Action, The Northern Home, Triathlon

Ironman Canada – Whistler 2017

September 21, 2017

IRONMAN CANADA 2017

Part 0: PRE-RACE

The brilliant and/or somewhat crazy idea to do Ironman Canada came to us (the ladies) during Elise’s (far left) wedding weekend in Kauai in October of 2016. We all were motivated to do Ironman Canada for slightly different reasons but the fact that we were doing it together inspired us, even though I live in Utah and the other two in San Diego. In typical fashion for the three of us, “sign up day” turned into quite the party that may or may not have involved tequila! 

 

Tyler was late to the Ironman party and signed up a full six months after us. He very sweetly said he wanted to do it with me so we could spend time together training on the weekends since both of us travel frequently for work but I think it’s because he didn’t want to be the only one in our friend group who hadn’t done an Ironman (both Elise and Paige’s husband’s are IM finishers). FOMO is real for this guy! 

Fast forward to July 2017 – all the months of grueling training, early mornings, and social sacrifices had come to an end. To get our mind’s right, we spent a few days with friends in Pemberdise, better known as Pemberton, just North of Whistler where we did some light swim, bike, run and slept in the van with one of the more gorgeous views in the world.

All that stood between us and Ironman Canada was a bland dinner and a restless night’s sleep. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun! No tequilla pre-race, but there was definitely a little beer. Gotta carbo load, right? 

PART I: THE SWIM

Morning nerves, excitement, and a sea of pink and green caps. Tyler and I started the race together and miraculously found each other in the water and swam together like all of our open water swims in training. We finished the swim within seconds of each other right around the hour mark.

 

PART II: THE BIKE

112 miles. So. much. climbing. 6 sweet potato Clif baby food packs. 1 can of pringles and 1 five minute drafting penalty while sitting upright on my road bike inhaling said pringles (rules are rules but really?!). So much @bettydesigns love. Gigantic forests, glacier fed rivers, with snow-capped mountains all around. Our Spring and Summer filled with non-stop bike riding and hill climbing in Utah paid off. The bike portion was beautiful, humbling, and fun (I love climbing). Wished I had a TT bike for some of the flats but the road bike was awesome for the climbs.

 

PART III: THE RUN

Those masochistic Ironman creators saved the hardest for last – the run! This was my first full marathon and I’m not going to lie, it was by far the most challenging part of the race. But as my friend Jene said, the great thing about Ironman is that even if you feel terrible at points, you can still feel better again. She nailed it – it was 26 miles of highs then lows then highs again. At one point (for six miles), my ankle hurt so much that I would run while I counted to 30 seconds, then would walk for 15 seconds. But then, miraculously, the pain would get better and I could run again.

Whenever I saw fellow racers @tylerporteous@eliselynnewetherell@henrysbythesea and the #Bettysquad on the course & friends + family cheering me on, I felt an electric shock of energy like I was Mario getting a special Super Mario mushroom (I’m looking at you @techmom15 @artemisiamartin @petedobesch @bigmikewetherell@drewdobesch @davisenglish@meeshmoran @beatlc @mereditheades!!).

One other discovery – I was also surprised by how amazing Pepsi tasted during the run and had about 15 mini cups – I haven’t had soda for years and feel like I’ve been seriously missing out.

 

PART IV: THE FINISH

My two goals for the finish line didn’t have anything to do with time. They were one, cross while it was still light outside and two, feel well enough to enjoy a beer afterwards. I was able to achieve 1.5 of these goals… yes it was light still and I was able to stomach (half) a beer!

From what I remember (it’s a bit fuzzy), I saw my Mom with three miles to go and that’s when the tears began. I think that was the first moment that I truly believed I could finish an IRONMAN! I fought back the waterworks and was able to run (sllloowwwlllyy) the last part of the race. When I got to the final chaute, tunnel vision set in and it all felt like a dream.

If you zoom in on the photo above, you can see @tylerporteous sweet smiling face over my left shoulder (that stud finished an HOUR before me!!) and friends @bigmikewetherell and @mereditheades.

The moment I saw my Mom and Dad at the finish line, I burst into tears. My Dad is an incredible athlete and a two-time cancer survivor but because of lasting damage from his illness, he isn’t able to do the things he once loved, like ski and run. He’s a huge inspiration for why I choose to push my body for big challenges like Ironman. I’m incredibly grateful that I’m healthy and able and I want push the limits of what’s possible. My Mom has always been enabled and encouraged my sisters and I get outside and play. In highschool, she drove me and hour each way to volleyball practice 2x a week after a long workday. She also loves to call me an Amazon woman which I’m not sure I’m super into but it makes me smile. It meant so much that both of my parents made the trip to Canada to support us. 
 

PART V:  RECOVER

This is our version of Ironman tattoos… What better way to recover than to chill with your BFFs in the same lake that we marathon-ed around the day before? @henrysbythesea@eliselynnewetherell and I signed up together, followed the same training plan, and finished an hour from each other. These friends are the epitome of strength, grace, and support. Women building each other up. Can’t wait for next great adventure!

 

 

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