Two weeks ago, when I finally achieved my two and a half year goal of breaking six hours in a half iron distance triathlon I was challenged to fully receive congratulations messages from others. I was so internally proud of how I handled the run and cutting it close, but when people said something along the lines of, “All your hard work paid off!” I felt like a fraud.

If you know or follow me, you know that I don’t follow a training plan. I’ve tried coaching and I didn’t like it. I tried loosely following a team plan last year and opted out of many workouts. I was a different person last year, but still, I march to the beat of my own drum.

So when someone tells me that all my hard work is paying off, it’s hard to receive. I look around me at all the other athletes I know who will run up and down their driveway to get that last tenth of a mile so their Training Peaks box is colored green. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of doing what training makes the most sense to me on that day.

While I don’t follow a plan, it doesn’t mean that I don’t do work. Oh, I do. I pencil in long run and bike miles that lead up to race day, I jot down days I intend to do hill repeats and show up for tri team workouts. I am aware of what I need to do to finish.

I saw a teammate’s post about his Ironman Wisconsin goals and I have been thinking about mine. I am faster this year, there is no doubt about that. Where a touch of doubt holds me back is how I felt at Door County Triathlon. I was so full of anxiety and stress I forgot to have fun. I don’t want that on Ironman Wisconsin day, it’s entirely too long of a day to feel that way!

Keeping that in mind, I jotted down some numbers that are generous and attainable for my current abilities.

Swim –  1:20
T1 –  15 minutes
Bike –  6:45, 16.6 mph
T2 – 10 minutes
Run –  4:30, 10:18 minute miles (this may need to be re-thought, likely closer to 4:45-5:00)

And then I revisited my 2017 Ironman Wisconsin blog recap, which has this gem:

A rundown of my past Ironman WI finish times:

2013:  14:18
2014:  14:23
2016:  14:38  *raced with John, New bike course/Barlow Rd. Stubbed my toe.
2017:  14:33

The funny part is before race day I would joke “I keep getting slower, every year! I am insanity. I keep doing the same thing, expecting different results!”

I. am. insanity.

And when you really look at the numbers above (numbers don’t define you, you are a beautiful, unique snowflake, but these numbers matter to me), I truly am getting slower. The 2016 year hardly counts since I stubbed and broke my toe coming out of the water. If I sign up for 2018 I could gamble that my finish time would be 14:48. Look at years ’13, ’14 and ’17, first it slows down by 5 minutes, then 10, so next year by 15 minutes. NUMBERS!!

Since I am a beautiful, unique snowflake I thought it would be fun to put some meaning behind my goal for Ironman Wisconsin this year. What if I take back the time I lost in years ’14, ’16 and ’17? My above prediction for this year is 14:48 based on my previous insanity and unwillingness to change.

I have changed in many, many ways. Sure, I still don’t do well with a plan, but I have so much more drive than I used to. I’m done half-assing it.

My first Ironman was 14:18, my slowest one was 14:38. That’s twenty minutes. That’s what I will aim to PR by, minimum.

This begins my quest to #break14andSMILE

After I jotted down the numbers I did a brick:  one-hour bike ride and one-hour run.


  1. You are determined enough that I really do think sub-14 can happen. While you may not get that last tenth of a mile in a random weekday run, you have the bigger picture, which is what you need for such a long day. That’s also the real answer for people who ask how you lost weight — determination. So many able people say, “I wish I could lose weight” or “I wish I could run a mile without walking,” but they don’t decide to do it. You decide something, and you see it through. And that’s awesome.


  2. GURL…You are SO STRONG and BADASS!! You’ve got this goal!! You proved that to me on Sunday as you pulled me through those last 2 excruciating miles!! You are dedicated, driven, determined, and disciplined, so I know you’ll achieve success in September!! Remember to F*ck Sh!t UP!! 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s