Apparently, it took me a while to digest Ironman Canada.

But here I am; ready to tell my tale.

I always have these really great fun ideas… lets go RV’ing the week of an Ironman and spend 25+ hours in the car then let’s make that Ironman one of the hardest courses on the circuit.

Insert our trip to Ironman Canada 2018, the great adventure.

Day 1/Tuesday:

We started out driving from Tempe, AZ to Pocatello, ID where my parents and the RV awaited us. A measly 13-hour drive. BOOM.

Day 2/Wednesday:

Now let’s load up the RV and drive up to Washington, only an 11-hour drive. SWEET.

Day 3/Thursday:

Now we are off to Canada!!

As I woke up and walked around… my low back said NO MORE CAR RIDES PLEASE… but we only had about 6 more hours.

I got this… but before we head to Whistler I of course found myself a pool I need to go to in Vancouver. So just in case you are driving and RV and are thinking about driving through Vancouver… DO NOT DO IT. lol

omg, we made it, but HOLY HELL is was TIGHT and scary and a bit stressful.

The pool was badass, and I am SO grateful my family is crazy enough to deal with my ideas but seriously… just don’t do it.

I swam for maybe 20 min, but my back was hurting, and I was super stressed out from getting there. I told myself to just enjoy and do what I can.

Life happens.

So anyways, we got up to Whistler and our RV camp grounds safe and sound… I put my baby girls’ wheels back on and took her for a short spin to make sure we were good to go before Sunday’s big dance. Then we all headed out to the golf course for a lake side dinner.

Those mountains are majestic.

I love this place SO much.

I was just wishing I could walk without pain. lol

Day 4/Friday:

Get your shit together day.

My type of day.

I went down to the registration tents got all my gear… thank you Ironman for the AWA status, the line was so long, and I didn’t have to wait at all <3

Had a meet up with some TriSpecific peeps. I am coached by Kristian who lives in Whistler. If you are looking for a badass coach, go check out his website & listen to his podcast, the Fat Black (which is a plain black coffee with grass fed butter yummm)

At the meet up I got to meet Brad, one of the coaches and a stretch therapist. Thankfully I was able to tag along with him and one of his athletes, Jeff, and have him stretch me out a bit. My low back was feeling SO bad from the long trip. Without the kindness and wiliness of Brad that day I feel my back would have no recovered and felt so good Sunday!

Thank you so much BRAD! You are a lifesaver! #andnopictureofus #tear

Day 4/Saturday:

Up nice and early for a SBR with the TriSpecific guys I met the day before. It was great being with “locals” so we were able to go to a spot where the hustle and bustle of race day was not near us.

After that we went back to the RV and packed up all my gear and headed into town to drop off run gear, then got on the bus to drop off my bike.

Came back into town and grabbed sushi… don’t judge me, I ordered rice and chicken, my normal meal but I also had a few pieces of sushi cause I LOVE IT and my body is used to it… it used to be my pre-race meal, I just swapped out the raw fish for cooked chicken 🙂

Day 5/RACE DAY:

Woke up nice and early, drank my beet juice grabbed a banana just in case I got hungry before the race… I normally don’t eat in the mornings cause it makes me feel sick and that whole fat adaption thingy that I loosely follow. :))

My dad drove me down to the bus stop in town and off I was to the races!

Once I got into transition I put all my nutrition and salt on the bike and then walked around trying to get someone to let me barrow their pump… omg Canada… please be a bit nicer, it seriously took me a good 30min to find someone that would let me use their pump to just CHECK pressure. I am not one to let air out of my tires… cause I ALWAYS forget. Oops. Anyways finally I got someone to let me use it for all of 20 seconds and I was good.

Then it was time to go for a short jog and shortly after decided it was too crowded so I just stopped and went back to put on wet suit… maybe I would get in that cold water… nope, too late, they gave a 5min warning, my coach later told me that I should have gotten in. Ok, next time I will, promise!

SWIM 1:13 AG RANK 20th

Two loop course… pretty uneventful.

My goggle leaked, so that sucked.

Then on the second loop turning back to come in the fast 70.3ers decided to swim over me and stopped my watch! lol not a big deal but damn I liked seeing 54 minutes on my watch coming out of the water.

