Sunday was such a massive day for both the BFF and my athletes that I am just now getting my report on all the excitement finished here! Besides almost three hours of running and a couple miles of swimming in the ocean, Sunday was a six-athlete racing day for me as a coach—in all different time zones, no less. And the BFF was racing Ironman Coeur d’Alene. So basically the virtual spectating situation was out of hand, and in the afternoon, my phone was ringing off the hook with excited athletes calling in after their finishes. The chaos was more than welcome!
Up in Canada, Bre did her second half ironman (lifetime and this month, of course, since we wouldn’t have it any other way) and managed to do it almost an hour faster than her first one, while taking third in her age group! This from a girl who had essentially been so injury-ridden that she hadn’t been able to run for a year and a half before we started working together a few months ago. No wonder she’s smiling so huge. Love it.
I actually had three athletes racing half ironmans in Canada on Sunday; the other two tackled the new 70.3 course at Mt. Tremblant (and gave the experience rave reviews—think I am adding this ironman to my “to-do” list now!). Nancy put a long winter of training to good use and bettered her personal bests in all three disciplines, while Jennifer once again won the cutest girl on the podium award. Oh yeah, and the 25-29 age group with a PR for the distance on a tough course in the heat. Of course this meant that she earned herself a ticket to Vegas for World Champs—all of this just a month after crushing Ironman Texas. Oh yeah, and in that month, she also managed to squeeze in a wedding . . . this trip was her honeymoon!
And speaking of Texas, Kona Dawn tackled her nemesis on Sunday: the Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3. When we started working together last year, she swore she’d never do this race again, as she felt permanently scarred from her previous experiences in the heat, wind, and hills there. I am sure you won’t guess what Coach ordered as part of this year’s Kona prep . . . Yep. And sure enough, being the tough chick that she is, Kona Dawn conquered her demons and finished 20 minutes faster than her previous best on this course! So proud.
My Coeur d’Alene ironpeople had me on the edge of my seat all day—especially because ironmanlive wasn’t giving any part-way bike splits for the age groupers. Grr. Thankfully, I had spies on course texting me updates on my girls, Laura and Alyssa. I will let Alyssa tell the story of her race. You can check out her race report here. But what I will say is that in a year she has gone from a Kona-hopeful to a “regular Kona qualifier.” Yep, she was the only woman to pass on her Hawaii slot after this race—because she already had one. On top of that, her time of 10:50 was only 5 minutes slower than her PR at Ironman Arizona in November, on a much slower course and day. In other words, this was yet another big step forward on our journey.
One of the biggest highlights of my Sunday was an ecstatic call at 10:20PM from Laura, not long after she had crossed the finish line—her first-ever ironman finish line. This has got to be one of the most rewarding parts of my journey as a coach, especially with newbies like Laura, as it’s been incredible to watch the gains she has made in the past year. And I know this is just the beginning….
And last but not least, I cannot express how much this image here inspires me. This is my incredible BFF coming down the chute for her third ironman win this year—oh yeah, and in tenth overall. That’s Chrissie Wellington territory, people! What is perhaps even more remarkable is that on this very day last year, I was in the ER with Mere, who was so sick that she had been unable to finish this race. Talk about a comeback. Perseverance.
Whewwww. That was an epic Sunday!!