I was inspired to do this race by my boyfriend David. He has done 3 doubles and a triple. His experiences at these races planted the seed- and it grew from there. On a road trip to race in Arizona Colleen and I talked each other into attempting this race. Then after crewing for David in Florida in 2015 we knew we had to do it- it is such an amazing community.
Have you completed any Ironman distance races?
I started doing triathlon in 2010. I have done 4 full ironman races – the first one in 2013.
Did you have any doubts about completing the distance?
Honestly I did not have any doubts completing this distance as far as the swim, bike, and run is concerned. However, this race has the unknown of racing over night, and not knowing how your body will respond. It is really important to keep up with your nutrition, and have a plan for dealing with fatigue. I actually thought I would finish between 32-34 hours- and that is exactly what I did.
Fortunately for me the race was for the most part great. I would say my dark time was the first 90 miles of the bike. I know this sounds funny, but when the bike is 224 miles it is really not that long. For whatever reason I just felt off- they were having record heat in Florida, and not sure if that contributed. Then all of a sudden I felt better. It was like a switch turned on, and I really enjoyed riding in the dark. I knew I just had to keep moving forward, keep a smile on my face, and it would get better. Plus you feed off all the energy from the other racers.
How did you manage to stay focused during the race?
I think being a first time racer it was easy to stay focused since everything was so new. But I owe a lot to my crew- David and my parents- for keeping track of all my splits, when I needed to eat, drink, and take salt. They were a huge part of keeping me going.
How did training for the double compare to training for an Ironman?
Training for this race was very challenging at times. It’s just a huge time commitment. It was like a part time job. A lot of training was very similar to ironman- just longer. There was more training that simply focused on endurance- time in your saddle and on your feet.
How did you balance your career and training?
Training for this race and working was definitely a balancing act. My job is very busy in the winter,can have very early mornings, and weekend hours. So it was important to plan my week ahead of time. I was lucky to have amazing training partners that worked around my schedule, and kept me motivated to get all my training done.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the race?
My advice for a race like this is to really know yourself- and what works for you- to have a plan for the race as far as nutrition, rest and weather. But to be prepared for plan B and C. I ended up on plan C for my run, and it worked out perfectly. Have a well prepared crew – they will make things much easier for you.
This race was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I went into this thinking it would be a one and done. Less than 24 hours after finishing Colleen and I were planning next year. I am so lucky to have a great training partner, and could not imaging doing this without her. The ultra community is such a wonderful family- I will warn you it is addictive.