I had made a bet with a friend that I would beat his time of 1:10 so I really wanted to know what my time was but hey, at least I didn’t have to think about it… and don’t worry Shawn, I am coming for that swim PR!

AND I DID PR my Ironman swim time!

T1 3:39

All smooth here; I had them wipe me down with sunscreen then off we were!

BIKE 6:25 AG RANK 9th

THREE and a third loops. I would like to think one too many. lol

People were concerned with congestion due to the 70.3 and 140.6 going on at the same time but only loop 2 was a bit congested for me, and it wasn’t bad at all.

I had my timer on my watch going off every 15min so I wasn’t to miss a feeding and I drip sipped my liquids as planned.

My first loop I was on goal pace and each loop after it keep sliding down more and more. I wanted to come in right under 6 hours, I knew that would be really hard and it was an extra hot day, so I stopped thinking about goals and focused on my nutrition and my day. Things I could control. I just keep pushing as much as I knew was smart and stayed pretty focused throughout the day.

I had a few dark patches cause I knew I was going so slow but I pulled myself out quickly and realized everyone was having a hotter harder day and to just go.

When I finally took the turn to FINISH instead of loop 1,2,3 I started crying.

I WAS SO HAPPY. I MADE IT. 8500ft+ of climbing was over, NOW I could shine on my own two feet.

Not one more minute on this stinking bike!!!

T2 2:37

Grabbed my gear and ran out! YAY!!! My shoes were there <3 I will always be grateful for my gear after Ironman Copenhagen (where someone had moved my bag with shoes & run gear in it. Dohhh).

RUN 3:57 AG RANK 2nd

Two loops. This is my jam. I love running.

It was hot but not 115* so I knew I had this.

I knew I could run and get my A goal… which was an Ironman Trophy.

TOP FIVE.

This is what I told myself as I came out of the changing tent.

I see the hub, he says I’m in 7th or something like that. SWEET. TWO GIRLS. I GOT THIS. So, I just keep running, next time I see him he says 5th… I am like NO WAY. YES… let’s see if I can get to KONA then.

Then I run into my coach, he’s all chatty and I don’t want to be rude, so I let him… but I really only wanted him to tell me my place and when he asked if I wanted to know I said yes… 4th place! WOOOO!!

Okay, so you might be thinking “can’t this girl count”… but you have to realize there are the 70.3er’s out running with us and EVERYONE is walking.

HOLY CRAP I didn’t know who was racing who… I had never seen so many people just walking along, and I was on my first loop of the run! So I just counted girls anyways. I knew that 1st place was about to finish so I could only run my way to 2nd place.

ONLY 2nd PLACE.

The previous years IM Canada had two Kona slots for my AG… I just told myself to keep it together and run as strong as I could. I might be going back to the big island but only if I can keep it together and not walk. I am happy to report I did not walk once, other than the aid stations… and I did try to get through them as quickly as possible. So many people were just crowded around them standing there… it was unlike any race I have done before. EVERYONE was suffering hard.

I think I passed 2nd place around 20/30k??? whatever that means and honestly, I don’t remember exactly when, I waited to long to tell my tale. Lol

So there I am.

Mandi with an i…

second place in her age group…

with the girls behind fading away.

 

FINISH 11:43

Omg. Omg. Omg. I did it. 

I got my Ironman trophy and I DID IT WITH A 2nd PLACE!!! <3

 

I am strong. This wasn’t a fluke, I trained my ass off. I made this happen.

With amazing guidance from my coach Kristian I made my dream a reality.

I had my doubts, training so differently than I have ever before. Running so much less, biking so much harder, doing easy so much easier. It all came together for race day. It wasn’t perfect but what race is?

I am so excited for my next chapters in this triathlon life. And I am so grateful to have found TriSpecific when I did and then being open and willing to change the way I thought I should train.

There was only 1 slot to Kona in my age group this year, but honestly, I could care less.

I WAS 2nd PLACE.

Here’s to many more dreams, finish lines, and Ironman trophies!

 

Check out my coaches podcast on his thoughts from the race – Fat Black Podcast Episode #270 

 

A HUGE

THANK YOU

to TriScottsdale, Kristian from TriSpecific and Kwazadilla for supporting me!

AND Thank you to my friends & family! None of this would be possible without you guys, I love you to the moon!