, the beginning notes of XTERRA Black Diamond and the Raise the Hope program… I see names of people that were part of my welcome to RTB: Lisa Mason, Stephanie Monroe, Mike Loso, Mary (Hanna) Richards, Toby Mollet, Robin Payment, Angela Meeks and all of the RTH ladies, Ann Sloan, Becki Neel, Brian and Elisa Hope.
A lot has changed in these almost 10 years and a lot has not. Patty and I sat down last week with a document that included the RTB 2016 Goal and Team Objectives. I do not have the team goal from 2007 but I imagine it is pretty close to the 2016 goal of “Create opportunities for fun and personal achievement through multisport”. I know that is why I wanted to join in 2007. I wanted to be part of this group that was having so much fun being active.
So what does 2017 look like from a Team Manager’s point of view? It looks busy. The team continues to grow and become stronger. I love this team as much as I did when I joined. I have so much pride for the people that are part of it and I am forever thankful for the friendships and community that surrounds me and my family. I will keep checking in with our members, try to keep track of their race schedules, making sure they know when they need to renew their membership and keeping them informed.
RTB Events will move into 2017 with 5 events (if you are counting, that is the same as 2016 but you might be surprised by #2). I will continue to be in charge of Athlete Services. Think of me every time you use a honey bucket, yep, I ordered those along with setting up registration and ordering shirts, medals, pint glasses, garbage cans (all glamorous jobs come to me- garbage/honey buckets) and more. As an athlete, I don’t think I really put much thought into how an event comes together but I can tell you now; it is an exhausting amount of work. And every finish smile (grimace), I see on race day, makes it worth it.
RTB will keep on training triathletes. Some of the programming includes beginner clinics, swim workouts, swim videos, training camps, short course camp, a RTB retreat, Lake Meridian Training, new coaching options, increasing workouts on the calendar… Will all of this happen? We will see. But if something on this list piques your interest, reach out to me so I know there is interest.
Being a Team Manager is about details. I found out, I really like details. I am forever thankful to Patty for meeting with me that day in March. It set me on a path; I did not foresee, but in some ways am not shocked by. So bring on 2017, my 10th year of RTB…
How far will determination get you? As far as you decided it will go.
I know a guy whose name I will remain in confidence (a real person) who must have thought a full distance Ironman event must have been a pretty good idea.
So, he takes 2 weeks off work, drags his family to the other side of the continent to volunteer at an event. But, he didn’t just volunteer. He volunteered for the swim, bike, run portion as well as being a catcher at the finish line.
A year and a half later, he makes a confession to his family that he has signed up for a full distance Ironman event that is occurring in 6 months. Soon after that I suspect he heard some negative bashing if not laughter at his expense.
I thought to myself “he is 60. He has had almost 20 years off from doing athletic stuff. Has anartificial knee. No support group. Hmmmm.
I heard from his beloved supporting wife who I suspect did not tell him what she was thinking, but I heard “he has worked so hard. I fear for what will happen when he does not make the swim cutoff”
Silence through the training cycle.
Off they go to IM North Carolina.
We had a talk the night before the race and all I heard was optimism and positive confidence it was going to get done, but interlace with questions of concern about the mechanics of how the event will work. There was even disappointment the ride got shortened to 56 miles. (I would have viewed that as a blessing). He wanted to do the full 112 before the marathon.
After the race started I got a few texts about “I was in tears. I think I just sent him into harms way!”
Swim time 1:07. Ride about 3:20. Run less than 6 hours. Cross the line with a huge smile. He finished 24th of 150 finishers. 2 weeks later, sign up for another one.
So, It begs the question what is the difference between him with his impairments and he gets it done in style and those that don’t toe the line because “my leg hurts” After all, everybody knows you should not run with a prosthetic knee. If anybody had a reason not to do something, he did.
Attitude and determination based on choice.
A few random thoughts that I think may apply.
People are about as happy as they choose to be.
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
If he can do it, I can do it.
It ain’t bragging if you can prove it.
Thoughts plus action result in a feeling, and we attract our feelings to our life.
Don’t let anybody wreck your good time, especially you
You can do it!
Your attitude equals your altitude.
The race does not always go to the fastest, but to those who think they can
It’s your opinion that counts most
Certainly not everybody chooses to do a full distance event like that. But, we all have our challenges in life that may consume us on the same scale. One person’s challenge is not another's. Every body is different. However, there is a lot to be learned from and applied to our life based on the experience of others.
Because John Bahlenhorst said I should! If you know John his infectious smile and positive energy will lure you in, so I asked tell me more!
This conversation took place in 2009, right after I had come back from running in the NYC Marathon. I had been exclusively a recreation runner since the jogging craze began in the 70’s and was feeling that the miles where starting to show its wear and tear on my body. So, John’s suggestion was well timed.
John told me about RTB, said I should join, and begin right away by signing up for the swimming sessions. So the journey began….
When and how did triathlons or multisport become a part of your life?
My first race was the Lake Sammamish Triathlon in 2010. I was nervous about the swim and started to question why I was doing this? The horn blew, no time to second guess, so off I go and I remember that I had a terrible time sighting the buoys and probably swam twice as far as I needed to! Again I ask myself, why tri?
Well, I survived my first race, I found that I loved the bike, especially when I would come up behind and pass a fellow age grouper, and the run was short! The swim however would definitely benefit from more lessons!. All said, I felt this would be a great sport to support my ongoing fitness goals for the long haul. I was hooked!
What is the most challenging thing for you to do in triathlon? How do you manage it?
The swim. In 2012 in the Chelanman Olympic race, early in the swim I began having problems with my breathing. Long story short, it was S.I.P.E. (Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema). Symptoms include marked respiratory distress, wet-sounding popping or crackling in the lungs when breathing, a “junky” rattling cough, and the hallmark; coughing up pink, frothy blood-tinged spit. (yes, a little alarming!)
Thanks to Jen Edwards for telling me about a study being conducted at Duke University on Immersion Pulmonary Edema (also know as SIPE), I contacted Dr. Moon who was leading the research and told him my story. Although the medical community has not found what specifically contributes to causing SIPE, the research is finding that for some individuals choosing a wet suit that is less restrictive in the chest, jogging prior to the start of the swim to get the blood circulating, warming up in the water to acclimate you body temperature and circulation, and to stay calm may help control the condition from occurring.
After having SIPE in 3 races; 2012 & 2013 Chelanman, and 2014 Lake Stevens Half Iron, and now following Dr. Moons suggestions, it seems that I have this condition under control. Three wetsuits later, I finally have a one that is just right in flexibility, and I am religious on my prerace warm up. But at every race, once I’m out of the water running to T1, I breathe a sigh of relief and tell myself that “now’ I can race!
What was the best advice you were ever given?
1) Join RTB!
2) When it comes to training, it shouldn’t be all about how many miles you logged, but rather that the training is specific and quality effort” For me, especially before I retired, having enough time to train was always a challenge. This advice gave me permission to not judge myself by what I wasn’t able to do compared to other teammates, but instead to focus on what “I” could commit to and make the time count!
3) (And to add to #2 above) to take Mike Swienty’s spin classes! Mikes threshold and 90 minute hill climb classes significantly improved my performance on the bike and the run. Thank goodness Mike is back!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From my teammates!
I would like to do a shout out of thanks to my Monday night swim mates (you all know who you are) and my Saturday cycle buddies Cindy, Barb and Michelle! Thank you all for your support, encouragement, laughs and friendship! I have been and continue to be inspired by everyone I’ve met on RTB.
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.